Shooters that try to change the status quo are hard to come by. Popular titles like Call of Duty and Battlefield follow a formula where gaming skills don’t necessarily result in higher performance in-game. Because this has proven to be so successful, most shooters nowadays tend to follow in the same path and only very rarely try to stray from it.
Enter the game Minimum.
Minimum is an online third-person shooter that combines elements of real-time strategy and roleplaying games. The game features armor-crafting that can be done mid-match, and a large array of unlockable and upgradable equipment (guns, grenades, katanas, automated turrets, etc.) for players’ customization needs. What’s more, each weapon in the game hosts 5 power levels that activate when players achieve kill streaks, but be warned: upon death, opponents can take those power levels and use it for themselves.
Currently, the game hosts three game modes: Titan Mode, Team Deathmatch, and Horde Mode. Shooter veterans should be quite at home in the latter two modes as they’re not much different from ones offered in other games in the genre. However, Titan Mode breaks the mold by adding MOBA-like mechanics into the usual 5v5 team game types. In it, players are required to escort their team’s titan to the opponent’s base while protecting their own base from the opposing team’s titan. In between titan attacks, players are required to farm mobs scattered around the map in order to gain resources for armor upgrades and titan power-ups. It’s fast-paced and very competitive – something most fans of the genre should be excited about, especially those who are into twitch-shooters like Unreal Tournament.
In terms of mechanics, Minimum excels. Although the game may not look like much based on the minimalistic art style that it takes on, it more than makes up for it in gameplay. The armor-crating and transferrable power levels really do a lot to even out the playing field between newbies and more experienced players. You’ll often find that even low level players are able to dominate the leaderboards by somehow managing to take an opposing team member’s levels away. However, the balancing of some weapons does need some work as there are times when it is almost impossible to kill certain players who have the right combination of weapons at their disposal.
Another thing to point out is that while Minimum does provide a decent amount of content for its US$9.99 price tag, it still feels like an incomplete game despite being a fully released title on Steam. Yes, the three game modes and equipment customizations should keep players entertained for a while, but the overall interface is not user-intuitive. Many of the interface elements seem to be placed in areas that users would not usually look at unless they were already familiar with the game, and the tutorials and descriptions for things are much too wordy. Icons still glitch out from time to time in some menus as well and there are a good number of features that still sport a “Coming soon” label. Additionally, the mid-game crafting menu could be streamlined better so players can easily craft on-the-go.
Overall, Human Head Studios has created a fresh experience for those interested in the shooter genre. With the new elements that they’ve put into the all-too-familiar formula that’s been seen in the past few years, Minimum is guaranteed to keep your interest for at least a little while. However, the game still needs a lot of polishing before it can be one of the go-to competitive shooters for this generation. The innovative prowess and player-focused mind-set of the developers shows that the game has huge potential for further success. Whether or not that will come to fruition will depend on the decisions they make in the months to come.