League of War: VR Arena

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
League of War: VR Arena Game Poster Image
Virtual wargame hurts fun by leaving out online multiplayer.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Goal is to destroy enemy. Some parents might feel this war-themed game doesn't provide a good message for players.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You don't get to see your character, but you choose from available generals, then select which kind of soldiers, vehicles to place down on the battlefield. There aren't protagonists you'll get to know, but there are names, personalities given to these virtual generals. You can play against computer-controlled or human players.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but does take some getting used to as there's no tutorial or in-game help.

Violence

Lots of fighting. You use your army of units to destroy enemy army, including tanks, helicopters, rifle-wielding commanders, flamethrowers, and so on. No blood, gore shown.

Sex

Showing their stomach, large amounts of cleavage, female generals -- like O'Dell, Kardinsky -- are dressed suggestively.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that League of War: VR Arena is a downloadable virtual reality game that plays out like a tabletop war game. As a general, you'll have a bird's-eye view of the battlefield, selecting units to place down on the board and determining where they should go and where they should be aiming at. Your goal is to destroy the enemy army in the process. There's considerably violence in this game, but no blood or gore. While two female generals are dressed suggestively, there's no other offensive content to be found.

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What's it about?

LEAGUE OF WAR: VR ARENA might be best described as a holographic strategy action game that has players placing army units -- consisting of soldiers, specialists, and vehicles -- onto a virtual tabletop battlefield. As you might suspect, your goal is to decimate the other army's towers and base, which also has a general operating from an eagle-eye perspective, to take you out. Applying tactics, you'll try to win these short but intense battles by selecting which units to place down and when, using the laser guidance system to aim and fire at enemies. Each side has 12 units -- including tanks, helicopters, and specialist soldiers -- four of which are randomly available at any one time. Each unit requires energy to deploy, with more powerful units requiring more energy (and taking longer to charge up). Do you go with a preemptively quick assault with weaker recon units or deploy a more methodical strategy with slower but more powerful units, or a combination of the two? When should you order an airstrike? Couple it with artillery attack, or wait so that you don't run out of energy? Should you play more offensively or defensively? 

Is it any good?

This was meant to mimic a tabletop war game in an immersive virtual reality arena, and while fast-paced, fun, and accessible, without online multiplayer, it feels a bit half-baked. There are two modes to its gameplay. There's the main Campaign mode -- where you select unique mercenary commanders, each with a story to tell, and unlock your way through the single-player story against AI armies -- but there's also Arcade mode, which is a local multiplayer option allowing players to have more control over their armies while facing off against a friend through the game's Social Screen interface. To be specific, one player has the PlayStation VR headset and Move controllers, while the other looks at the TV screen and holds the Dual Shock controller. It works, and it's better than not having any multiplayer, but it's not as good as including online multiplayer with voice support. Overall, this sub-$20 indie game is fun but not too deep; however, those who enjoy tabletop gaming -- and perhaps those with fond memories of placing toy tanks onto a battlefield as a child -- will also get something out of League of War: VR Arena.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence acceptable in League of War: VR Arena because it's a war game, or is it a problem because the focus is destroying enemy soldiers? Is it fine because no blood or gore is shown?

  • Talk about virtual reality. Is VR all hype and no substance? Or on the contrary, is it a next-generation gaming experience like no other, and people who don't "get it" simply haven't tried it properly?

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