RAM Pressure is a turn-based tactical squad strategy game in the mold of XCOM. It's free to play and players will pick either the USA, Russia or China to represent. In RAM Pressure players control squads of soldiers which contain up to 4 soldiers, each varying in terms of class and weapon-set. The objective will be to complete PvE missions and PvP battles to eventually grow their squads through experience points and better gear.
RAM Pressure's intro is exciting. Alien debris from unknwon spacecrafts in space is landing all over earth, and the modern world's superpowers are racing to be the first to claim this new technology. The CIA, Russia's Covert Ops and China's Special Forces are three of the factions that players can choose to represent in RAM Pressure, and the end-goal is the same. After a quick cinematic introduction, the tutorial mission begins. You the player are given four soldiers to control in this free to play, turn-based squad strategy game. You'll navigate the map using smart cover and flanking maneuvers to outsmart CPU opponents and real players in order to complete the objectives and win the match.
In short, RAM Pressure is almost a duplicate of XCOM, and it contains all the usual gameplay systems and mechanics. For starters, during your turn, you'll move your squad through the fog of war to seek out objectives and enemies. Hiding behind cover provides defense benefits, and yes there's half cover and full cover mechanics to be aware of. Combat is the same as well, and it's differentiated by the different soldier classes available - Assault, Sniper and Heavy. These three allows soldiers to use specific types of weapons, armor and load-outs like grenades and med-kits to further synergize your squad in the field. When enemy soldiers are in view, you can fire at them using your soldiers but several factors come into play, such as hit chance, crit chance and ammo on top of the cover they are behind, which means you can expect the unexpected to happen often.
The most important takeaway from playing missions in RAM Pressure is the pressure it puts on you. The high-stakes, high tension matches are ridiculously fun thanks in part to some of the objectives available. In missions where you need to diffuse bombs within a few turns for example, challenges you to play quicker which makes you commit to mistakes, and they punish you for it. Unlike XCOM however, your soldiers don't die permanently. They can be revived after matches for a small fee using in-game currency. The game absolutely rewards those who plan and execute orders well, and the most fun parts are seeing a well set up ambush using the Overwatch mechanic to take out a number of enemy soldiers when they move.
Hiring new soldiers requires cash and you'll need to earn XP to get them up to speed with the rest of your squad
From a progression standpoint, this is where RAM Pressure takes a different approach versus its genre cousins. For starters, players and their squads will earn experience points and cash after missions for winning and losing. The XP will give your soldiers ranks in return for better stats. Cash on the other hand is used to buy new weapons, armor and other items. It's also used for healing up your squad so make sure to stock-pile plenty of it.
The most obvious departure from a pure strategy game is the online MMO element. RAM Pressure allows for PvP missions which pits three squads of real players against each other, and it works due to the countdown timer which means there won't be waiting and matches are quick. Additionally, the world map where players launch missions from will also contain daily quests which can be farmed for cash and intel, which changes often so the replay factor is definitely there. There's also clans that players can join and while this feature isn't fully implemented yet, it does give you an idea of the type of game that RAM Pressure is setting up to be at full launch.
Graphically, the game looks really good especially on high end machines. The many matches available will put you in multiple types of environment biomes, from lush forests to snowy peaks. As is the case with games like these, the terrain is destructible which means grenades and explosions can alter the map and create more cover for your squad, or take away cover in worst case scenarios. This adds to the strategy element. RAM Pressure also makes good use of day and night cycles to keep things realistic.
The downside so far is that in the early access version currently, the game runs poorly on PC. You may encounter long loading screens and frame freezes especially when the camera angle changes from top-down view to shooting view. While it's not jarring, it can become tiresome after many matches in a row.
RAM Pressure definitely put its best foot forward with its early access so far, showing that a game like this does have a place for strategy and MMO fans to coexist. It's free to play and doesn't have a pay to win cash shop, and it's fun enough with all the familiar mechanics that will make XCOM fans happy to give it a shot.Ready to enter the world of RAM Pressure? Click here to play now!
What We Liked..
Interesting premise for a game
Good use of MMO elements
.. and what we didn't
Poor performance optimization
Lacks control customization
What we liked..
.. and what we didn't