Atari has officially moved their moba/shooter hybrid Minimum out of Steam’s early access and into full release mode, but the game’s incomplete features are drawing mixed responses from players.
Minimum, Atari’s latest publishing release and Human Head Studios’s newest project, is a game built on great concepts. Combining third-person shooter mechanics with elements of the MOBA genre and infusing the result with lots of crafting and character customization is a winning idea, and the game’s ultra-sleek aesthetic helps to make it stand out visually and gameplay-wise from its competition. The game has been fairly successful in its early-access version so far, but on Septermber 12 2014 the game updated with a bevy of new features, pulled up its early-access roots, and replanted itself as a full-fledged release.
Here is where things get sketchy.
While many gamers are praising Minimum for the things it gets right — such as the game’s combat and generally frantic/fun gameplay — criticism is being leveled at Atari concerning the game’s still-alpha state. Despite the game moving out of early access, players are complaining due to the number of promised features that the game is still lacking, pointing toward locked menu options and unincorporated gameplay elements while questioning exactly what Atari’s definition of a full release is. With missing game modes, gameplay options, and even character customization options, not to mention stability issues, Atari’s choice to classify the features currently available as a full release is questionable at best.
What features Minimum does have implemented make for an intriguing game. Multiplayer focused, the game offers players a unique take on arena shooter-style combat. Weapons grow stronger as combat wears on, and players have a lot of options in terms of weapon and armor loadout for their bots (or whatever they are) to make use of. Response has been somewhat poor to Atari’s choice to add a microtransaction store to what is already a ten dollar game, but typically gamers are finding the game’s mechanics to be strong and fun to engage in.
Just not complete.
Atari has faced almost continuous difficulties throughout its post-2600 lifespan. The company now puts most of its effort into publishing and mobile platforms, but mis-steps such as Minimum’s incomplete launch are likely to do little to improve most gamers’ already shaky opinions of the company.
Minimum is available now on Steam. The game is normally $9.99, but is on sale for $4.99 until September 17th. If third-person arena shooter combat sounds like your type of thing, definitely check it out. Overall impressions seem to be positive concerning the game’s actual gameplay, an the game will likely only continue to get better as time goes on. Just be aware that despite leaving early access, the game is still very much incomplete.