Ares Virus is a survival RPG from the creators of Gumball Dungeons. Players play as Neil, a member of a special task force sent to an infected area to retrieve antibody serums from a research lab.
One great thing about Ares Virus is that when you start the game, you’re not instantly thrown into a long unskippable tutorial that walks you through every little detail of the game. Instead, you jump straight into the game after a short introductory tutorial that sets the main story of the game.
▍Prepping for Survival
Like most survival RPGs, crafting plays a big part in Ares Virus. At the beginning of the game, crafting is essential because your starting weapons have low durability. Having only one weapon on you will greatly limit how much you can do each time you leave the shelter.
Crafting covers more than just armors and weapons. Food and Medicine are equally important to keep Neil in top shape. In order to be efficient in clearing zones and farming, it is imperative that you bring enough food and the medicine needed to face the “monsters” in each zone.
Whilst it is still necessary to farm in Ares Virus, all consumables won’t expire, meaning if you want to, you can go and gather an abundance of food and continue on the story without having to worry about food going bad and having to hunt for more meat constantly.
The combat system in Ares Virus is by no means innovative or new, but the way it is executed makes you think twice before running into groups of enemies. Each enemy has different attack range, speed, and different behaviors which makes every first encounter thrilling.
Additionally, certain weapons are less effective or even ineffective against certain enemies, which gives the world a greater sense of danger and makes players get into the habit of being prepared for everything the world throws at them. If all this info is giving you a headache, don’t worry! As you explore the world, information on different enemies will be recorded in the archive which can be found in the map.
The post-apocalyptic survival game wave has pretty much been over for some time now, but that doesn’t mean Ares Virus isn’t worth playing. Although the game doesn’t offer new innovations to the genre, it puts together all the things that make for a good survival RPG.
For casual mobile players, the game has simplified many of the threatening elements of the genre, most notably the lack of consumable/material expiration and the fact that starving Neil won’t result in death. These alone puts a lot of stress off the player since there isn’t a dire need to constantly be hunting for food.
For hardcore players, the game still offers a decent challenge. Whilst the game has eliminated many of the life-threatening elements of the genre, players will still have to gather materials and look for upgrade parts to improve their shelter to allow them to craft items of higher tiers.
The combat system is also something that makes Ares Virus an interesting mobile survival RPG to pick up. The enemies you face in the game have a variety of different behaviors and attack patterns which players will have to familiarize with in order to deal with them effectively. Players will have to prepare different weapons and consumables beforehand to have a better chance of coming out alive from each different zone.
That being said, there are things in the game that could really break the experience for players. Although the game is completely free-to-play, it’s insane how you start off with only 10 inventory space. Though you can argue it’s for realism, item stacks in the game are really low, players will have to move back and forth from the shelter to gathering spots to gather significant amounts of materials.
Another issue with the game is the dialogue. Whilst the story has great potential, the English localization seems weird at times, and the characters’ dialogues jump from time to time, making them sound like completely different characters in the same conversation.
Ultimately, Ares Virus is definitely a game worth trying! For a free-to-play game, the game really offers a lot of gameplay and content for players to explore. Though I feel like it might be a sin to make free-to-play players play through the whole game with just 10 inventory space, the upgrade is actually worth paying for. Think of it as support to the devs?
The overall gameplay experience of the game is quite fun. Despite the weird English dialogues, the story still comes through to you as a player. The game has enough content to keep you engaged and entertained for a long time. The side-quests are also more than just simple “fetch quests” and they also give useful rewards that you can benefit from. The decisions you make shape the ending of the game which gives some rewards in re-playing the game after your first run.