COUNTER: SIDE is a 2D tower defense RPG set in the year 2044 where humanity has been plunged into chaos due to the appearance of unknown creatures known as Corrupted Objects. With the appearance of Corrupted Objects also came Counters, heroes with superpowers generated by what is known as the “Watch”. Players play as the CEO of a military company that brings together Counters to defend the world against these Corrupted Objects.
COUNTER: SIDE features an incredibly diverse character list. Each character is fully voiced and has its own live2D animation.
Asides from their unique looks, each character also have their own skills and ultimate skills which serve different purposes when it comes to the actual combat part of the game. What makes the game interesting is that depending on what characters the players have, they can create a lot of different squad combinations.
Depending on the stage that players are tackling, different units are required. Each character falls under one of the seven different roles in the game: Striker, Ranger, Sniper, Defender, Supporter, Siege, and Tower.
Strikers specialize in close-quarters combat (CQC), going up close to enemy units and dealing burst damage.
Rangers and Snipers are ranged units that are capable of dishing out great damage from afar.
Defenders are units that specialize in soaking up damage, keeping the damage dealers safe.
Supporters are buffers and healers. These units are great in more advanced stages where enemies have more synergized skills.
Siege units are fast units that ignore enemy units and go directly for the boss. These units are great especially in PvP when your opponent is not expecting you to rush them.
Tower units are immobile units that defend an area, stopping any enemies from advancing further, including Siege units!
The key to clearing mid-game to late-game content lies within balancing your team and picking units that counters the units you will be facing.
Like all tower defense games, you will face both ground units and flying units. Thus, it is always important to keep in mind what attack type your units are to ensure that you have at least one or two units to deal with those pesky flying enemies.
Asides from characters, each squad will also need a Ship. These are built in the Hanger. Each ship, like characters, has its own unique passive perks and active skills that can be unlocked as you upgrade them.
Most stages start on the battlefield. This is where you can place the squads you want to use for the stage. Each squad can only attack twice before they have to resupply.
Each turn each squad will be able to take one action. This includes either moving or attacking an enemy squad within reach. During this phase, if an ally squad is within range when you attack an enemy, Battle Support will be triggered, allowing you to also summon the leader from the supporting squad.
Simulations are the daily dungeons in COUNTER: SIDE. You will be able to play each one for free twice a day. These stages will reward you with materials related to upgrading your character. Simulations are also a really good way to test your units and team composition in specific scenarios.
▍Special Attack Training – DPS rush
Special Attack Training requires a DPS-focused team. The premise of this particular training is to defeat the boss within the given time frame. There isn’t much of a real challenge for these training, simply have the highest damage units in your team and you shouldn’t have any major problems with the first couple of stages as long as you are close to the recommended level.
For the later stages, throw in a defensive unit and a support unit with heal to ensure that your DPS units have maximum uptime.
▍Special Defense Training – Tank & Spank (Needs Towers)
Towers are absolutely essential in Special Defense Trainings. These immobile units halt all enemy advances. Need Healers to keep your towers alive. Despite what the name of the training suggests, the key to clearing these stages is a balance between damage and tankiness. As you challenge the more advanced stages of this training, it’ll become increasingly difficult to just rely on your tank to completely stop the enemy’s advances. Personally, I would recommend having a few rangers in the team just to get you through the initial wave.
Your choice of ship for this mission will be the “Normandy” for the passive HP boost and active heal that can really save you from desperate situations.
▍Anti-Air Training – Full Air & All types
Anti-Air Training, like the Special Attack Training, is pretty straightforward. The difficulty here is creating a team of pure anti-air units and all-target units. Clearing the more advanced stages for this training will require upgraded units.
Personally, I’m incredibly excited for COUNTER: SIDE. Not just because of the awesome graphics and ultimate skill animations that the combat has but also because the game is just packed with content for you to play and a lot of different strategies and squad compositions you can explore.
For more casual players, you can just collect characters and still clear a majority of the early and mid-game content with just auto and some basic team compositions.
For the more hardcore players, the end game stages and the more advanced Simulation training stages test your units and your team composition to the absolute limits.
There is a healthy bit of farming that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something when you finally get your units and ships maxed out.
Once you’re past the main campaign, there are also a lot of different side stories and character stories that you can explore, giving the game a rich universe and giving players more to immerse themselves in.