Foamstars - Video Review

We share our thoughts on Square Enix's multiplayer title, which is often described as a spin on the Splatoon formula.

Audio transcription

"Okay, it's a showtime! Live service games, if they cut through the noise, can bring in more money than almost any other type of game."

"The problem, of course, is that noise.
Developers need to find their niche among the countless multiplayer titles on the market that are constantly vying for players' attention.
If a game isn't called Fortnite, Roblox, Destiny 2 or The Division 2, they might be called Diablo 4 or League of Legends, and for every title that makes it, there are countless more that don't."

"What these live service titles are not called is Splatoon, and here Square Enix seems to have found their niche.
Foamstars is essentially a live service version of Nintendo's multiplayer shooter for consoles, or PlayStation 4 and 5, where, of course, the Splatoon series has never set foot."

"It is perhaps a pitch as good as any, but the question is whether PlayStation gamers are really so hungry for a Splatoon-like that they will accept any quality.
Contrary to its obvious source of inspiration, Foamstars is not about colour, but about, get this, foam."

"The opening voiceover makes this clear while explaining that no one dies in Foamstars either.
During the course of the game you absolutely do not kill opponents, you get chills, not kills.
Cool, right?
The colourful, costumed and market-analysed childish tone unfortunately struggles to capture the younger audience right from the start, and the kind of self-distance and irony that, for example, Epic is so good at in Fortnite, has a noticeable absence here."

"Anyway, after we and our three teammates have each chosen one of the eight characters, the game begins.
Smash the star.
We are dropped onto a giant ramp, surf down it and land on one side of a total of three levels, either a disco arena, a kind of casino or some kind of mixture of both."

"Using the characters' various foam weapons, foam shotgun, foam missiles, foam rifles and so on, and their two different special abilities, we try to kill, or, sorry, chill, opponents.
When the opposing team's players have been chilled a total of eight times, one of the players is randomly designated a Foamstar and becomes a little more powerful."

"When this player is finally chilled, the game is definitively over.
However, simply pointing the foam guns at the opposition is not a good idea.
If you've ever slipped in the bath tub, you'll know that soap and bath foam are treacherously frictionless, and again, your own foam has the ability to speed up your team's movements, but also vice versa with your opponents by slowing them down."

"Unfortunately, there is rarely any flow in the matches themselves, and structurally it has looked more or less identical in the majority of our hundred clashes.
It begins with a slow, minute-long start, followed by a minute-long middle section of surf action, and then an absolutely hellish chaos breaks out at the end where the entire screen flashes with foam, special abilities and various weapons that are virtually impossible to control."

"But sometimes there are a few games where it works out.
It ebbs and flows, and these pulse-pounding aggressive advances and overtime make us want to like Foamstars more than it perhaps deserves, because what PvP title is not fun when you win?
However, the blaring lack of feedback statistics at the end of a game and an entire ranked mode are the first parts of the larger problem that is Games as a Service at its core, i.e."

"sustainability and longevity.
We simply don't see how Foamstars can deliver any kind of variety and, by extension, game value when character choices make little significant impact on the games themselves.
Something other than more content will be needed to add variety and sustainability here, and we just want to mention that the Battle Pass is very poor and the shop contains all manner of premium, purchasable cosmetic stuff from the start, which is harrowing in the context when this is still, in all other aspects, aimed at children."

"Maybe Square Enix and ToyLogic can fix this and polish off the worst flaws with updates in a typical live service style.
Maybe, but we don't think so.
The problems are, as we see it, too deeply buried under the bath foam."

"And it's a shame anyway, because despite Foamstars looking like an amateur project from Fortnite Creative Mode, we've still had a bunch of fun matches with good friends.
The experience has, apart from some connectivity issues in the matchmaking, also been exceptionally stable and bug-free, and the city-pop jazz that highlights both matches and menus is always crazy catchy."

"If you have PlayStation Plus, this is free to download, so there is the opportunity to test it if the slightest craving arises.
However, we would hardly recommend a purchase or subscription just for this."





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