REVIEW: Paintball Wars 2

The original Paintball War came out at (what I consider to be) a turning point for first-person shooters on XBLIG, a time of enlightenment when developers really started to hit the mark in terms of control and design. It’s no surprise that the FPS flood doors swung wide open soon after. Almost two years on, we now get a sequel to one of the first FPS1 games I covered. And… very little has changed. Paintball Wars 2 ($1.00) definitely follows the adage ‘If it ain’t broke, why fix it?’, dropping you and up to fifteen others into a colorful (and familiar) online deathmatch, featuring everyone’s favorite non-lethal2 weapon— the paintball gun.

Paintball Wars 2 - Screen

And to be honest, part of me would agree with that adage. Paintball Wars 2 retains the same setup as its predecessor, letting you paint your foes on a single, medium or large-sized (according to player vote) map. The action is fast-paced3 and fun, with constant ‘duels’ springing up, avatars jumping over hedges and / or searching for a moment of respite underneath a bridge. Ammunition is once again strategically-scarce, though refills litter the battlefield. The arena here doesn’t have as much verticality as in the previous game, as the wide open spaces favor confrontation over positioning. If anything, this limits ‘sniping’, forcing players into close quarters.

Similar to the mainstream AAA shooters, the game offers up a ridiculously large slate of unlockables, gained via kills and leveling. You can choose from a number of typical perks and additional weapons, and attachments for said guns. This includes more accurate barrels and scopes, and some superficial customization stuff like gun camo. All in all, you’ll have plenty of rewards to earn in continually playing. Killstreak cards are awarded for successive kills (or can be found in the environment), doling out temporary bonuses like invulnerability or dual wield.

Paintball Wars 2 - Screen2

Online play has the usual small hiccups here and there, but the games I found were relatively lag-free… when I found them, that is. The bright side? You aren’t exactly held captive by the whims of the XBLIG community. One of the biggest pluses of this series has been the addition of AI bots4 offline. ‘Single-player’ features its own unlockable ranks and perks, helping to supplement the online half of the game when other players can’t be found. It’s a nice idea to increase its function and longevity.

It’s just all so familiar, with developer Strange Games taking zero risks, nor applying any lessons it might’ve picked up since the original’s release. Granted, it’s not bad if you’re looking for some madcap fun; just don’t expect to be wowed or confronted with anything new. Consider Paintball Wars 2 more of an ‘add-on map’ than a legitimate step forward for the series.


  1. Well, I suppose it should be considered a hybrid FPS / third-person view, but it’s much, much easier to play entirely in first-person. Be sure to change that option immediately. 
  2. Ha, say that to my left leg, which got butchered in a ‘real’ paintball match last year. ‘Only stings for a second‘, they said. My bruises would say otherwise. 
  3. Think of the game’s ‘flow’ as somewhere between Call of Duty and Unreal Tournament
  4. Albeit laughably easy to kill. 
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14 thoughts on “REVIEW: Paintball Wars 2”

  1. Hey Tim, Thanks for taking time to review one of my games again. I wanted to address some of the comments here so people understand a few things. First off, XBLIG sales have plummeted and most of the professional devs I know have left for good. Due to dropping of the points system for purchases, gamers no longer have left over points that were traditionally spent on Indie games. Coupled with the new Xbox One, sales are around 30% of what they were at the time the X1/PS4 were announced. We can’t spend 6 months making a game that might not sell well and if it does, isn’t going to earn that much money anyway. Can you imagine your company cutting your pay by 70% but wanting you to do the same amount and quality of work?

    That being said, I still try to avoid releasing crap. PW2 has added jumping, melee’ing, points for a successful taunt, and crouching so it simply wasn’t a re-skin. It also does have rumble so I’m not sure why that was mentioned.

    Since we can’t do DLC through XBLIG, most devs consider cloning / reskinning to be the equivalent of a map pack and for a $1, that’s not a bad price if you like the game.

    Although my focus is on the PS4, I’ll continue to release games on XBLIG where it makes sense. I had a game accepted into the MS App Campus program and it will make it’s way on to XBLIG once the exclusive period is over.

    Thanks again,
    Reggie

    1. Reggie:

      Good to hear from you again. Hope you’ve been doing well. No problem on the review, of course. 🙂 Sorry I didn’t have more favorable things to say.

      I completely understand where you’re coming from as far as development. You guys have taken plenty of hits over the past few years, with the points changeover and of course, the new consoles. Not to mention MS’s continual slip-ups and the general disinterest that the majority of Xbox 360 players have towards XBLIG. I don’t blame you for trying to minimize your risk, and although my reviews would probably make it sound differently to most developers, trust me, I’m on your guys’ side whenever possible.

      I did try to give you the benefit of the doubt here (from previous conversations, I know you want to make good games and strive to do so), but I do have an obligation to tell people if the game has changed any. Minus what you said in your reply, it doesn’t feel all too different from its original form, so I felt I should keep that prominent and up front. It’s still better than half the stuff I review, just… too similar. Thanks for taking the criticism well, though.

      I know you mentioned PS4 development before, so how’s that coming along? I know indie developers are flocking to them (the PS Vita / PSM market is getting saturated with Unity projects now), but I’m curious to hear how Sony is treating the smaller Indie Devs that want onto PS4, ones that don’t necessarily have a more established track record. Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d rather not say on here.

    2. Reggie you are preaching to the choir my man. Most readers on here are very sympathetic to what your laying down and understand it very well. I for one feel like the XBLIG has been in hospice for a long time and just waiting till the day we can bury it. 😦

      I for one own over 80 XBLIG and some I only bought in support while others I got for free. I never thought that multiplayer games stood a chance on the XBLIG but it has shown some life from time to time.

    1. I agree with you. Part of why the conversation below has nothing to do with this game. 😛 Tim…..TIM…..don’t beat me man….PLEASE…I’m only kidding. OUCH TIM….STOP IT!!!!

    2. It’s all good, fellas! Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, no harm done. I agree on the ‘recycled game’ point too. The lack of rumble support wouldn’t bother me as much, but playing the same game would.

      Normally, I tend to forgive that stuff to some degree if the game is fun to play (you have to admit that even DeadKings shares some similarities to BloodyCheckers), and I’ve always had a soft spot for what the original Paintball War did. That said, there’s no real reason for this game to replace the original. It may add some perks / unlockables that the first game didn’t have, but that’s hardly enough new content for a full-on sequel.

      Plus, hell, I’ll gladly talk about / watch videos of No Man’s Sky anytime! 😀

    3. Open world sci fi dinosaur game…
      ….
      ….
      ….
      YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Sweet find Dreampoet. Thanks for the heads up.
      Now just needa find a Redhead Biker Gal.
      Then life is perfect.

    4. Theoretically, you could build your own ‘Jurassic Park’ on your very own planet, stocked with species that you yourself discovered. ….Then you could offer to sell your dinos’ DNA samples to a rival company, steal them during a tropical storm, die a horrible death, and watch as your park slowly unravels into chaos, setting up two or three potential sequels…. Great fun! 😀

  2. Sorry to post this here but I know there is someone that reads these blogs that talk about wanting to play games with dinosaurs. I didn’t take the time to go back and figure out who it was but I just came across something that I wanted to let them know about. This trailer shows what is basically dinosaurs.

    The game is called No Mans Sky and according to what the developers are saying “Developed by tiny independent video game company Hello Games, the new science-fiction title No Man’s Sky features so many planets, it would take you five billion years – with no toilet breaks – to find every single one. And that’s if you can find each of its 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 planets in one second flat.”

    I may have to get a PS4 just for this game alone and I have never owned a Playstation before. Keeping my eye on this for sure however.

    1. Ha, great minds think alike; I actually posted this same trailer with an article on Indiepitome a few months back:

      http://indiepitome.com/2014/06/10/no-mans-sky-preview/

      Caught the recent article on Kotaku, or Polygon, one of those sites. Basically, ridiculous what this team has done, and if they can pull it off… it’s going to be impressive. Certainly my most anticipated indie game, if not ‘most anticipated game’ period. Not even for the technical aspect, but that’s awesome as well. I just love the idea of exploring, of finding new things (probably why I like to travel so much) and seeing something that no one else has. I’m there on Day 1, Hour 1 of this game. 😀

      Oh, and ‘Saansilt’ is the authority on dinosaurs. I’m sure he’ll be pleased. In fact, I’m reviewing a PSM title on the Vita called Raptor RPG, which is… interesting. If you like dressing up raptors in funny hats and slaughtering other dinosaurs for food, this is the game you’ve been waiting for. 🙂

    2. I really do need to start making you other site a regular stop for me. I have it on my faves list on my browser but just don’t make it there often enough.

      Yea the exploration thing gets me as well as the techie stuff too. I watched more vids on it about how it works and how they are able to create such a large game but not really creating anything until you are actually there. Very cool stuff and as of right now I’m seeing me getting a PS4 before an Xbox One just due to this game alone. (Can you believe I said that?)

    3. I. Want. This. So. Bad.
      I love exploration games, and that game would be like a dream come true! And I thought I might skip the current console generation… what a fool I’ve been.

    4. @Dream Poet: Ah, no worries. Indiepitome is still the stepchild of the family; it gets attention, but it’s not the favorite… yet. 🙂 Once it has a larger catalog of content / reviews, the traffic should pick up naturally on its own. Here’s where all the interesting conversations happen anyway. 🙂

      Hey, I picked up a PS4 over the One too, at least until Titanfall proved too enticing to pass up. It’s worth noting that No Man’s Sky is a ‘timed exclusive’, so it’ll show up on the Xbox One at some point. That said, I probably wouldn’t be able to wait it out, either. 😀

      @Soosh: Come on, you can’t beat that new console smell! It’s not nearly the same with a PC (or an emulator). It just feels…. right. 😎

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