Sky Knights – Preview
Follow Genre: MOBA
Developer: Hampus Bankler
Publisher: Hampus Bankler
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Sky Knights – Preview

Good: Very original in the MOBA scene
Bad: Could quickly get boring if you don't love planes
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(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Thumbs up while making a loop and lock on some rockets to fire at will cause we are going to have ourselves some good air-combat. This is the alpha version of Sky Knights, a top-down plane MOBA. The community that plays it is very positive about it so far, but can this game measure itself with other MOBAs being one-of-a-kind? 

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Sky Knights seems like an interesting concept, especially cause planes in games are underrated. They don’t make that many good games involving planes, let alone games that revolve around planes. Weird, cause you’d say a plane has plenty of power to make for interesting gameplay. Even though since VR has hit the market this might change, it’s also a welcoming change without VR. Especially when you slap a MOBA jacket on it.

Starting up the game we are greeted by some gloomy music in the menu with radio noise and chatter in the background. Throughout the gameplay, the chatter will slightly remain, but the background music changes into some epic 80’s-90’s guitar theme. It’s reminiscent of series on TV that had planes in it. Graphics-wise the game looks partially unfinished and partially done at the same time. It’s not clear whether the developer wants it to look like this or if this is still a pre-release element, but some parts of the landscape look kind of rough, other parts like the planes look cel-shaded. Hopefully, there will be done something more about this, not only because it will be slightly less chaotic on your screen, but also because the game does have the potential for great visual maps. There just doesn’t seem to be that feeling of real war involved yet. Sometimes it feels more like some kids pretending to shoot each other. Bang, you’re dead. A little bit more work on the visuals will enhance the overall experience a lot probably.

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The game is classified as a MOBA, though sometimes it feels more like a mini-game repeating itself. This is due to the lack of versatility, though it won’t feel too repetitive for those who really enjoy planes. For them, the sheer greatness of flying and shooting might be enough. As soon as you start, you can pick one out of three different planes. The most common so far is to play the game 4vs4, so you will probably have three teammates. They can be either bots or other real players.

Each side has a landing strip and three bases. The landing strip you will mostly just use to take off, the bases you try to defend, or attack in case you are in enemy territory. Depending on the plane you choose you either go defend, try to make a bombing run, or take a balanced option in between. You fight other planes by using heatseeker missiles and a machine gun. You use bombs to drop some damage on the enemy base. Besides that, you are also equipped with flares to distract locked heatseeker missiles and avert a disastrous death. If you really want to make some special moves you can also fly up or make a loop to try and dodge enemies or get behind them, though because of the ”real” feeling of the plane (it’s not that mobile), this might be hard to use properly. The first team to destroy the other team’s bases wins.

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There are two options to become stronger during and in-between games. If you are in a game you get resources when you either kill an enemy plane, destroy a base, or shoot up ground forces and anti-air missiles that try to siege you or your bases. These ground forces can be seen as minions compared to other MOBA games, and they give you the most steady income of resources you use to buy upgrades such as a tougher hull, more ammo or a faster engine. You can access the shop either when you die or when you return to base. That last option can be kind of tricky since you have to fly all the way back, make a proper run and steer your plane with a slow amount of speed to land it properly. If you do choose to do so, you will get all your health, ammo and fuel back though, so sometimes it might be worth it.

If you are not in a game you gain access to certain perks depending on your level. You can pick two perks for your loadout which give you a nice little bonus such as 25% more machine gun damage. All real versatility, however, comes from the gameplay itself where the fights depend on how well you are doing throughout the game and the picks you and your teammates make when it comes to making a choice in planes. Being an Early-access game, this will probably get some changes over time. But for now, it feels like only some more hardcore part of the community will enjoy the game over a longer period of time.

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Sky Knights is an interesting game that at least gets the feeling right for a certain target audience. Apparently, planes are something that people have been waiting for some time cause the reactions on the game so far are insanely positive by almost everybody. It does, however, especially when you are not a plane-person, seem to get quite repetitive if you’re looking at the game from a MOBA perspective. This might be solved on the actual release since one can only assume that there could be multiple maps and more options to make the game’s versatility last longer. Even though the game and its community try to put it out there as a MOBA, it doesn’t feel like it completely deserves the genre yet. Maybe with a few adaptations such as more objectives, it will get there. It at least has some potential to be recognized for an original concept, maybe later even as a great game.

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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Sky Knights - Preview, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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