The Machines is what you show your friends when they argue that console-quality visuals just aren’t possible on mobile devices. The frenetic and fun new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, created by Shanghai-based Directive Games, is the poster child for cutting-edge technology. Not only does the experience run on Unreal Engine 4 and Metal 2 with incredibly detailed graphics highlighted by dazzling texture and lighting effects, but everything screams at 120 frames per second on iPad Pro.
Oh. And the entire game is built to take advantage of ARKit for augmented reality battles that unfold, quite literally, in your living room.
“AR technology adds a completely new dimension and depth to gaming,” says Directive Games CEO and cofounder Atli Mar Sveinsson. “For the first time, players have complete control of how they see a scene in a game, becoming the directors and deciding how content is experienced, which in turn results in incredibly innovative gameplay and opens many possibilities for the future.”
You take control of robot factions to do battle in a futuristic war that’s waged for 200 years and destroyed civilization as we know it. The presentation is dark and gritty, the intuitive play style immediately recognizable to fans of the genre. As you deploy units across multiple battle lanes, you can redirect their movement on the path to destroy the enemy’s portals and base.
AR technology adds a completely new dimension and depth to gaming.
Atli Mar Sveinsson, CEO of Directive Games
Of course, PvP action is great online, but the developer hopes the AR gameplay will nurture local tabletop warfare too. There’s not only a deeper sense of immersion to be had as you navigate the real world to see your augmented battlefield up close, but the overall urgency of the engagement increases, because you can see your opponent doing the same thing. It’s also a lot easier to trash-talk someone close enough to touch.
The Machines is available with both a single-player mode so that you can practice your strategy, and real-time battle modes to show off your skills. Although straightforward combat is the focus out of the gate, Directive is already planning a roster of tournament modes.
“We are very proud of the visual fidelity we achieved, not only for how the game looks, but also for how it makes us feel when we play,” says Andrea Cesaro, COO and cofounder. “With the additional bonus that, if players are in the same room, they can battle together with AR and socialize in the same way as they did with good old board games.”