Gameplay is very smooth, when it’s your turn, select a unit and then either move or attack. Each soldier has different skills and is proficient in a specific weapons use. Any action uses up your soldier’s energy, movement costs can vary depending on their armour weight and strong weapons cost more energy to use than weaker ones. The weapons also have different ranges and varied optimal ranges meaning some consideration needs to be used when selecting your team. Each soldier also has a special attack unique to them which complements their class, snipers for example, may have a piercing shot which allows a shot to go through multiple targets or the soldier who could have a grenade or remote mine. Using the special abilities wisely can turn the tide of battle considerably so you also need to be aware of the team your opponent has as well and place your team accordingly.
There are 2 ways to win a match in RAD Soldiers, the first is the easiest… just eliminate the other team, the second is a little harder. Each level has a target area for you to capture and hold, you win when you hold it alone for 5 turns, the downside being that in the target area there is little to no cover leaving your team open to greater damage, the plus side to this mechanic is that games are short and sweet, most are finished in 8-10 moves as both players need to maintain a presence in the same area or forfeit the match.
When you begin, you have only a 2 man squad, you need to earn some bucks to build up your squad and equip them. You can jump straight into the online matches if you want to but it’s probably a good idea to have a look at the challenge stages first, there’s not many and there are some really tough ones but its a good way to build up a little cash before taking on other players. The online play is remarkably easy, you can play against your Facebook friends but unfortunately, none of my friends play RAD Soldiers, however you can also play against a random Game Centre opponent and match ups are always quick and balanced, the brilliance with this title being you can face an experienced player with better gear but still be on equal ground, the reason for this being each person has a limited number of squad points. Each soldier uses squad points to join the team, giving them a stronger weapon increases the squad points they use so stronger weapons equals a smaller team, and that makes this title all about the strategy.
There aren’t many levels but these are very well planned out areas offering a variety of cover options from a variety of materials, some cover items give you complete protection from one direction while standing near a fence will only protect you from a little damage. RAD Soldiers looks really good, the stages are crisp 3D models and you can check out the whole battlefield with full 360 degree rotation, units all look great and sport any changes you make to them and they’re all very clear on the battle field. The menus have been well crafted, they are easy to use and understand, but bright and exiting. Sound effects are well crafted, realistic gun shots and explosions and the music is clever blend of battle sounds and sirens overlaid with a subtle score, truthfully though, I didn’t notice it until I forced myself to hear it, it’s just enough to fill the silence but subtle enough to not be a pain.
There aren’t many stages but these are large and complex areas, still, a few more would have been nice, there are new stages added from time to time but its a long time between updates. You can buy more challenge levels and new maps but I found these a little overpriced, there’s not a great deal of content for the price. There is however a wide range of characters and weapons to buy, each with their pros and cons, but it will take a while to build up the cash for these, you’ll need to invest some time to afford them, even if you focus on just a few squad members. On the plus side though, it’s a well made app, no problems or glitches as yet and the amazing PvP more than makes up for any shortfalls in content.