Fray is a game I’ve been curious about for a while, partly because of the over-the-top graphical overlay that brings to mind the worst excesses of The Designers Republic (90s pop graphics studio who scribbled their chunky stylings on a couple of games and almost made Pop Will Eat Itself seem cool), but mostly because I’ve had high hopes that it would scratch a gaming itch that hasn’t been satisfied since Laser Squad Nemesis went ominously quiet. You see Frozen Synapse, while enjoyable, was just a bit too icy and minimalist for my bombastic tastes.
In development at French studio Brain Candy and hitting beta just yesterday, Fray is a multiplayer simultaneous turn-based strategy game with three sides and six character classes to choose from, where teams of four high-tech soldiers face off across a patchwork of hex tiles. In addition, the game is set to feature an interesting upgrade system that rewards winners and losers in similar-but-different ways. By emerging victorious a team gain attribute bonuses to armour and speed, while losing teams amass more experience points that can be spent on equipment – which actually makes a great deal of sense when you think about it.
Rather annoyingly, while I have the beta downloaded and installed, the server seems to be offline, else I would tell you how close the game is to living up to the high expectations I have for it. Rest assured though that I will be firing up the client at various intervals to see what Fray has to offer. I shall report back soon.