The free-to-play FPS/shooter market is getting a little crowded these days. You have plenty of competition from the big games like Warzone, Apex: Legends, and especially Fortnite, so how do you make your game stand out from the noise?
Well, you could make it incredibly fun, easily accessed, and play-to-earn. At least, that’s what AddictingGames has done with their new blockchain FPS, EV.IO. Despite everything it has going for it, EV.IO has plenty of competition even in its much smaller niche, so how does it hold up against them? Let’s find out in this review.
What is EV.IO?
EV.IO is a sci-fi, blockchain-based, free-to-play/play-to-earn FPS that runs right within your web browser. It’s not necessarily a new or even novel concept, we’ve already reviewed Mini Royale: Nations, but the accessibility of having an entire, fully-featured FPS like this without downloading a client or gigs worth of resources is still exciting, and definitely works in EV.IO’s favor.
We mentioned that the developer of EV.IO is AddictingGames in the intro, and if that made your ears perk up, you probably spent quite some time on the internet in the early 2000s. The former flash game website has evolved over time and continues to thrive, even going so far as to make a considerable amount of headway into the blockchain gaming arena with EV.IO. Now, let’s get into what makes EV.IO so great.
A Fairly Spartan Experience
EV.IO isn’t interested in wasting your time. To access the game, you’ll type in the 5-character URL in your web browser, press enter, and that’s it. When the page loads in, you’re already loading into a map and an active match. I’ve seen a lot of browser-based blockchain games try to cut down the “time-to-play” quite a bit, but EV.IO might be the fastest yet. We’re talking actual seconds before you’re in a match and actively playing, it’s very impressive.
Even better is the fact that there isn’t much in the way of menus. In between matches, there is a bar along the top of the screen with the following options: Settings, Earn (links to an information page), Abilities (customization tab), Community (Discord link), Profile, and Store. You can also change your game mode, create a game, and start or join a party just below that top bar. That’s… about it. There are small ads and links to social media pages around the edges, but the majority of the screen is the actual game screen.
And for a free-to-play game, that is absolutely commendable. EV.IO is clearly more focused on actual play rather than engagement hooks, ads hawking season passes, or loot boxes, and the overall experience is better for it, if a little plain.
But the game’s main screen isn’t the only thing that’s spartan.
Let Me See Your Halo
In developing EV.IO, AddictingGames clearly took inspiration from Bungee titles, namely Halo. The avatars are basically wearing Spartan armor, they jump as high as Master Chief, and, thankfully, shooting feels just as amazing.
Aiming is smooth, gunfire is sharp and responsive, and the time-to-kill is spectacularly short if you have good aim, which keeps the gameplay fast-paced and engaging. If you’ve played any of the Halo games online recently, you know what you’re in for, just on a smaller scale with simpler graphics.
Though, that’s not to say that EV.IO is ugly by any means. The flat, not-quite-cell-shaded environments and characters are effective, and the quality, creativity, and art design behind the maps you play on definitely make up for any visual shortcomings. There are a whopping 23 maps, and each one is visually distinct and designed to facilitate just the right amount of exploration. A personal favorite was the spooky “Graveyard” map, which was clearly in place for Halloween.
Yes, EV.IO could be called “derivative”, it’s basically a mashup of Bungee games and Quake, but it’s just so fun to play, and so easy to get into. AddictingGames is certainly living up to its name. And, with the added possibility for play-to-earn winnings, the proposition just keeps getting sweeter.
Reach for the Blockchain
EV.IO is, in fact, built on the blockchain. It runs on Solana, which makes any and all transactions cheap, fast, and efficient. Anybody can enjoy EV.IO on a surface level (I assume that’s why the game also has ads in between some matches), but if you want to get really competitive and start earning, there are a few steps to take.
Thankfully, everything is outlined in plain English in the Earn tab, rather than needing to search around or decipher the process from vague instructions, as I’ve found some blockchain games do. You’ll need a crypto wallet, an EV.IO NFT purchased from its Fractal page, and an EV.IO account to connect it to.
With all of that in place, you’re good to go! As with just about all blockchain games, development is ongoing and they are continuing to add new features such as power-leveling to raise your SOL earnings and things like mini-games and social areas to trade NFTs with other players, but what is already in place is incredibly functional. Additionally, EV.IO has announced a partnership with ESports company Team Luminosity Gaming, and seems to be aiming for Esports inclusion soon. This isn’t surprising given its inspirations and gameplay, but it does bode well for the future of EV.IO.
If you’re a fan of Halo, Destiny, or Quake, you’ll love EV.IO. If you’re invested in the blockchain future and want to be on the cutting edge of play-to-earn trends, you’ll adore EV.IO. It is honestly some of the most fun a gamer can have, even with mainstream video game industry experiences included. The focus is on gameplay and fun, and if you want to interact with the other features of the game, they are entirely optional. You can’t ask for much more than that from any project, let alone blockchain games, which have a reputation for being kind of obtuse.