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Gear Up

Gear Up is a vehicle arcade shooter where players compete in arena-stylized matches to blow up enemy bots. Obtain new parts and customize your bot, approaching combat from multiple angles, to dominate the battlefield.

Publisher: Doctor Entertainment AB
Playerbase: Medium
Type: Vehicle Shooter
Release Date: January 28, 2015
Pros: +Easy to learn controls. +Polished environments +High level of customization. 
Cons: -Random crashes. -Gamebreaking lag. -Frequent spawn-killing.  

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Overview

Gear Up Overview

Gear Up is an arena-stylized vehicle shooter where players blow up enemy bots to earn money and customize their robot, turning them into an unstoppable machine. Play in 16 players matches, across 4 game modes, and a variety of polished maps. Action is fast-paced and it only takes a few well-placed shots to turn metal into ashes. Add currency to your wallet after each match, and use the accumulated currency to purchase new parts, customizing every aspect of your bot. Choose from a variety of weapons—from flamethrowers to sniper rifles. And decide how you want to play, whether as an invisible arachnid robot or a shotgun-wielding tank. Choosing from a library of parts, players are free to combine their bots’ modules however they want.  

Gear Up Key Features:

  • 4 Game Modes - head into deadly arenas where players compete in Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Conquest, and Tag.
  • Customize Your Bot - earn in-game currency to buy new parts and create a personalized machine.
  • Weapon Variety - choose from an arsenal of weapons, from laying sneaky mines to playing as a long-range sniper.
  • Arcade Gameplay - arena-oriented gameplay makes for quick, pick-me-up games that are fast-paced and unforgiving.
  • Various Movement Schemes - travel across robotic arenas using caterpillar tracks, hovercraft turbines, go-kart tires and more, with the choice being up to you.

Gear Up Screenshots

Gear Up Featured Video

Full Review

Gear Up Review

By, Sean Sullivan

Perusing the Steam Store I came across Gear Up, a game that unmistakably resembles Robocraft, albeit a more graphically polished version. Although, foregoing voxel-based vehicles isn’t necessarily an improvement, rather than a different approach. But, it’s presentation struck me as a knock-off and I expected something qualitatively less than it’s cousin. What I discovered is my preferred vehicle-combat game, with polished visuals, fast-paced gameplay, and enough customization to satisfy my palate without being too filling. Gear Up is a great vehicle-shooter that should not be overlooked.  

Starting Off

While half of Gear Up is forging a vehicle that would impress Boston Laboratories, I was eager to jump into a match with the default starter tank. With only one attack that consisted of lobbying missiles I thought I was at a severe disadvantage next to machine-gunning rivals. But even with a simple fusillade I was able to climb the leaderboards at a respectable pace, earning a quad-kill in my first match.

Tanks roll the map with smooth WASD precision while your mouse rotates your turret. Firing is a matter of click and shoot, and for players with multiple weapons they’re bound (1-4). It’s an exceedingly simple system that’s reared it’s head in every similarly designed game—making for a simplistic control scheme that’s easy to pick up and play, with barely a slope for new players to climb.

Combat

Beyond hurtling basic missiles there are a variety of ways to assault your enemies, from machineguns to flamethrowers. But I grew to enjoy the missiles, as moving targets force you to play the game like Quake—estimating your opponents’ future position rather than where they're currently residing. Some players choose to lay down mines and wait for unsuspecting players, whereas others sit invisible atop an elevated ramp and snipe damaged robots from afar. I purchased a gatling gun, firing massive amounts of rounds into enemy hulls.

Scattered throughout each map are health and ammo pick-ups. Survive long enough and you will run out of rounds, so knowing where the spinning 5.56mm golden icons spawn is an advantage. More than once I lone-wolf encountered an opposing bot, only to run out of ammo before I could eviscerate her last quarter-health. And knowing where health packs are will let you stay in the fray of the fight longer. I learned the best health pick-up paths early on. The maps are small enough that their placement becomes obvious. 

Spawn-killing is an issue, due to the maps size and the nature of fast-paced gameplay. When choosing your spawn point, enemy robots blip on the mini-map radar. And since spawn points are ubiquitous you can choose to jump an eager opponent and shoot him from behind. It’s not game breaking but can be frustrating.

Match Types

Up to 16 players square off in 8v8 matches across 4 game modes: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Conquest, and Tag. While the 3 former game modes are self-explanatory, drawing parallels with innumerable other titles, I struggled to figure out what was going on in Tag. And since the game lacks any descriptions for its game modes I was relegated to in-game chat. Luckily, Gear Up’s playerbase is rather helpful, and one member elucidated the finer points of Tag: each opposing team member you kill joins your team, and the match plays out until every player is subjugated to to one team or the clock dies.

One issue with Tag, while original, is that most levels are surrounded by water, making suicide an easy option by rushing your tank into the depths. In one of my matches the remaining player  kamikaze'd into the water every time he encountered one of us. It was frustrating that he wouldn't accept joining our Red cult, like a singular high-school goth kid in an upscale community. Luckily, the clock the ran out and we could all move on. I preferred to play Team Deathmatch and Conquest, as Deathmatch almost always saw my robotic ear blown to pieces by a randomly spawned player.

Building A Vehicle

Matches translate into in-game currency that can be exchanged for new vehicle parts. While building your vehicle plays a role in gamplay, it isn’t Gear Up’s central focus. If you like to play architect (mechanic) you’re better off with Robocraft. Gear Up gives you puzzle pieces to make any picture you want, whereas voxel-builders let you build the individual puzzle pieces and the larger painting. The focus in Gear Up is deathmatch-oriented combat, not the creative freedom to build a personalized vehicle.  

Although, there is a substantial library featuring 7 arenas of parts to choose from: Hulls, Supports, Flags, Decorations, Turrets, Propulsion's, and Weapons. Given the number of items, there is an enormous number of combinations, not that the vast majority of them are viable. Propulsion devices are perhaps the most intriguing. There are a variety of ways to propel your vehicle beyond using tank-tracks, from hovercraft fans to go-kart tires. While bots attached to arachnid legs are inseparable from comparisons to Ghost in the Shell’s Tachikoma, as they scurry towards objectives, capturing points surreptitiously. Mixing and matching elements is fun thanks to Gear Up’s charming presentation.

Aesthetics

It’s ineluctable not to compliment the smooth, polished visuals in Gear Up. It’s almost a childish presentation that belies sanguinary battlefields covered in oil and transistors. Like Blizzard’s Overwatch, the game’s visuals scream fun, injecting casualness into their aesthetics to create engagement rather than the grit that games have been purporting for the last 5 years.Doctor Entertainment AB’s in-house engine Traktor delivers a presentation that is easy on the eyes, and well-optimized; I was unable to look away. 

And the sound effects deliver a resounding thump as metal implodes, while guns have fittingly quirky noises that play into preconceived expectations: i.e. the pew pew of firing lasers.  

Although, sporadically the game would crash without warning. There was no obvious cause to the crash, and they happened spontaneously with no crash report offering details. But the developers have reached out to other community members regarding the issue, and are willing to help players who submit an application log.  

Cash Shop

The only in-game currency, named “G,” can be earned by playing matches and then exchanged for new parts. There is no cash currency to easily acquire new modules. Rather, to motivate players to spend money on the free-to-play title each player is initially allotted 8 slots for extra items, and with each subsequent level you earn one extra slot. But as you delve into the game, reaching higher ranks and earning more cash, your storage space will be bursting at its confined seams. The developers want you to buy the Basic pack for $10, that ultimately seems fair if you find yourself invested enough to warrant extra space.

Or, you can purchase the $20 Premium edition that grants instant access to all of the game’s parts. And that isn’t a bad deal for players captivated by Gear Up. Although, without further gear to acquire the sole incentive is relegated to climbing the leaderboards and asserting your dominance. But, for players who resent spending money, every item can be purchased by playing. And I never felt disadvantaged compared to players who had more equipment unlocked. Everybody dies in battle; nobody reigns supreme.

Final Verdict - Great

As far as free-to-play titles, Gear Up is a fantastic vehicle shooter. It’s audience is players seeking instant gratification through combat, who would rather forgo the tediousness of voxel-building to jump right into a frag fest; the type of player who plays Minecraft for the combat. There are an extensive number of possible module combinations, and it's easy to build new vehicles as it’s like slapping Lego’s together. The toy-box atmosphere, simple controls, and variety of vehicle combinations create a lasting experience that leave an impression. If you prefer chiseling away at the perfect combination of parts try Robocraft, or similar. But if you're a player who likes to smash robots together and watch them explode, then start playing Gear Up.   

Videos

Gear Up Videos

System Requirements

Gear Up System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Vista SP2 / Windows 7 / Windows 8
CPU: Pentium 4 3.46GHz or Athlon 64 3800+
Video Card: GeForce GT 120 or Radeon HD 4550
RAM: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 1 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
Video Card: ATI Radeon 6950 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 560
RAM: 4GB
Hard Disk Space: 1 GB

Gear Up is Max OS X and SteamOS + Linux compatible. 

Music

Gear Up Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon...

Additional Info

Gear Up Additional Information

Developer(s): Doctor Entertainment AB

Engine: Traktor (in-house engine).

Steam Greenlight : August 30, 2012
Open Beta: July 24, 2014

Release Date: January 28, 2015
Steam Release Date: January 28, 2015

Development History / Background:

Gear Up was developed by Swedish-based independent game development studio Doctor Entertainment AB. The company previously released Puzzle Dimension, their first game, for Steam in 2010 and on PS3/PSN in 2011. In 2011 Doctor Entertainment AB also worked on The Syndicate, by Starbreeze. Gear Up was posted to Steam Greenlight on August 30, 2012, and was initially designed as a 32 player multiplayer game. Only four people worked in the Doctor Entertainment AB office at the time. Gear Up entered Open Beta on July 24, 2014 and was fully released on January 28, 2015, and continues to receive updates.

  • gumby

    One of the best vehicle-shooter, free-to-play, pick-up game's available. Even with the basic loadout you jump in and frag veterans.