MicroVolts is a quirky lobby-based third person MMO shooter with a unique toy theme. The game features a fun cast of characters and Team Fortress 2-inspired gameplay. Battle it out across dozens of large well-designed maps and frag your enemies with 7 different weapon types.
|Publisher: RockHippo Productions
Release Date: June 9, 2011 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Good variety of weapons. +Plenty of game modes and maps. +Great map designs.
Cons: -Powerful cash shop items. -Latency issues.
MicroVolts Surge, or just MicroVolts for short, is a colorful anime-inspired 3rd person shooter from Rock Hippo Productions. It offers a variety of classes and gameplay modes for the casual or seasoned gamer. Fun music, colorful graphics, and player customization options give MicroVolts an art style that sets it apart from other MMO shooters.
All gamers will feel right at home with the WASD and mouse controls. Playing from the perspective of toys at war, MicroVolts provides players a gameplay experience with unique maps and a wide range of weapons. Classes and weapons are evenly matched to allow players to immediately get in on the fun. The weapons system is what sets MicroVolts apart from its competitors. Players can switch between any of the seven main weapon types listed below at will. See an enemy at a distance? Switch to your sniper. Someone sneaking up on you? Pull out your shot gun. Players are given the chance to adapt to any situation as it evolves.
MicroVolts Key Features:
- Good Weapons Arsenal – choose from seven different weapons to meet your immediate needs on the battlefield.
- Vibrant Toy World – fight in a colorful and creative world, where the terrain is from the perspective of a toy.
- Lurk in Shadows – use the shadows to your advantage, to stealth your way around and overtake enemies unaware.
- Lots of Maps and Game Modes – choose from over twenty maps and a dozen game modes.
- Customize Your Character – rent clothes, buy clothes, and customize your weapons to improve stats and distinguish yourself.
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MicroVolts Featured Video
- Bazookas – high explosive rockets with long range and some area of effect damage. Can be used to knock opponents into the air. Direct hits deal enormous amounts of damage.
- Grenade Launchers – bouncing grenades that either explode on contact with enemies or moments after hitting the floor. Can be used tactically around corners to hit unseen enemies by bouncing the grenades on walls.
- Gatling Guns – the most noob-friendly weapon in the game. Plenty of bullets coupled with a very fast firing rate make the gatling gun quite deadly at close and medium range.
- Melees – hammers, Chainsaws, Pickaxes, and Swords. Very deadly up close, but useless from a distance.
- Rifles – excellent all-around weapon. Great accuracy from any distance, medium damage, and fast firing speed. Rifles are the most versatile weapon in MicroVolts.
- Shotguns – high damage in close quarters, but slow firing and reload rate.
- Snipers – very high damage, but slow firing rate. Can kill enemies from across the map with a single bullet.
By Eric Gilliland
MicroVolts is a colorful anime-inspired 3rd person lobby-based MMO shooter from Rock Hippo Productions. Gameplay is quick and players have the ability to rank up in-game, making each game an evenly matched experience for all players. The game’s style both visually and musically is upbeat, colorful, and friendly to all ages and demographics of players. MicroVolts is available in Europe and North America, free to play in both regions without fear of IP blocks. The game should be accessible in other parts of the world, too.
MicroVolts opens with a short cinematic of a scientist bringing toys to life. Any story or plot is far too loose to grasp during gameplay aside from the fact that you are controlling a toy who is ready to frag his/her opponents.
Players will join a lobby and find matches from there. Gameplay is reminiscent of S4 League with its 3rd person perspective and controls. The visuals are certainly inspired by Team Fortress 2 with the same cartoon vibe.
MicroVolts offers a good range of characters. Five are available immediately, and several others can be bought buy with MicroPoints (MicroVolt's in-game currency). Aside from very minor stat variations, the characters are largely the same. With the solid selection and wide range of skins and customizable features, players are sure to find something they like. Keep in mind, you are not permanently stuck with the same character. Players can switch characters at any time and customize them individually. In fact, each character has their own set of clothes available to purchase in the game's store.
What really makes MicroVolts stand out is its incredible level designs, along with the way players can immediately explore multiple gameplay styles. Although not typical to MMO shooters, MicroVolts players will enjoy having immediate access to every weapon in the game in Deathmatch modes. Reloading times, ammo limits, and other factors match the weapons fairly evenly. Players will quickly find their favorite weapon style, be it sniping, shotgunning, or specialty weapons. At first I liked the Gattling Gun, as it was the most noob-friendly, but after playing for a few days I started to use the Rifle almost exclusively.
MicroVolts has a stunning 3D visual style to it, including dynamic shadowing, which actually adds a stealth element to portions of the gameplay. In addition, the levels not only use unique toy-size objects to add interesting terrain elements, but the height of the arena is used to add multiple tiers, paths, and floorplans to each level, making every run a unique one. From climbing on plates and forks to hiding in coffee cups, you will love the unique map settings MicroVolts has to offer.
MicroVolts is fast and action-packed. You will be immediately sunk into a hail of bullets. The game doesn't require players to build out their characters as you are immediately equipped to the brim with every weapon, so your first goal will be to find the best weapon for whatever situation you find yourself in.
Tactical players will be using terrain and gameplay strategy over stats. Players kill quickly and you will be respawning in minutes. Every aspect of the terrain provides some form of cover – nothing is just placed there for show because everything is interactive in some way or another.
Switching between all available weapons allows you to change your gameplay strategy in seconds from melee to sniper to shotgun gameplay. The ability to quickly navigate your weapon choice is vital to successful gameplay. Snipers will have a rough time finding a secret spot to hunt from without being stumbled upon by opponents, and stubborn shotgunners may be put off by their need to switch weapons on a dime. In close-quarters combat, it's actually much faster to switch weapons rather than reloading, so firefights typically consist of a lot of action. It's also worth mentioning that a lot of the weapons seem to have minimal recoil, so targeting distant enemies with a assault rifle isn't too difficult.
I highly recommend Single Player mode for noobs to get a handle of weapon variety and switching between available options. Plowing down waves of bots was very helpful in acclimating me to the gameplay. Anyone who has played other shooting games before shouldn't have too much trouble adjusting to the game. It's worth mentioning that MicroVolts isn't like most free-to-play shooters. It's not tactical like Combat Arms of Alliance of Valiant Arms. It's more like S4 League and Team Fortress 2 than anything else.
Spawn points are well placed, but not without flaw. Be ready to immediately be fired upon – it is very likely you will spawn into a hail of bullets from behind you. Luckily, you spawn with a bit of invulnerability so you can't be spawn-killed. It can be very difficult to assess the state of things, and strategic players may be stressed by how fast moving the game can be, especially on smaller maps or in free-for-all mode.
Stealth has a major role in MicroVolts. With low health thresholds, being able to overtake an unsuspecting player may mean a certain kill. Look for the dark hidden tunnels throughout the maps that are certainly placed there to give players a stealth opportunity.
The 3rd person perspective of the game provides a more open view that matches the quick and aggressive gameplay very well. Some shooter veterans may take a moment to adjust to this viewpoint. This perspective really compliments the concept of toys coming to life, making the world look larger than normal. The movement and shooting mechanics will be familiar to all players, be they casual or vets.
Kills do not go unrewarded in MicroVolts; each kill will drop a small vial of health to reward you for your efforts and help you stay in the fray. Keep in mind that anyone can pick up these small rewards, so grab them quickly before someone else beats you to it. Those playing carefully can achieve incredible kill/death ratios by keeping themselves healthy by grabbing every vial of health they find, even from other people's kills.
During gameplay I suffered several latency delays and drops from games. My ping was definitely higher in MicroVolts than other games for some reason. The game currently has servers in both Europe and the United States. Players can switch between the two at any time when selecting a channel to play on.
Play Dress Up and Buy Weapons
MicroPoints earned by playing multiplayer matches can be used to purchase various outfits for your character. Naomi, the Anime girl character, for example has tons of kawaii shirts, shoes, accessories, and other goodies available for purchase. Aside from differentiating your character aesthetically, these items can change various stats. For example, a Pink Racing Dress increases run speed by 2%. Each of the game's 7 weapons can be slightly customized in the store as well, slightly altering their stats (damage/clip capacity/etc). It's worth mentioning that some variations of the 7 weapons are simply superior to others, so if you're playing against an opponent with a better weapon, you're definitely at a disadvantage. Clothing as well as weapons can be rented for 7 or 30 days at a time as well as purchased outright. Purchasing an item outright grants you the item forever, but costs quite a bit. You'll have to play countless matches just to purchase a single item outright. Buying for 7 days on the other hand, is relatively cheap and can be had after just a few full matches.
There is no doubt MicroVolts is fun. Within minutes you will find yourself immersed in combat with other players, exploring the maps, and studying the weapon choices. I personally enjoyed the number of weapon choices and how they allowed me to carve out my own unique play style. Being able to switch between 7 weapons at any time is actually quite fun. An enemy too far away? Take out your sniper and frag them. Someone coming around the corner? Blast them with your shot gun.
I remember when MicroVolts first launched, they only had a handful of maps and game modes. Now, years later, the game has over twenty maps and over a dozen game modes. I found myself sticking to Team Deathmatch, but free-for-all was fun, too. The two most popular game modes online seemed to be Elimination (team vs team without respawns until the round ends) and Team Deathmatch. There's also a zombie mode, similar to the zombie mode in Combat Arms and other shooters for those who are interested. Another neat feature is the ability for the game host to restrict certain weapons, so sniper-only or melee-only matches can be set up.
Those looking to take advantage of leveling up will find very little other than bragging rights. Leveling up provides a player little more than rank and access to skin elements, leaving the overall lobby experience a bit stale for long-term players.
Final Verdict – Great
Aside from the latency and rare drops, I had a great time playing MicroVolts. I felt immediately at home with the simple controls and gameplay and found myself evenly matched against my opponents. The graphics and music are exciting and engaging, and the fluidity of the gameplay made for hours of fun. Those looking to jump right into a fun MMO shooter should join the fray at MicroVolts. Rockhippo has been doing a tremendous job keeping the game up-to-date, too. New weapons, characters, and maps are being introduced to the game regularly.
MicroVolts System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or AMD equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GT / ATI x800XT or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2GB
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.4 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce 8600GT / ATI X1650XT or better
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 2GB
MicroVolts Music & Soundtrack
MicroVolts Additional Information
Developer: NQ Games
Closed Beta Date: August 12, 2010 (First closed beta). January 28, 2011 (Second closed beta)
Open Beta Date: March 10, 2011
Taiwan: November, 2009 (Published by Insrea)
Thailand: June 1, 2010 (Published by TOT)
Japan: April 30, 2011 (Published by Gungho)
Indonesia: July 10, 2012 (Published by Kingslaim)
MicroVolts is known as H.A.V.E Online Asia. MicroVolts is the European / American name of the game.
Development History / Background:
MicroVolts was developed by the Korean game studio NQ Games. Despite development in Korea, the game was was never available in South Korea except for a brief period through Gravity Interactive (Warp Portal). NQ Games likely got the inspiration for MicroVolts from Western game developer Valve, as the game is similar to their Team Fortress 2 title. The game is published in North America and Europe through Rockhippo Productions since its launch on June 9, 2012. Since launching on Rockhippo's portal, the game also launched on Steam on July 5, 2012.