A Casual Blast
Games like Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite Mobile dominate the mobile shooting genre. But they’re not the only options out there. If you’re looking for a casual alternative, Pepo War Games’ Encounter Strike 2021 is worth a try. This new title is a great way to get used to touch screen FPS controls. It provides some laid-back fun, though only for a short while.
Decent Arenas and Game Modes
Encounter Strike 2021 (Or Critical Offline Action as it is called in-game) has four different stages with four different game modes. Each arena has 40 levels that progressively get harder as players face increasing enemy opposition. By the end, you’ll battle up to 16 enemies per level. The stages are all small and forgettable, with the mandatory Counter-Strike homage stage. The game modes are Normal Mode, Team Death Match, Defuse Mode and Multiplayer mode. Clearing levels on any stage earns you gold, which you can use to buy grenades, medkits and weapons.
Good Selection of Weapons
Choose from roughly 20 different weapons to shoot up some AI competitors. You can purchase weapons via microtransactions, but I highly recommend steering clear of this method. Not only are most of them ridiculously overpriced, but doing it this way is unnecessary. I was able to purchase all the weapons I wanted with gold after playing for a couple hours.
Your starting loadout consists of a Desert Eagle, a couple grenades and an AK-47. You can also experiment with a random weapon by watching an ad before a match. Enemies sometimes drop their guns which you can pick up and use. For some reason, enemies only ever carry three weapons: the M4A1, M4A1_Howl, and the AK-47-BloodSport. I expected them to use better weapons at higher levels, but they do not.
The weapons all sound great, but don’t plan on using a whole lot of them. Despite the healthy assortment of guns that go bam, there are some major balancing issues here. Sniper Rifles are incredibly overpowered and one-shot everyone from any distance. Moreover, this game may have the weakest Desert Eagle I’ve ever seen in an FPS. It’s definitely not the hand cannon I’m used to firing. Melee weapons like the katana and S-Knife look cool but are just showpieces.
Inconsistent Damage Feedback
The weapons in Encounter Strike 2021 have some major consistency issues. One time I can instantly kill an opponent with one shot from the sawedoff shotgun. Another time it takes four point-blank blasts in the head to take them down. This inconsistency occurred with every weapon except for the Sniper Rifles. At times, enemies seem like bullet sponges.
The assault rifles in this game are also a little weird. For some reason, they perform horribly at mid-long range. I regularly needed to unload an entire clip into an enemy if I wasn’t up close. The Scar255_PowerCore Sniper Rifle has a 15-round capacity and fast firing rate and obliterates everything. Why waste time on a sub-par submachine gun or P90?
Bad Design Choices
The running ability in this game functions like a car struggling to heat up on a cold winter morning. First, you need to jog to get your player started, and then he starts running. Shooting and strafing while running full-speed in this game are terrible. There is a slight delay after you stop running before you can fire your weapon. The jogging in Encounter Strike 2021 feels sluggish rather than fluid.
Additionally, you’ll lose weapons received from watching ads for the rest of the match if you switch weapons. Whenever you pick up a gun from a fallen enemy, you’ll always switch to that weapon. The game does this automatically even if it’s weaker than one you are currently using.
For some reason, pausing the game doesn’t actually pause it. To do that, you need to open your weapon inventory. And in the Pause menu, the button you’d think would continue the game actually resets your current match. If you have no grenades or medkits or if you accidentally click on them, the purchase screen appears and interrupts combat. That’s annoying enough, but $2 for some medkits? Hard pass.
Enemies in this game only ever use low-tier weapons that don’t deal much damage. If you die, you can watch an ad and immediately respawn right where you left off.
Numerous weapons in Encounter Strike 2021 have really long reload times. Luckily, you can circumvent this by cycling to different guns and reloading your empty one later. Enemy AI is dumb and will often walk right by you. They don’t bother finding cover or trying to flank you. They’re easy targets. The multiplayer isn’t any better, as you can casually go 30-0 without even trying.
Encounter Ads. A Lot.
Ads appear before and after each game. There are ads when you die regardless of whether you want to continue or leave. Want to try a new weapon for the next match, get two free medkits or double your gold gains? Guess what? More ads. The main screen has several ads, including free gold and daily rewards.
Being bombarded with ads all the time breaks the flow of the game. You can spend several bucks to remove them, but I don’t think this game is worth the investment. It’s fun for a couple of hours but gets dull quickly.
Odd and Awful Monetization
Make no mistake; all the monetization in this game can be ignored. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s pretty bad. A hundred bucks for 1000 medkits, 1000 grenades, and weapons you don’t need? Terrible deal. Individual weapons costing in the range of $20 is absurd.
Is It Hardcore?
Encounter Strike 2021 might hold your attention for a couple of hours but certainly won’t keep you coming back. It’s too easy, poorly designed in some areas, and feels cookie-cutter. If anything, it’s a decent way to kill some time.