The sequel to one of the most memorable games on the PC is finally here. One Must Fall: Battlegrounds is developed by Diversions Entertainment, the developers of the original One Must Fall: 2097. It is set 20 years after the first game and follows the same general concepts of a fast-paced robot arena combat. However, this time around the game offers a variety of different elements, and a completely dimensional world.
One Must Fall: Battlegrounds (OMF) features 50 different pilots to choose from and eight unique massive robots to fight with. There are several different battle arenas, each with natural hazards to avoid, and power-ups and special items to find. The main issue here is that the action becomes so frantic at times that there is no point in worrying about (let alone avoiding) the hazards, or to bother collecting the items. Your time is much better spent finishing a spectacular combination of moves on your opponent.
The single player mode in OMF is based on a supposedly unique storyline for each of the principal characters. Although in theory is a good idea, the implementation falls somewhat short of expectations. The story is not interesting enough to follow, and most players will find themselves skipping the cutscenes to get to the next match. Fortunately though, there are many different tournaments and competitions to unlock, each with several rounds of play as you progress through the game.
Yet herein lies another problem of One Must Fall: Battlegrounds. Progressing through the game is excruciatingly slow. It's not the actual matches, but the long load times between each match in a competition. Also, during gameplay the framerate seems to suffer, producing a lag effect as many combinations of moves are made in quick succession. The multiplayer mode in OMF is nothing spectacular either. The game supports both LAN and online modes, but you're more likely to find more players in your own household than on the internet, it's a virtual desert. This is really quite disappointing, as this is an area where OMF would surely shine. Large free-for-all matches or team matches between many players would be a strongpoint, if there was anyone to play against.
Overall, One Must Fall: Battlegrounds is an average fighting game if you enjoy playing against the AI. The graphics are far from revolutionary, but the fast-paced action can keep players interested. This game is a far cry from the quality we've come to expect from the recent console fighting games released, but may appeal to a few devoted fans on the PC. If you really enjoy fighting games, then One Must Fall: Battlegrounds may offer an entertaining experience. If you prefer online play, or want a really revolutionary experience, you may want to look elsewhere.