The Machines Arena

The Machines Arena
The Machines Arena

The Machines Arena is an upcoming action-packed game, set to take the Top-Down Shooter genre by storm. It’s a game currently being developed by Directive Games, a studio that was established in 2014.

The game has been building in incognita since 2020. It has been making rounds on social media since it was announced by Sky Mavis (developers of Axie Infinity) that it will be using the Ronin chain. It will be one of the first few games made available on Ronin that are not Axie-themed games.

Announcement by Sky Mavis

Plenty of modes to try

A few game modes have already been developed which are Tutorial, PvP & PvE. Let’s see what these game modes are like

#1 Tutorial

It's great to see that the developers created the tutorial mode early on. I’ve seen a lot of games implementing the tutorial badly or didn’t have any at all. This deterred players from sticking to the game because of how hard it is to learn the game’s UI and mechanics by themselves. It’s safe to say The Machines Arena does not have that problem. The tutorial was easy to learn and by the time I finished it, I was ready for the other modes.

In the first room, you’ll learn about basic movements and weapon usage. On mouse & keyboard:

  • WASD to move
  • Left Mouse Button to fire
  • R to reload
1st room

In the second room, you’ll learn about the abilities that can be used. On mouse & keyboard:

  • Right Mouse Button for the first ability
  • Left Shift for the second ability
  • Space for ultimate ability with WASD & Mouse to aim
2nd room

In the third room is the live fire exercise. Now the dummies will fire back at us.

3rd room

In the fourth room, you’ll learn about the detonation mode. Attackers will need to get the fuse and arm it at the target site. Meanwhile, defenders have to prevent that from happening. Attackers press the “E” button at the target site to arm the bomb meanwhile defenders press the same button to defuse it. It takes 5 seconds to arm the bomb and 35 seconds is how long it lasts before detonation.

4th room

The fifth and last room is where you’ll learn about the Pushback game mode. You’ll be trying to push the cart towards the enemy base and them to yours. The cart only moves when one team is in proximity. You’ll need to defeat nearby enemies to keep pushing the cart.

5th room

Now that you’re done with the tutorial, now let’s head to the main part of the game.

#2 Player vs Player (PvP)

There are three PvP modes available in Quickplay:

  • Pushback,
  • Detonation, and
  • Skirmish.

During the playtest, we were able to test the Pushback mode. Once a match has been found, you’re met with a character select screen. There are three characters each that can be chosen from the Tank, Support, or Assault role. I picked Zulu because how I liked seeing those big guns on his shoulders. But I was told Pyro is the current OP character in the game.

Character selection screen,

The map was big. It's gonna take time to push the cart to the enemy's gate.

Pushback map called Facility

It was a chaotic game.  we decided to have an all-out team battle directly within the first minute of the game. We had 5 minutes to push the cart with 2 minutes overtime if the cart didn’t reach any base within those 5 minutes.

4 vs 4 battle

We were able to gang up on the opponent and push the cart slowly. it wasn’t easy staying near the cart when enemies can use flamethrowers and all sorts of other abilities at the cart’s proximity.

Pyro using flamethrower ability
Players spamming abilities on the cart

It was a hard battle. 5 minutes passed and the cart was still in the neutral area. The gates started moving closer to each other in the 2-minute overtime. The cart zone was getting smaller.

Blue gate moving while teams are battling it out

Fortunately, the cart was nearer to the enemy’s gate. The victory was ours. was it beginners’ luck or were we just that good? (Nah, unlikely haha)

Winners screen

#3 Player vs Environment (PvE)

The PvE mode is called Death Run. PvE's mode is called Death Run. You'll be playing in a roguelike game to compete against others to get the highest score.

At the start, you’ll have a choice between two weapons. SMG or Lightning Rifle in the Deployment room. Both guns come with different DPS, damage, ammo, rate of fire, range, and reload time.

Weapon selection screen

Once you’ve chosen your guns, you’ll be transported to the next room. Enemies will spawn in each room. Only by defeating the enemies will the door to the next room open. Enemies can also drop random loot.

Battle room

Once you’re ready to go to the next room, you’ll be given a choice of abilities to choose from. This could be:

  • upgrades to your current abilities,
  • new abilities to include in your arsenal or
  • credits that can be collected to buy gun upgrades in the next Deployment room.
Abilities selection screen

The core game loop is trying to survive all the rooms you go through and upgrading along the way when you find deployment rooms. But here comes the hard part. Your high score is only counted if you extract out from the map via the deployment room. This means by dying, you lose all your score. Nothing is counted at all. The choice is ultimately yours whether you think you can survive in the next rooms or you should extract out to get that high score on the leaderboard.

Highscore Leaderboard

Final Thoughts

I’m quite surprised that The Machines Arena was able to create fun game modes with an exciting core gameplay loop within just a few years. It’s a highly addicting game to play. Excited to see how much more the game can be polished in the future.

If you're interested in the game, you can apply for the Closed Beta on their website.

Sign up for the closed beta at The Machines Arena website