Hilariously over-the-top and thrillingly addicting, PWND is a crazy shooter game that combines rocket arena-style combat with “excessive celebration.” This game is as enjoyable as it is obnoxious, and it unapologetically encourages every player to be a bad loser and a shameless winner. In each match, two teams of three face off and try to kill each other as many times as possible; however, that is not all. A kill only counts if you “PWN” your opponent, which basically means taunting and dancing over their dead body. Moreover, it takes a small period of time to complete a “PWN,” and within that time, your opponent’s team member can find you, kill you, and PWN you instead. Each PWN gives your team a few points (in some “PWN zones” you can earn double the points), and the first team to get to 80 points wins the match. Not surprisingly, each match is full of death and destruction, stolen victories, and a whole lot of dancing. It taps into your competitive streak and hunger for vengeance, so definitely do not play this game if you are looking for a peaceful, relaxing activity. But the endless activity and interesting variety of characters is so exciting that you find yourself impatient to start the next round of exhilarating chaos.
Because the game is so fast-paced, speed and mobility are imperative to success. I am personally fairly new to playing PC games, so it was initially very challenging to orient myself and navigate my way around the map while trying to stay alive, let alone kill anyone. It was a steep learning curve to be sure, but once I got the hang of the controls I was able to earn my fair share of PWN’s with ease. Moreover, there are four different characters to choose from and play as, and they differ noticeably in terms of speed, power, and stealth. This allows you to find one that compliments your personal strengths and weaknesses and boosts your chances of victory. For example, my favorite character is Mack “the Law” Lawson, who takes the longest time to PWN an opponent but possesses the most stealth and defensive capabilities. The most stimulating matches take place when every team member fights as a different character, as it vividly showcases the best assets of each hero.
The one and only downside to this game is the wait time in between each match. The only game mode is playing with other live gamers on the server, and sometimes it can take 10 minutes before you get matched up with five other people. 10 minutes may not sound like a long time, but because the actual matches are so quick and short, it really breaks up the momentum of the game and tests your patience. Oftentimes it was the only reason why I stopped playing, so it would be great to even be able to play with computer bots while waiting for live players. Because I only played the Early Access version of PWND, I could not access the Custom Matches or Challenges. Hopefully these new game modes will not require as much waiting around.
To conclude, PWND is all about the adrenaline rush. Do not expect a serious storyline; rather, expect your inner immaturity to unleash itself in full force. But as long as you enter the game with a lighthearted attitude and play with enthusiasm, PWND will reward you with rollicking fun and epic action.
Here is the PWND Trailer:
PWND is available for PCs via Steam Early Access for $29.99.