One of the more surprising announcements to come from Sony’s latest State of Play broadcast was a PlayStation 4 edition of Auto Chess.
Launching later this year on October 31st, it will be the first game from this strategy subgenre to make its way onto a PlayStation console.
Developed by Chinese studio, Dragonest, Auto Chess was originally a mod for the mega popular MOBA Dota 2 before becoming its own standalone game.
For those completely new to Auto Chess, it’s a tough one to explain. Eight players go head to head, spending resources on units during prep phases, then watching them auto battle NPCs and the warbands of other players that spawn onto your chess board.
As players go from round to round they’ll earn more money from their victories, purchasing more units as well as combining pairs and triples to create upgraded versions of these characters. Auto Chess units come tagged with certain colour-coded abilities, adding plenty of strategic depth for those who enjoy tactical competitive play.
Auto Chess is a huge deal, in case you didn’t already know. Although it hasn’t eclipsed the MOBA genre, Auto Chess now has plenty of imitators looking to muscle in on its turf. Funnily enough, Valve were quick to launch their own take on the game – Dota Underlords – which continues to receive regular updates.
Leaping on PlayStation 4 is a strange choice. It’s likely that Dragonest will make this version free-to-play as with the mobile and PC editions with microtransactions enabled. However, Auto Chess lends itself to touchscreen and mouse controls though a gamepad could definitely work.
That said, many play Auto Chess passively, quickly purchasing their units then opening a tab/looking away from their phone as battles commence before they go to the next prep phase. Again, there’s nothing stopping this from taking off on PlayStation 4, it just seems like a strange pairing.