Tencent’s new mobile shooter Ace Force is anime Overwatch

The iOS multiplayer FPS is already a top-earner for the company in China

Tencent’s latest gaming foray is the first-person shooter Ace Force, an anime-style multiplayer game for smartphone that fans of Overwatch might find a tad familiar.

Released this week in China, Ace Force is a hero-based FPS on mobile that emphasizes co-operation amid a roster of archetypal characters that each offer a unique set of skills and attributes. Depending on what hero they choose, players could be anything from a long-range sniper to a mid-range gunner or a healer, and must find the optimal way to carry themselves on the battlefield and mesh with their team if they want victory.

Sound familiar? The similarities to Overwatch aren’t just conceptual, either: many of Ace Force’s cast are more than a little reminiscent of Blizzard’s now iconic online multiplayer shooter. As observed by Abacus News, there’s your anime-equivalent Soldier 76 as the entry-level all-rounder, and both Widowmaker and Torbjörn are represented among early level unlocks. There’s always some overlap when jumping into such a specific genre, but the sheer amount of it on display from cosmetics and mechanics here is hard to ignore.

Not that it matters much, over 13 million pre-registered for the game in China. Within three hours it was top of the iOS charts and is already the top grossing iOS game in the country.

Tencent is a savvy company, having stakes in Fortnite, PUBG and Call of Duty among others, and that’s just within the gaming industry. Skepticism around the aping of other popular games aside, Ace Force is a very impressive looking smartphone game – and I absolutely approve of the level of dog-related content.

No sign of a release outside of China for the time being, so we’ll just have to stick to regular Overwatch for now.