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Steel Soldiers

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The action has moved on 500 years since the original game, Z, and an uneasy cease-fire exists between the two vast war machines of TransGlobal Industries and the MegaCom Corporation. The final phase of the peace initiative is only hours away when an incident takes place, which throws this short-lived truce into complete disarray.

War is firmly back on the agenda.

While initial thoughts may be that Z: Steel Soldiers is another recruit to the growing army of real time strategy games, Z: Steel Soldiers should be viewed as an arcade strategy title with the emphasis firmly on action, the players’ combat decisions and their subsequent consequences.

The taking of territory is still paramount for victory as buildings can only be constructed on land owned by the player. But now, gamers must also think about which territory will best suit their strategy.

Each sector on the map will feature a flag displaying a number from 1 to 5, the higher the number the quicker the game’s resource, Xenonite, will be mined. The temptation may well be to secure those territories that will deliver the most Xenonite so forces can be quickly built up. But the game’s 3D environments mean that some territories will be strategically better than others. So, taking control of high ground with a relatively small yield of Xenonite may well prove more advantageous in the long term than quickly snatching a valley based territory with low strategic value and a high resource yield.

The action in Z: Steel Soldiers takes place in six very distinct worlds each with its own unique environment. From arid desert to lush forest each throws up its own geographical challenges for the player. In addition each world has its own environmental systems and specific life forms.

The game’s different environments have meant that Z: Steel Soldiers will feature not only land based units but also naval and airforce which includes helicopters and jets. In total players will have access to up to 30 units, the hardware becoming more powerful and destructive as the player progresses through the game.

Designed from the ground up as a true 3D game it comes as no surprise that Z: Steel Soldiers features a state of the art engine that really brings the game’s worlds to life. Units will make tracks in soft ground or kick up dust on dry terrain and all objects are subject to real time shadows and reflections. Other natural effects such as weather and transitions from day to night are incredibly realistic thanks to the game’s physics system.

Z: Steel Soldiers is more than a number of isolated missions with no structure thrown together to make a game. It features a progressive plot driven story line written by Martin Pond, the man responsible for bringing the world of Medievil and the universe of Imperium Galactica 2 to life. Full of intrigue and conspiracy, the story will be updated through luscious cut scenes created by leading industry lights AudioMotion.

Cited as one of Z’s strongest attributes, the AI in Z: Steel Soldiers is even more complex yet flexible enough to respond to gamers of all levels. It can be passive or aggressive in its nature from reinforcing territories to scouting or manufacturing of units in response to the player’s situation.


Steel Soldiers Windows Mission 30 - the last one
Steel Soldiers Windows Introducing new level
Steel Soldiers Windows It is good to be on the top of the hill
Steel Soldiers Windows Unsuccessful mission

Alternate Titles

  • "钢铁战士" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Z: Steel Soldiers" -- European title
  • "Z2" -- Common abbreviation

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The Press Says

GameSpy Windows Jun 18, 2001 88 out of 100 88 Windows Jul 06, 2001 82 out of 100 82
PC Action Windows May 11, 2001 80 out of 100 80
PC Player (Germany) Windows Apr, 2001 78 out of 100 78
ActionTrip Windows Jun 22, 2001 71 out of 100 71
Gamekult Windows May 31, 2001 7 out of 10 70
Game Over Online Windows Aug 30, 2001 68 out of 100 68
GameZone Windows Jun 21, 2001 6.6 out of 10 66
GameGenie Windows 2001 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Mouse n Joypad Windows Aug 07, 2014 53 out of 100 53


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The patch adds the 31st mission, which does NOT fit into the campaign. You can enjoy it separately from the campaign.

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Contributed to by oo (135) and Kolin Tregaskes (21)