Written by  :  Maury Markowitz (248)
Written on  :  Aug 26, 2002

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A terrible, terrible game

The Good

I liked nothing about this game.

No really, I mean that.

The Bad

Just about everything.

To start with the whole game is simply a me-too rip-off of all the other RTS games flooding the market back then. With a the exception of a few basic changes, this game was utterly devoid of any sort of novelty or originality. Sure, it had a few more "modes" for its various units to let them explore (or what have you), but that's it, that's all they could add to the RTS scene. Their vaunted "re-darkening" map (whatever they called it, "the shroud" or something) was already a feature of everything other than Red Alert.

The graphics stank, there's no other way to put it. The scale was off so you had all of these tiny little vehicles running around and they were so small they tended to be difficult to grab. The color palette was something a kid might enjoy, all primaries and bright contrasts, it was enough to make you ill. Even the pictures themselves were childish, little orange dune-buggies were the main weapon of the "good guys", while the bad guys had bug-like blobs for tanks that shot purple circles - nothing at all like Red Alert or the others of the era where they might have hired a (gasp) graphic artist.

The UI was even worse. Getting the game set up and selecting missions was a series of selections from bizarre "menus" that were largely indecipherable. I don't know what they were thinking - I suppose it was supposed to be like some alien control panel, but why would I want to use that?

And once you're into the game? Well, one look at the way that your craft can't navigate from point a to b was enough for me. Once I watched one of my stupid dune buggies drive around and around a single tree while attempting to figure out how to shoot at a soldier. Eventually after circling it maybe 10 times, the soldier actually managed to plink it to death. Uggg.

Combat consisted of vehicles sitting there shinning lights on each other while making "phew phew" sounds that I could do better with my mouth. Battles were just plain boring.

Oh, but they were fast. They sold this as a feature, but what it really meant is that you had no chance of actually managing your resources in any reasonable fashion. The buggies would go FLYING across the map, then smack into a tank and be killed with flying pink-circles before you could grab the tiny bright orange icon. Urrrg.

The resource collection consisted of shipping WATER off-planet for money. That's right, WATER. Let me tell you, if water is so expensive that you can sell a tank of it for a tank (heh), there's no way anyone in the universe can afford a war. It's just stupid. Water?! Duh!

They couldn't even take the time to write a story. I watched the intro twice, and still had no real idea what the heck it was saying. The grammar was terrible, and I couldn't find a thread of a plot in there. Something about a scientist, rebels, scientist again, then you start shooting. Thanks!

The Bottom Line

Uggg. Companies have gone bankrupt for less.