Current MobyGoal: On our way to 3,500 documented Amiga games!

Darkwind: War on Wheels (Windows)

...
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  udm (34)
Written on  :  May 15, 2011
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by udm
read more reviews for this game

Summary

A one of its kind, flawed but very addictive wargame.

The Good

There's nothing like it out there in the gaming industry, at least to my knowledge. It's a post-apocalyptic war game where you fight with cars, with an economy that fluctuates according to supply and demand (though not by a lot; every town still has its own specialization).

Sound effects are sparse, but what existing sounds there are serve the purpose well. You can hear engines revving at the start of a race, and tyre screeches on hairpin turns; weapon sounds are also very solid, whether it's the car rifle's "Pow!" sound or the car cannon's bass-filled boom.

The game is also growing with new features being added regularly. The last major feature added was the ability for players to write their own quests, via a tool that is still in the elementary stages, but has the potential capability to develop into something extensive.

Client-based events are a lot of fun. The vehicle physics can be wonky sometimes, but 99% of the time they behave as they should. Go too fast, and you find yourself skidding off the road, making it more difficult to powerslide and drift. Get hit by multiple rockets in one turn, and your car will fly into the air.

The AI NPCs are really good. They actually *learn* to adapt to your strategies. Yes they are dumb initially, rushing at you head on; however, the AI is self-adaptive, meaning they will learn from their losses, and in future battles will become more tactically formidable.

The game is very brutal. Because your gang members permanently die, years of training can be gone in just one bad event. Fortunately, training their first few specializations isn't hard - it only gets hard when you want to go overboard and work on your ganger's 14th specialization or something. This means you not only have to play really cautiously, but you have a sense of attachment to your gang members too.

Lastly, the community is very small. As such, the people are (often) more inclined to be friendly to one another, since we pretty much know one another. You'll rarely contend with immature people like in other online communities, since most are grown-ups ranging from 20s to 50s. There will always be people to play with, whether you want to race, fight, scout with or trade.

The Bad

This game is created as a hobby of the lead developer, Sam. As such, development, while regular, may not always have major changes.

Vehicle physics for larger vehicles are quirky. Lorries, for example, have some sort of magical auto-balancing suspension system.

Money is easy to earn, but inflation is still commonplace in spite of money sinks like player-owned camps.

Music is catchy but gets drab after a while. Existing sound effects help to liven up the game, but are still inadequate.

An ambitious title like this also won't have a shortage of wishlists. Because of its nature, it sometimes feels lacking without being complemented by features that are still on players' wishlists (such as more dynamic interactions amongst gang members)

The Bottom Line

This is perfect if you're looking for a game that matches the description. It's not perfect - far from it actually - but there's really nothing like it. It's very addictive, and chances are, even when you've stopped subscribing, you'll still find yourself coming back to it