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Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising

aka: Hostile Waters
Moby ID: 4925
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Description official descriptions

The year is 2032. The world is at peace, after having banished war in the final battle long ago. All weapons have been destroyed to ensure peace. However, in the Pacific, a cabal of former magnates--ex-leaders, ex-tycoons, ex-military, and more--have joined together and occupied 20 islands and are building new war machines. There is no way to fight them, except this one last remaining "Adaptive Cruiser", the Antaeus. Lost in the final battle with all hands, this was one of the ultimate weapons. Complete with nano-factories that can build air/ground/naval units out of resources and energy, its crew's memory engrams have been stored on "soulcatcher" chips. Reactivation signal has been sent. Soon Antaeus will rise from the bottom, and you'll be in command. Good luck, and good hunting.

Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising is a 3D real-time strategy game with several new twists. You will need to harvest resources, as you can only build new units by harvesting existing resources/energy. You then "crew" these units with these "soulcatcher" profiles you have stored. You have limited profiles (you can't "copy" them) available you are limited in the number of units you can deploy at once, so you will need to defend your cruiser as well as attack the enemy, obtain resources, and other missions.

The game is mission-based. Destroy enemy radar to prevent them from knowing where you are. Deploy harvester units to salvage enemy remains and structures. You can even capture enemy units for study. You can issue pretty complicated orders by using a set of visual icons. Multiple islands have multiple objectives for you to complete. The game is played in a 3D "behind-unit" perspective with a 3D map similar to Activision's Battlezone.

Spellings

  • Враждебные воды: Территория смерти - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

110 People (46 developers, 64 thanks) · View all

Lead Programmer, Graphics and AI Engines
Environmental and Physics Engines Programmer
Game, Movie Effects and Effects Engine Programmer
Front-end, Interface and Editing Tools Programmer
Additional Programming
Sound Effects Programming
Voice Engine Programming
Front End and Pack Art
Lead Artist, Modelling and Textures
Modelling and Textures
Cinematics
Project Management
Project Lead
Development Director
Sound Programming, Music and SFX
Movie Scripts and Character Profiles
Character Scripts, Commentary Database, Casting and Direction
Original Concept
Level Creation
Level Creation and Scripting
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 26 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 4 reviews)

A diamond in the rough.

The Good
Eye popping graphics and attention to detail that, even today (08/2003) still look fantastic. Day-night cycles and lighting effects especially.

Also, it sports a well-written plot revealed by inventive cutscenes.

Extremely playable - the process of skipping from buiding to planning to fighting is painless and seamless.

The Bad
No level designer. No multiplayer mode (an unforgivable omission that sinks any replay value).

The Bottom Line
An excellent game that suffers from 'play-it-once-itis'. The game design, AI, and controls all ooze professionalism and polish.

Unfortunately, much like 'Max Payne', it suffers from a lack of replayability largely due to a lack of a 'skirmish' or multiplayer mode.

Windows · by Bruce Edwards (2) · 2003

One of the most underappreciated RTS ever

The Good
Lots of units, each different // ability to customize a unit with new weapons // different personalities fly/drive differently and has different levels of aggression and so on // resources are important, but not TOO important as the personalities give you some way of "automating" some of the tasks, leaving you to strategize // a story that actually makes sense, rather than just bazillion units fighting // ability to either take control of units directly or just direct their profiles to fight

The Bad
Graphics engine a bit outdated // perhaps TOO different from RTS where you basically out-produce the AI // British style story may not quite catch American eye // some battles can drag on for HOURS if one doesn't know how to approach it // Controls aren't that intuitive

The Bottom Line
Antaeus Rising is basically an RTS but with several key improvements. Some may not like these "improvements" as they do not match the common RTS mold. On the other hand, they add new wrinkles to the RTS genre and makes the game challenging in a very different way. Those who are used to conventional RTS will likely hate the game, while those seeking a new challenge and willing to learn the system will enjoy the fresh challenges.

You are basically in control of the cruiser Antaeus, which is also your primary battle control center. You have a full 3D map of the surrounding area and can issue orders on this map, fully rotatable and zoomable. The ship itself has a set of broadside cannons that can fire limted number of salvos that can be used to knock out specific targets... If you have a unit that can do the spotting. However, the ship will not be doing the fighting. The ship is also equipped with 4 nano-manufacturing bays capable of building new units in an eyeblink, provided that enough material/energy is available in the storage capacitor banks.

The material/energy is the "resource" in this game. While you do gather resources, you are limited in amount of units you can produce and use (due to number of Soulcatcher chips you have). The harvester can gather the resources automatically (if equipped with a chip) and you can pretty much leave it alone unless it wanders into hostile territory.

Each deployed unit, unless under your direct control, requires a Soulcatcher chip profile to run. This means you must concentrate on quality and weapons and tactics instead of quantity. And each profile / soul has a personality who are better in certain things. You can send an aerial specialist to drive a ground vehicle, but don't expect top performance!

The backstory is excellent, is a bit on the sappy side. The opposition's motives were never really explained, but it wasn't that necessary. The cutscenes and voiceovers are excellent, all rendered with the in-game 3D engine. Even the level loading screens takes place on a map showing the cruiser moving from one island to the next, searching for the enemy. Production value is excellent.

Antaeus is not a twitch game, so the controls aren't as intuitive as one may suspect. It does not detract from the game that much except for twitch gamers. You don't control the units directly AND you don't have too many units cluttering up your fight. This means you don't have to micromanage each unit, but it's a feature not always appreciated.

The units vary from helicopters to VTOL jets, from tanks to stealth vehicles, and even hovercrafts. Most have a normal form and an advanced form. You don't have all the designs right at the beginning, and you must acquire new designs in order to build the new units later. Introducing the new units are done very nicely and each new units actually does help.

Each of the units are modular and can fit items like armor, shields, Soulcatcher unit (so the unit becomes autonomous albeit still subject to orders), repair module, recycler (i.e. harvester) module, and more. Advanced units can mount two weapons while beginning units mounts only one. Each of the weapons are also different, from simple chain gun to missiles to EM gun that disables targets to long-range lasers and howitzers. You have a good variety of weapons that are suitable for different platforms and different tactics. Indeed, you'll need to invent a few in the course of the game (or read the FAQ).

The goals in the mission are logical, and are sort of self-directing. In order to destroy the enemy, you must stop his production, which means push them back until you can destroy either their energy source (the energy wells / storage) or their production facilities. Thus, you mount an amphibious assault where gunships take care of ground-based howitzers and turrets whle hovercrafts destroy SAM and AAA sites. When the area is clear, bring in the recylcer to absorb the energy/metal from the wreckage, while you use your new beachhead to push the enemy back, build some of your defenses, and proceed to clear the island one piece at a time.

Each level has a somewhat different challenge. Some levels are timed, while others includes escort, search and rescue, search, to babysit a convoy of scientists. Others are simply annihilation.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4599) · 2005

Great atmosphere. I personally rate it at 82%

The Good
Been an old fan of Blake 7, and having Avon and Soolin in it was the major attraction for me. Hearing Tom Baker again to was a treat.

The game play is pretty good. Getting a hang of controlling units is tricky at first, and not for morons who can't handle it. It's innovative. A good plot and Paul Darrow does a great job of putting it across.

The other characters add inspiration to the feel of the game with their little quotations. eg, Koralev, Mother Russia would be proud. Borden. I love demolition.

Graphics are original and ok for me. Great maps and models. Great cut scenes and cinematics. The idea of giving units orders and been able to take control yourself at any time is a great idea. Plenty of objectives in levels, and at least one other way to go about it. More games should have this in mind.

The Bad
I have'nt been clever enough to give orders outside the war room which it says can be done.

The manual is not much help.

I would have liked it if you could have had some control over Antaeus itself in the levels.

Strategy at times could have been better. All you have to do to win is knock out the enemies resource production. The alien units could have been a little more imaginative, because there just spidery looking things and big grubs.

Even with Glynis Barber giving you a good rap in the end, it's a pity you have to die, leaving not much room for a sequel, for your crew anyway.

The Bottom Line
Definitely not for beginner gamers, as the controls can be hard for some, though I had no problem. Not for those who don't like sci fi. Not a bad blend of strategy and first person action.

Windows · by Ken jJones (2) · 2004

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Multiplayer

The game was originally developed with multiplayer in mind, but in the end it turned out to be more of a single-player experience. Still, even in 2008 the development team is regularly asked about a mysterious patch that would enable multiplayer in the game. In an article on his site on 8th October 2008 Julian Widdows wrote that for three months the patch was being worked on, but never released. During the years some programmers of the team have tried to get it working in their spare time, but Widdows says since it never came together completely and ownership is a grey area, the patch is best considered a mystery box, left unopened.

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Related Sites +

  • Making Of: Hostile Waters
    Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Kieron Gillen interviews Project Manager Julian Widdows about Hostile Waters (Dec 2007).

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4925
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by editor just so.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, Kasey Chang, Sciere, Klaster_1, Zeikman, Patrick Bregger.

Game added August 31, 2001. Last modified January 25, 2024.