Monday, July 18, 2005

Rome:Total War

Rome: Total War
Platform: PC
Rating: 12+
Type: RTS+TBS(real time strategy and turn based strategy)
Graphics: 8/10
Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 8.5/10
Multiplayer: 8/10
Sound: 8/10
Overall: 9/10

This game was released early October, where there was a huge amount of tension. The predecessors, Shougun: total war and Medieval: Total war, where amazing, this one is no let down, as is often the case with anticipated games.

You start the campaign as one of three roman families, each one starts off in different areas of the map. You then have to command your empire to become powerful and eventually become the senate. Once you have completed the game you unlock many factions.

As rts's go the graphics are stunning, as computer games go they are awesome, and as console games go, there pretty damned good. You can zoom in and see each of the troops charge around, smashing into the enemy and sending them flying. Being a 12+, there is a lack of blood or real gore but when the horses smash into the side of a pack of troops, sending them flying, and the elephants crush hundreds of troops and the gauls jump heroically over the enemy troops into the middle, then you know how cool it is and the lack of blood dosen't matter. And I haven't even got started on the sieges. The sieges are truly spectacular. Stones smashing into walls, buildings burning, and oil pouring onto screaming troops. All this and more. Tower assault is cool. The fire is amazing, it looks really good, esspecailly when you start zooming from one side of the battle towards the city. But more about that in the gameplay section.

The story line is fairly accurate if you play it how it actually went in roman times. But of course if you want to be a evil Dictator then obviously it will be different. Because of this there isn't much of the story to talk about. There are a few historical battles which, although I don't know much about historical battles, i checked a couple of them out and they actually happened.

The gameplay section I am splitting into two paragrapahs. One for the campaign and one for the battles.

The campaign is a top down view of the world where you command your forces on a much grander scale, sending troops across Italy rather than across a small hill. You have to manage your towns, although if it all gets too much then you can turn the govenor. You can manage taxes and what troops you train. Who to trade with to where to hide your troops in ambush. You manage the politics of your empire. Occasional you are given missions by the senate which are very similar, block a port; take a base; move your troops; ally with someone. Ultimately you don't have to do them but this will cause the senates distress which will lead to you not becoming senate. On some missions there are much serious punishments, but most of them just cause displeasure to the senate.

The battles are AWESOME. Sieges are intense, the way you charge the elephants at the enemy and you literally see them flying. Of course, if your boring you can automatically resolve the battle in the campaign, but really, this is the best bit of the game. Let me give you a description of a siege. Your defending. You line spearmen up by the door, have some archers on the wall a couple of standard troops on the wall to protect against towers. The enemy have battering rams, onagers, lots of horses and many men. The onagers open fire on our walls and on a building. The battering ram moves forward along with the towers. As the battering ram hits the door then the oil pours on to the poor soldiers below. Your archers and towers pick off troops and the walls start falling down. suddenly the building catches fire and your troops start to loose moral. Then the gate crashes down and your spearmen run into action. I will leave the rest to your imagination. The AI is normally quite good but sometimes if you destroy a key unit to there plan, the whole army just stands still. For instance, I wiped out all of there battering rams, and although they had towers and onagers, they just stood still.

The multiplayer is pretty damn good. It can only have 8 people, and although it is nothing new for a RTS multiplayer wise it is still fun. FFAs are the most enjoyable, especially with 8 people. I have yet to try out the sieges, but I think there maybe a lot of lag as there is a fair share normally.

I think the game is amazing and it is no wonder Microsoft are working really hard on the graphics on AoE 3 as other wise there will be no competition. The main downside of this game is you need a very powerful machine and a massive broadband to play(the broad band is only for multiplayer). Buy it if you are looking for something to play until AoE 3 comes out, as it is quite cheap, then this is it.

Also,when my network gets fixed I will post a weekly/biweekly multiplayer report on all games I play Multiplayer on

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Delta Force 2

Delta Force 2

Platform: PC
Rating: 15+
Type: 1st person shooter
Graphics: 4.5/10
Story: 6/10
Game play: 9/10
Multiplayer: 8/10
Sound: 7/10
Overall: 8.5/10

This game was made in 1999, so it is really old. Some people say the graphics let it down, but you have to remember, at that time, these were revolutionary graphics. It has a lot of ups, but quite a few downs.

In Delta Force 2, you are an elite solider working for an American elite group of people. In some missions you work alone and in others you work with a team of 2-4. Although it is to be noted you cannot command them, they just help. There are two campaigns to take on, both with "different" stories although in both you basically have to save the world from a nuclear war. Deja Vu.

Graphics, they are dismal, really dismal. Everything is pixilated. The gun is 1 colour. Having said this, the game has the best trees I have seen in any game bar Halo2. The scenery interaction is good. For instance if you shoot at the top of a tree it will come spinning of. The gunfire is interesting. Not the explosion at the muzzle of the gun but these strobe lights flying around which represent the bullets. One of the highlights is that if you are on the blue team in multiplayer the bullet lines are blue, if you are on the red they are red. It is obviously deliberate.

The story line is almost as bad as the graphics. It is the same thing in and out, time and time again. Could they not have employed a professional author to write them a cool story. It would have cost relatively little and would have improved the game greatly. They use the terrorist with nuclear war heads story because it is a simple story. It is very easy to base missions around, people feel they can relate to it and it can have a clean finish.

On the other hand, the game play is stunning. If graphics are all that matters then you won't be able to play, but if you can get it in proportion with the game play then you'll love it. The missions are imaginative and rarely repetitive. For instance, in one of the missions you get on a helicopter; fly on it for a couple of minutes with free control, not a video; then you jump out of the helicopter at about 100m onto a moving train. Finally, you then have to clear the train, blow up the tanks, survive the helicopter attack and go through an enemy base then get off the train. You might say, first person shooters aren't original or hard to make, this one has done something, I don't know what it has done, but I LOVE the game play.

The sound is kinda basic, gunfire and the mission briefs do make use of sound but there is only one voice. What is impressive about the sound is that when you wear headphones you can hear what direction the fire is coming from, remember this a 6 year old game. If you play this game, always wear head phones, it makes it soo cool, it is like stepping into a war zone. Noisy and scary.

The multiplayer is one of this game's strong points. Some of the novalogic servers support 50 people simultaneously and the games include voice over net technology. Which means you can conduct live speech to people through the game. Not only is this a cool feature but only Xbox live games can do it 6 years later. The multiplayer games include: Death Matches, team death matches, CTF, King of the hill and co-op. The downside is when you host a game you can't just block cheating or kick cheaters. This is a major downside as there are people who become invisible, go to your base and knife you continually.

The weapons are simple but fun. Most of the time you will take a carbine, which has a scope and a built in grenade launcher. Alternatively, for your first weapon you can have a sniper rifle or a variant of the carbine which has a shotgun attachment instead of the grenade launcher. You can have two secondary weapons which can be anything from explosives to armor suits; missile launchers to extra ammo. There are other options but they pretty much fall into those two groups.

Overall, I think it is a great game and that someone should remake it with better graphics and it would be better than any first person shooter. It is a well lasting game (there are still 500+ people on the server) and although there are sequels I haven't played on them.

I am considering doing weekly updates of the happenings of multiplayer in this game, comments please on what you think of that.

Mercanries-Playground of Destruction

Mercanries-Playground of Destruction

Platform: Xbox
Rating: 16+
Type: 3rd person shooter/RPG
Graphics: 9/10
Story: 6.5/10
Gameplay: 7.5/10
Multiplayer: No
Sound: 5/10
Overall: 8/10

There are a lot of different views on this game and I am going to add my view on it, i
I know its late and this oppinion won't be notticed but I hope you will use it. I have selected XBOX because that is ther version i have.

In mercenaries, you are, as the name suggests a merc. General Song is the main bad guy, he killed his father when his father was about to take north and south Korea into peace, he then stole some missiles and is a major world threat. And you mission overall is to kill him. Along with 51 other people, they are given names from a card. But just because at some point you should catch these doesn’t mean that on the way you can blow up every bridge in Korea does it!!

The graphics in this game are amazing, even for Xbox, which normally delivers excellent graphics, they certainly rival if not beat Halo 2 graphics. Having said this there are places where you can look at a barrel and suddenly Mario looks good, and if you look really closely at the cliff faces, you can definitely see a repeating pattern. And of course, as with any modern game the trees are so bad there not worth the ink on the page in the original sketchbook. But graphics are defiantly one of this games strong points; those explosions blow your mind as much as it blows the un-fortunate Koreans in the blast radius.

The story line is good, if a bit un-imaginative. Evil guy wants to blow up the world with a huge stockpile of nuclear warheads, you, and you alone have the power to stop him. It has been done before, and Mercenaries has not really done anything to change it. I am not sayings it is a bad storyline, but it has been done before, a lot of times.

I have heard a lot of people referring to this game as a “GTA rip-off.” Don’t listen to them. Sure, it is free roaming and you can hijack cars. However, in GTA, you get money for killing civilians and you are the bad guy, you lose money for killing civilians in this game, and you are here to save the world. Although it could be compared to GTA, you could compare it to fable, or any other free roaming game. The style to me seams to me to be shoot em’ up with a new twist or two.

The game play is very good, with no lag, as you would come to expect from a console. Sometimes the missions can come to be a bit repetitive (one mission was to rescue this guy, and then a couple of missions later I rescued three pilots), but are entertaining (I mean, who can get bored of blowing up stuff with huge missiles). Although there quite a lot of different weapons, they all fall into about three different categories: Missile, automatic and stealth. And they all have similar properties. The health system is different to most games. You never regain all you health just by standing there, but you do not have to pick up a health pack to get your self off one health. I think they did this because they wanted it so you have to pick up health kits to increase your health but they also want you to buy supplies from the mafia store, and if you could only gain health form a health pack, they would need to be quite common. The heath regains to 20(out of 100) and then you have to pick up a health pack. This is not the only thing that is strange about the health. You pull a pin out of a grenade but you “Forget” to throw it, it does not kill you un-less you are on health less than 10. This gives the impression that you are invincible, your not, you die very quickly from gunfire. But in this game one is the magic number, providing your below half health if you are hit from anything from a grenade to a tank cannon, you will be left on one health. That is obviously the toughest part of your body! Also, something that is quite handy is you can call for a medi-vac. You go to the allied hospital for a fee of $1000. Another new thing that has not been seen on the game market is a virtual shop where the Russian mafia send you anything form a health pack to a nuclear warhead, well almost. I think one thing that could be improved on is the money system. Most of the time, if you have a mission they give you the equipment you need for free. And other than missions you do not often have to use stuff, so must of the money is just stored, making great non-save turns where you just blow everything up.

The sound in this game probably is its biggest let down. It tried to build in technology that when you are further away from the person speaking it gets quieter. It works except it is just as if not more of a greater change in volume when all you do is turn around, do not move. In addition, they failed to use this technology effectively with the guns, from your ears there is no way of telling how far away the enemy is. All guns once again fall into those three categories and then make the same noise. Although I do personally love one of the tracks on the sound track, and like all shooting games you cannot import your own sound track. Another bad thing about the sound is the bits that you need to hear are very quite and the bits you do not need to here, I.e. gunfire. Are much louder. So you cannot just turn the volume up on your TV. Although you can change the ratio, you can barely notice the difference un-less you turn the un-important sound effects off.

This game un-fortunately lacks a multi-player, which is a great shame because it wouldn’t be hard to incorporate. Although you can effectively play multi-player by taking it in turns to blow stuff up in as much style as you can. A great time waster.

Overall I think the game is good, but needs to have the finishing touches, which is a shame. Having said this I hope they make a second and the most important thing in the second would multiplayer, you could do anything from heli racing (no rules) to playing conkers with C4 covered cars. If you are choosing a game which will keep you going for a while this is definitely a good choice, and that is not even considering the lack of multi player.

Thankyou, i hope to post more later

Wasn't me

"All your base are belong to us"