Warzone 2100, from Eidos Interactive and Pumpkin Studios, marks a slight deviation from the formula, emphasizing action over strategy and combat over base micromanagement. Impressive in some areas yet lacking in others, Warzone 2100’s highly navigable 3D engine, unique campaign structure, and multiplayer gameplay should please most real-time AROS strategy fans. In the year 2085, the system designed to protect North America from nuclear warfare malfunctions. Instead of defending against an assault, the NASDA satellite system launches a first attack against the major cities around the world, and targeted countries soon retaliate against North America with their own set of missiles. Fast-forward to 2100 – a group of survivors form The Project to search for pre-collapse technologies. As a commander heading up the effort, you’ll realize over the course of the game’s three campaigns that you aren’t alone in the search for old technology. Like most real-time strategy games, Warzone 2100 follows a basic formula: Gather resources, construct your base, and then engage enemy defenses. Although the formula remains intact, there are several twists.¬†Warzone 2100’s best feature is the 3D engine – it looks great, with detailed terrain and weather effects, and it’s extremely fast. In a visual style quite close to Cavedog’s Total Annihilation, the battlefield comes alive with rolling terrain, elevated plateaus, deep valleys, and more than enough colorful weapon and explosion effects. Video clips play in between and even during missions, providing the lowdown on the task ahead. To complement the excellent 3D engine is an easy-to-use and highly configurable interface. Keyboard commands can be completely remapped, a handy feature considering how freely you can maneuver the floating camera.¬†Although Warzone 2100 slips a bit in the single-player game, the multiplayer experience takes in the slack. The usual gamut of protocols are supported (LAN, modem, TCP/IP Internet as well as Mplayer), and Warzone 2100 offers several game options like unit restrictions, initial base layout, teams, alliances, and a number of computer opponents.

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