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Warzone 2100
Score: 88%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Pumpkin Studios
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Strategy

Graphics & Sound:
In general, the graphics in Warzone 2100 are pretty much what you would expect of a recent strategy game: an overhead map view, but 3D, not flat, graphics that are pretty, but not overly so, and everything in a fairly small scale. The unique and refreshing twist in Warzone 2100 is that you can change the viewing angle. You can change it to be directly above, or way down towards the ground looking out across the map, and you can rotate the map around to look at constructions and such from different sides. While this might not sound like a very useful feature, I found myself changing the view several times during play to get a good look at situations that were taking place in valleys or behind some buildings, etc. The FMVs are top notch, however, and bring you up to speed on the story so far. The music on the first level tends to be repetitive, and nearly drove me mad until I got a better handle on what I was supposed to be doing. As the game progresses, the music seems to get better. Then again, I would dare say that a gamer probably isn't expected to take more than an hour on the first level, thus listening to that song for a lot less time than I did. Oh, well... The sound effects are okay, but are nothing to write home about. But then, in a post apocalyptic dark future setting, there's not a whole lot of ambient sound to be heard.

The idea is old, but the implementation is refreshing. You have a limited amount of resources to deal with, and you have to search the landscape to recapture lost technology (artifacts), while maintaining your military and construction units and developing new weapons and defenses. The individual tasks are not too involved, however, letting you concentrate more on the big picture. If you want to manufacture another tank, you don't have to worry about where the materials are going to come from, you just tell your factory to make a tank. Once you get into it, Warzone 2100 can be a very fun game.

The first level is very difficult. Or, maybe I should say that playing a game that you aren't familiar with is difficult. In either case, as you get a better understanding of what you are doing, the game becomes easier and more fun to play. One thing to keep in mind to make things easier is that while you can't repair units at the beginning of the game, you can recycle them to save your gained experience, and you can keep churning out new units as needed until you reach your command limit. If you can get past the initial difficult first level, Warzone 2100 is a great sci-fi strategy game.

Game Mechanics:
Warzone 2100 is a pretty good strategy game. It's challenging while not too overly complicated, and is not extremely difficult to get in to. Like most strategy games, there is of course a bit of a learning curve, and it wouldn't hurt to read the manual over a bit. But all in all, once you get the hang of things, it's a great game. Also, it should be noted that it can (optionally) be used with a mouse. That means that if you have a mouse (or the nYko Classic Trackball, which I highly recommend, both for this game and on its own merit), you can use it as a pointing device. The documentation is geared towards using a normal controller to play, but the mouse (or Trackball) is a more suitable controller for this type of game. That's no big deal, though, because if you read the explanation of how to play using the standard controller, the mouse interface is not so radically different as to be difficult to understand.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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