Review by Jam
"In this game, everyone can hear you scream. That's because it comes with a microphone."
I suppose this game could be considered a milestone in gaming since it's the first console game to allow live voice chat between players, which is very incredible and also just furthers the truth that Sega likes to do things different. They're always out there with some crazy new idea that MIGHT work, and they're willing to try things out. And kudos to them! This game wouldn't be the same without the voice chat, and it just goes to further enhance an already great game.
Gameplay - The gameplay itself is a real treat, even though it's been done before for the most part(Tokyo Wars anyone?). Nothing really new here. However, the way it's pulled off is spectacular. In the core game, you have a choice between two sides: the invading Aliens wanting to enslave humanity and eat them(gotta love that Uncle Sam alien poster) or the Humans, who're just trying to get to work on time and do their jobs without having to worry about all this ''invasion'' stuff. So, what would two opposing forces do in such a situation? That's right, get in some heavy artillery and blow each other to hell. Each side has 3 vehicles to choose, and they all encompass the traditional armor-speed-strength tradeoffs. You've got your speedy vehicle which can't take many hits and isn't that strong but moves really fast, your middle-of-the-road craft which is good at everything but doesn't excel either, and your huge vehicle which can take it just as much as it dishes out but can't move very well at all. For the Humans, these vehicles are just 3 different tanks but for the Aliens you've got a Hovercraft(which everyone and their mother seems to love online), the 2L Walker, an organic-looking mech with two legs(which is my personal favorite), and the SL Walker, which is like a giant crab with guns attached. So you pick your craft and proceed to kill everything that isn't your species. As you kill enemies, they drop items that you can use. All enemies drop health when killed and sometimes they'll drop subweapons which are immensely useful in destroying the other team. Humans have such basic power-ups as the grenade launcher, the homing missile, the nuke(BOOOOM!) and the flamethrower(which, thankfully, isn't NEARLY as annoying as the one in Outtrigger). The Aliens get to use Gravity Balls, Flying Drones, Alien Spikes(sweeet) and a Meteor Shower(which isn't as useful as you might think). You use these weapons to blow the other guys up and the team with the most kills at the end of the time limit whens(pretty basic). Sounds like it would get boring after a while, right? Well thankfully the online is great(when you don't get disconnected, that is). There are two extra modes online as well: Flag(in which your team must hold onto a flag for a certain amount of time before the other guys do) and Fort(think Assault in UT). These modes offer some variety from the basic Deathmatch which is great but it's nice that they thought of some more ideas. Also the voice chat adds a whole new dimensions to the game as people don't have to see what you type(AAAAAAH!) but they can actually HEAR your blood-curdling scream as your SL Walker's head explodes due to a barrage of Hellfires. *sigh* Isn't war great?
Graphics - The gameplay isn't all that's shining in this game either; the graphics are truly something else. Alien vehicles display an eerie sense of movement and the Human tanks look just like their real-world counterparts. The levels are also insanely detailed and filled with Sega advertisements(heh, I think Dynamite Cop already came out). What's cool is that pretty much ANYTHING in any level is totally destructible. Buildings collapse, rocks scorch, and walls crumble. Heck, you can even discover hidden passageways behind some buildings! The weapons also look great, and the explosions and effects they cause are superb. You can see the mushroom cloud caused by the nuke from anywhere in any level and it looks beautiful. They even threw in a winter effect directly after! The pyrotechnics in this game are spectacular. Vehicles take damage as well(watching the SL Walker start to fall apart after heavy damage is always great) and it just makes the game look better. However, slowdown is prone to occur when several crafts are battling in a closed area but thankfully the game handles it well.
Sound - Heeeere's the good stuff. While the basic game noises are all good(explosions, weapons), the music is decent, and the voices are okay(the Human guy needs to shut the hell up though), the real treat is being able to talk to other people with the packed-in microphone which comes with this game. It's such a great feeling to actually TALK smack as opposed to typing it. Talking also doesn't leave you open like typing does. Just a press(and hold) of the Y button(or two presses, if you want to talk to everyone) and you can hear your voice in tinny, grainy quality. The voice chat can be hard to hear over the loud explosions and music of the game but if you turn these things down in options and turn the voice chat up it helps. Also the voice chat can skip if you're getting lag so it can be hard to understand but for the most part it's implemented well. Let's hope more games have this before the DC goes south(we already know Propeller Arena will have it, hooray!).
Buy Or Rent? - If you plan to play this game online, then by all means buy. It's a great game that anyone can get into, and it's not as hard to play as something like Quake III or UT. However, if you have no internet on your DC and don't plan on getting it anytime soon I'd pass, since the offline stuff is okay at best(the Tactics mode is cool but Arcade is just a training mode basically) and there's no offline multiplayer mode, which is disappointing if you wanted to play this with some of your friends who might not own a DC. But for those of you internet, online is the real game here: hey, that's why it's in the title, right? So I'll see you online(by the way, my name is Heavy-J) and watch out for those 2L Walkers!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/01, Updated 08/11/01
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