Review by hitz30000

"It's a console RTS...but it's also an Army Men game."

For those of you wondering, no the RTS genre has not been perfected for consoles. Army Men RTS doesn't make anymore headway on having console RTS games going toe to toe with the ones on PCs than Starcraft did when it made its console debut on the n64. Veteran strategists will be saddened by the exclusion of hot keys, slow cursor speed and the lack of unit commands, while your average gamer will find the $15 price tag irresistible regardless of the game's various shortcomings.

To this date, there is not an Army Man game with a decent storyline. But then again, who wants to follow a story when you can be mindlessly blowing things up? It turns out that the tan army has captured some Green territory and it's up to Sarge and his squad to take it back.

Army Men: RTS is an RTS (O Rly?), meaning that you're giving a top down view
from which you will issue orders to your army and try to complete various objectives by directing your troops across the battle field. However the catch is that your enemy isn't just loafing about waiting for your turn to end, he'll be pumping out units and launching his own assaults against you as you do your thing.

Building up an army is a fairly simple task. Build a headquarters, a resource gathering facility and a barracks. Start building workers to gather resources and use those resources to build soldiers. After a while you can up grade your buildings to produce better units and start making defences in the form of watchtowers and barbed wire. It actually takes very little time to set up a proper base, but there's no speed control option so sometimes it's going to get a little tedious sitting and waiting for stuff to be made. Speaking of tedious things, the load times for missions are really bad. Though once it's loaded everything goes smoothly.

You've got a nice assortment of units in the game ranging from riflemen to tanks to attack copters. Each unit has it's own specialty, whether it's scouting, covering other units or detecting mines. Along with these units are hero characters such as Sarge. These characters have a lot more health and firepower than your average soldier. Unfortunately if you lose one you won't be able to revive him during the mission. Your units are pretty smart as they will often move themselves out of the way when someone needs to get through. However smart they may be, I still hate the fact that the only commands you can issue them is move and attack. Technically it's only attack since whenever they move, they will always attack any enemies in the way. The absence of hotkeys in the game is substituted by a group command, that will group units into a squad. You can individually select units or create a ring around a group of units to sort them into squads. The problem with the squads is that you can only select them while the squad is on screen. For instance, if your squad is on the bottom part of your screen and some squad members are below the screen and not visible, when you select that squad only visible squad members will be selected. These things can really be a pain when you need to send reinforcements and such.

The game includes a campaign mode which spans about 10 missions with increasing difficulty. Each mission is basically find the enemy and destroy him. However there are 2 special tasks in each mission and completing one or both of them gives you a gold or silver medal and unlocks intelligence files and special maps. Intelligence files are models of things you find in the game such as a soldier or Sarge or even a skateboard you might see during a mission. Along with the campaign there are about 20 special maps that you can unlock and play at your leisure. The special maps are split into two categories; Great Battles and Special Ops. Great battles is basically destroy the enemy, while special ops gives you a set of tasks to complete.

The graphics aren't exactly up to par. From above everything seems ok, but you'll notice that during the ingame cutscenes that all the units look fuzzy. Bullets look like yellow lasers and the rockets move at such slow speeds, you can see that it's just a gray cone. However there are a few CG cutscenes which are remarkably well made.

Audio has always been one of the Army Men series's strong points. However the soundtrack for this game is just uninteresting and each track sounds a lot like the last. Army Men RTS has some average sound effects in terms of bullet fire and battle noises. The voice acting is something the Army Men games never get wrong and it shows in this game. Each units has its own
voice, but unfortunately they don't seem to get ticked off when you continuously select them.

Now for a quick run through for those of you who can't be bothered to read the last few paragraphs.

Pros
- Low low price tag ($15 cdn)
- Simple Controls
- About 30 missions

Cons
- Sub par graphics
- No multiplayer
- No control over game speed or scroll speed
- Really bad loading times
- Lack of hot keys and unit commands

In conclusion, it's a mediocre game but at the price they're selling it for it is a pretty good buy.


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 01/09/06


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