Review by FRIEDSTRUCK
"The Best RTS There is, the Best RTS There was, and the Best RTS There Ever Will Be!"
1998, I just bought my new computer, and I was bored. My uncle came by with 2 games. 1 of them, was good, however I didn't get around to playing it until a few years later (Take no Prisoners). The other, was a game that changed my life, and possibly my most favourite game of all time. The name? Total Annihilation. The most epic and fantastic experience I have ever had gaming (along with Shenmue). When I discovered that you could download units for this game, I immediately devoted almost all of my gaming time to this. Without further ado, on to game play.
Game play: 10/10
Oh man. Simplicity and fun at its best. Metal and energy are used to nanolathe (build using nano-bots) the unit you want to create. Metal and energy have to be collected (just like any other resource in any other RTS), however instead of gaining and losing, you have to be gaining metal or energy at a rate per second that is greater than losing it, otherwise if you lose it at a higher rate, than you will begin to lose your stockpile. There are quite a few units you can build, and they range from K-bots (basically robots), vehicles, tanks, ships, aircraft, submarines, and hover-crafts, and this is without mentioning all of the different structures you can build. All of these building etc. though start out with one unit: The Commander. The Commander is the best unit in the game, and he can build everything you need to start off your base (except the more advanced structures). He also has a medium laser, and the most powerful weapon in the game, the D-gun (the dis-integrator gun). He is also amphibious, cloak-able, and the best builder. Because Total Annihilation has the best engine of any RTS, the possibilities with downloaded units are endless. You can download helicopters with lasers, or ships with D-guns, or even amphibious K-bots with star-burst missiles. Like I just said, the possibilities are endless. The way the environment interacts with your units is also groundbreaking, that very few RTS's have copied. If you are on a slope, unless your unit is all terrain, it will no go up, and neither will your weapon. If wreckage is in your way, blow it up so that you can pass. There is just so much that you can do with this game. Next is the story, another fantastic part of this game.
The intro is the best game intro I have ever seen in my life. It is like a movie, exactly like a movie. Basically, it is far, far, far, into the future, and two civilizations still exist, the Core and the Arm. The Arm used to be part of the Core, however since all of the resources of the worlds that they had been on were depleted. The Core decided to turn their citizens into robots. The Arm did not like this and broke off on their own. While they didn't turn into robots, they did clone each other so that they could be turned into robots, thus they could now battle the Core to the death. The rest is up to you, as you take over the reigns from here. To graphics.
I have read that the graphics are sub par, not that good. Are you nuts? These graphics are fantastic, and they are in 3-D also, in 1997! The units are smooth, the terrains are greatly detailed and textured, and the explosions, debris, and weapons look so realistic, you would not believe what you are seeing. Wow. True bonus here. To sound.
Growing up, I listened to classical music every night (because of my parents), and I acquired the taste for that type of music. The soundtrack on this game is the best soundtrack on any game ever. EVER. And they just go so nicely with the game (changing to more dramatic music when there is a battle). The sounds are also great, with the highlight being the explosions. The unit noises are also very entertaining and you will never become sick of them. So far, this game has been perfect, can it remain perfect? Replay ability will tell you the answer!
Replay ability: 10/10
A little after this game came out, Cavedog (the parent company) released a few units every month, with unit packs here and there. Since then, the unit downloading has risen to an all-time high, and the units that can be downloaded vary so much, it is truly scary. You can download any unit, anything. Trucks, cars, overpowered units, underpowered units, joke units, anything you are thinking of. And if that's not enough, you can create your own units. You can also download new maps, new worlds, the list goes on and on.
Buy or rent?
Being a PC game, you cannot rent it. However, buying it is tricky also, because there are very few copies of this game still floating around, if you find one though, snatch it up, and prepare to be thrilled.
3 games have changed my life, Soul Calibur, Mortal Kombat, and Total Annihilation, with the latter having the most impact. The time I devoted to this game supersedes all other games, and with truly 50 million different possibilities (between units and terrain, to weapons and which type of AI will show up at your respective game), the game will never stop being played. "What began as a transfer of consciousness from flesh to machines escalated into a war which has decimated a million worlds..."
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/30/06, Updated 09/11/09
Game Release: Total Annihilation (US, 09/30/97)
Got Your Own Opinion?
You can submit your own review for this game using our Review Submission Form.