Review by Beorn

"A Must for Strategy Gamers and Action fans alike..."

Ground Control is yet another one of those games which aren't hyped to death like Diablo II or Age of Kings - yet, the result is comparable to the greatest games ever. so is hype bad ? Possibly.

The Story
Ground Control takes place in a futuristic setting, on another Planet. war on Earth has been outlawed by International treaties, and thus these conflicts are being carried out elsewhere.
Two main factions oppose each other - Crayven, a Technology Leader and the Order of the New Dawn, the Religious masters.
The Story fits in very well with the rest of the game. However, it is not all that original - but still, the Story doesn't matter that much in a game like this. Not to me anyway !!

Gameplay
As I said, or as you may of guessed, Ground Control is a Strategy Game - but not to be taken in the most common sense. There is no building, collecting or any economy as such.
You are given for each mission a set amount of squads - squads are groups of a type of Unit. These squads are your only units for each mission.
These Squads are carried over onto each different mission. There can only be advantages in this, as the Units gain experience and other characteristics from these carry on's. Plus, you tend to get attached to them :p

Surprisingly, for a game with pretty complexe ropes, the Interface is very intutive and the Boot Camp [tutorial] is one of the best I have ever seen.
As far as controls go, they are not the least bit clumsy. the mouse is as in most games the predominant control system, but the keyboard is also used a lot - none of this layed back attitude, with one hand on the mouse and the other in your nose !! :)

As I said, the game is pretty complexe, but in a good way. Litterally hundreds of factors affect Gameplay, with the Terrain as the main one. Darkness, Elevation, etc, all contribute to an advantage or the contrary in combat situation.

Personally, my favourite part of this game is the thrill. You can't imagine the feeling you get when playing this at night, in the dark, with earphones on ; the ambiance it extra-ordinary. Seing two tanks stop a base while some planes drop bombs and Infantry firing off the edges just makes you feel great and proud - plus, the timed missions are pulse pounding. I loved seing my Command APC run away from an enemy drop just in the nick of time :) :)

Graphics
Here, there is nothing you can possibly say - they are great. The best ? Probably. For me, they are. The best graphics I have EVER seen.
Litterally millions of different graphical elements are incrusted in this game, and the beauty of the textures is marvelous. You can actually see the shells your Marines fire. You can actually see the tracks your vehicles leave, You can actually see the dust they kick up as they rush forward. I could go on forever like this. The graphics are great - full stop.

Sound
Ditto for Graphics - although not particularily exceptional, you can hear everything as well - unit movement, weather...really really nice.

Performance
Surprisingly, the game runs pretty smoothly despite all the details. I am running a PIII 450, 128Mgs of RAM and a RivaTNT2, and the performance is smooth with all details to the max and all options selected. My system is modest compared to that of others these days - PIII 950 with 256Mgs of Ram and Voodoo5's...frankly, that is just overdose for this game :)

Overall
Overall, I love this game. I was seduced the minute I started it, and I can't stop thinking about it - the thrill, the action...it's great !
Are there any downfalls ? The difficulty maybe. And loss of sleep can be harmful in the long term :)

Chris


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/00, Updated 10/07/00


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