Review by ThatsRidiculous
"How about a nice game of chess?"
Based loosely on the movie Wargames, DEFCON is a RTS of World-wide Thermonuclear war. You pick from one of 6 world territories and count down to nuclear armageddon against 1-5 human or computer foes. Using Subs, Silos, and Stealth Bombers you destroy your opponent while trying to avoid extermination. But one thing is for sure "Everybody loses, but maybe you'll lose the least."
Gameplay: 9/10 - The objective of the game is to kill as many of your enemies while saving your own. This is done by nuking enemy cities.You score 2 points for every (million) enemies killed, and lose 1 point for losses of your own. The only thing you gain from destroying military targets is the fact that they can no longer be used against you. It's a game of killed and be killed, just kill the most and you win.
You begin the game at Defcon 5, where you are temporarily at peace with the rest of the players. You all begin with the same amount of units, and can place them wherever you wish as long as they are in your territory. No Resource gathering here. This is where most of the unholy alliances are also made, in which you or your "teammate" have the ability to backstab you at any time.
After Defcon 3, Naval and Aerial battles are unlocked, in which you fiercely battle for position for the upcoming nuclear war. And after Defcon 1, Nuclear weapons are available for use. Hopefully your subs and bombers are in position for a surprise or retaliatory attack against the just launched enemy. Nothing beats when you successfully launch a nuke and "New York Destroyed: 17 Million Dead" pops on screen. After many cities are destroyed, and only 25% of the nuclear weapons in the world remain a timer kicks in, and the game will end at that time. Whoever has the most points in the end wins.
Since everyone has the same units, the game is all about your ability to manage them and use them at the best times. Control of units is very simple and mostly very well done. Games can vary from Free for alls, to Speed games that are over in no less than 15 minutes, to even games where everyone starts on the same team.
The game is almost always played vs. other people, although you can go through the 7 mission tutorial and play endless amounts of missions versus CPUs.
Overall the gameplay is very well done and deceptively complex.
Sound 3/10 - The sound in this game is done pretty poorly, and is a major downfall of the game. The music is pretty bad. It is really dull and saddening, with random crying and screaming in the background. The sound effects aren't bad by any means, but nothing to be proud of. There are generic sirens of people launching nukes, and dull thumps when a city or silo is destroyed, but nothing awesome. And the major problem is the sound control. You can only turn down the games master sound, so that means either music and sound effects or neither. And this is really a problem when you don't want to listen to the below average music, and do want to be alerted when a pack of subs just launched 6 Nukes at L.A.
Graphics 8/10 - What to say here. The graphics aren't anything amazing but they get the job done. Just a simple world map, with eye pleasing colors. Units grow larger and smaller so they are still visible even when looking at the entire world. Although they are just simple animations, its awesome to see 25 nukes and their trails zooming across the earth and ending in white flashes of massive death. Without being in 3D and requiring a great graphics card just to run, it is almost perfect. The only beef with them is after you have nuked a city 2-3 times, the circle around it is completly white and quite large, covering other valuable targets, making the hard to pick out. But besides that, the are done quite well.
Interface 6/10 - The interface in the game is really simple and clean. Easy to find different views of the world and executing actions. The problem is the out of game interface and end game. When attempting to get into a game, not much is shown besides how many players (Not whether they are human or CPU) are currently in the game and the name of the game (which is your only clue to what kind of game it is). The endgame isn't much better, it just shows the players stats and reveals the whole map. No option to view a replay of the game (which would be awesome :D) and not much of a chance at post game chat, because once the host leaves the game, the connection to the server is cut for all players.
Overall this game is quite good, especially for only $15. Most of it's problems are only cosmetic, and the in game is very fun. I recommend it as a buy for anyone, with any computer.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/04/06
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