Review by demonsedge
"A fun twist on genocide"
In an age when 3D has largely dominated the video game market and games are more about eye candy than they are about fun, Defcon has turned the tables on the popular gaming world, with their realistic physics and dynamic shadows.
The graphics are all symbols. Three different boat types to represent carrier/battleship/sub. Triangles to represent attacking silos. A vague L-shape to represent an airfield, and little triangles to represent the number of bombers available on them. Explosions are white circles, and missiles are little rectangles. This entire litany of symbols are placed over a blue-on-black map of the world.
This may not seem like much, but it has an incredible atmosphere because it feels like in various movies, how the generals sit in an underground bunker and look at a giant map of the world, with all of the information on it, and plan their attack. Sort of like the war room in Dr. Strangelove.
What is really cool is the framerate. With any modern computer, the game should run incredibly smoothly, with low response time, which just makes the movement of the whole game better.
There are very few sounds. Various beeps sound when the defcon changes, and the "music" is some sort of barely-audible, quiet ambient-type hodgepodge. Occasionally, you can hear a woman sobbing, but it's very quiet. You can't even hear nukes go off.
You should probably have your media player blast out some sort of fast metal in the background while you're playing.
Entertaining. You start the game by placing some radar, some silos, some airfields, and your navy. Everybody starts with the same number of forces, regardless of the fact that Africa doesn't have nukes in real life. (Well, South Africa did at one point, but let's leave real life out of this, shall we?) What differs is land area. Some territory is better than others, like Europe, which is small and easily defendable, while other territory can be difficult to defend. Try playing a game as North America and see if you can emerge without a nuke landing on either San Francisco or New York. Asia stretches from Tehran all the way to Tokyo, and to this day I can't recall seeing Tehran still standing at the end of the game.
When you've placed your forces as well as you can, you twiddle your thumbs until defcon three, when conventional weapons can be used, which is generally when all of the navies of the world begin to tear each other apart. Defcons are determined by a timer, and when it goes down to defcon one, all weapons are up, notably nukes. Subs, carriers, airfields, and silos all have nukes, so there's no shortage to go around. What really gives the game a sense of strategy is how to land the nukes so that they can pass the enemy defense and destroy the enemy cities.
For reasons unknown, a number of countries don't like you and you don't like them back. Kill them.
There's a dizzying array of alliances and game types to toy around with, so Defcon should be able to entertain you for a while. There's also intrigue and alliances with human players, but I didn't bother with multiplayer, so you'll have to find out for yourself.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/13/08
Game Release: DEFCON: Everybody Dies (US, 09/29/06)
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