Review by nosferatu79
"An excellent, budget priced sleeper hit for turn based fans."
Good console strategy games are hard to come by these days. Wrath Unleashed proves that strategy on the console can be fun, and does not have to be reserved for PC players alone. I'm usually more of a fan of real time strats, but this turn based game has done some unique things for the genre, and for the low price it goes for these days, is a steal at game stores, if you can find it.
Graphics: 7/10 The graphics for this title are nothing to write home about, but they get the job done, and lets face it, strategy games aren't usually about the graphics anyway. While there are more beautiful titles out there, Wrath manages not to loose any charm with only above par graphics. The models are well made, and have very unique designs. The units are commonly named, but have very different appearances to what you would expect. The world map in this game gets the job done, with different tiles representing different elements for each space, but again, its not the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and sometimes, the units can be hard to see, unless zoomed in all the way. Wrath does have some slight muddled textures, and some jaggies to be found, but you have to be looking for the flaws to see them.
Sound: 7/10 The sound in Wrath does what it needs to as well, and you get the sounds you would expect to hear from the various creatures as they fight. There is very little speech in this title, only in cutscenes for story mode is there any speech, but the voice actors get the job done well enough when they are heard. Music wise, Wrath has instrumental, forboding music in the background, and the background is where it stays. Its not the most memorable soundtrack, but it does add to the feeling you get in battle very well.
Gameplay: 9/10 The unique spin this game puts on strategy titles, are where it shines. When playing a battle, there are temples scattered throughout the map, and the goal is to capture a certian, preset number of them, or to kill the opposing God, thus ending their game. Also, the fighting to occupy spaces, is in real time, in other words, the battle for a certian space, becomes like a fighting game, with a 3/4 top down view, and a set arena space to fight in. Depending on the element of the space being fought for, and the elements of the units battleing, there will be advantages thrown to certian pieces, like extra life, more power, etc. This is where the strategy comes on the map, to send pieces in to attack that can take advantage of the elements. The controls for both battles and the battle map are both straight-foward, and easy to learn, but its takes practice to master the tactics to win the arena battles, thus it is also deep, despite the easy to learn controls. Possibly the coolest thing about Wrath, is the number of options you have to take out your opponent, such as either killing their leader, or occupying all the required temples on the map. You can dominate the map through mastery of the spells given to you magic users, or through tough battles, in the real time arena. The diversity to winning tactics is large in this game.
Story: 4/10 The story mode is possibly the most dissapointing aspect of Wrath that I can think of. There are 4 factions to play as, and each one has 4 missions to play, and thats about it. While it retains the great gameplay, the story itself is a little lacking, and does seem like an excuse just to fight. The acting in the cutscenes is done well enough, but without the content being there as well, its hard to give it good marks. Also, being only 16 battles total, its a very short story mode. Ultimately, story mode isn't the reason to get this game.
Replay&Multiplayer: 9/10 The good times you will have pummeling your friends is where this games fun really is. Up to 4 players can battle it out at once on the same map, or you can fill in the gaps with AI players if you wish. There are several, varying maps to play on, but after playing awhile, you realize they needed more. If you are playing by yourself, the AI will give a decent challenge, but its certianly more fun against humans. If your tired of the huge scale strategy maps, you can also just jump into the battle arena against either human players or AI as well. It does feature free for all, or team fights. Bottom line, if you have friends that enjoy this type of game, or you don't mind playing the AI, this game has enough battle options and maps to keep it interesting for sometime to come. Possibly the best reason to purchase, is that its very cheap to buy, and its very fun for the price, but it is hard to find I'm guessing, I've only seen the one copy I have in stores.
Final Opinion: When i saw this in the store, I hadn't even heard of it at all, and the only thing that grabbed my attention, was admittedly the price tag, but what followed me buying Wrath Unleashed, was alot of turn based strat/ realtime combat fun. For the low price, I recommend just buying, if strategy gaming is for you.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/19/06
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