Review by JET

"This is a great day for the strategy gamer."

I was a little skeptical about this game as I loaded this game up on my PC. I'd heard some very good things about it. But I also wondered about things such as the lack of resource management I'd heard about, but what I was most afraid of was a shoddy camera control interface, which can mean the difference between a totally enjoyable experience and a frustrating chore when it comes to fully 3D RTS games.

Am I able to say that this game lived up to my expectations and so much more? Why yes, yes I am. From the opening cinematic I was staring in wonder at the beautiful graphics which immediately filled my monitor once I'd started playing. The strategic aim of the game was a joy to behold, the campaign was great fun and a change from many RTS style games if you don't mind some mediocre voice acting. Well I suppose everyone wants a run-down on a numeric basis outta me, well here it is my eager readers.

Graphics: (10/10) This game is completely breathtaking. The visuals are totally beyond belief, I was stunned from the moment I began playing. The unit texture and design was amazing, I found myself zooming in on my men and tanks to get a closer look as they recoiled from firing their weapons during a skirmish, and the sight of my artillery shells raining fiery death upon all who stood against me was eye popping. The terrain pleases just as well as the units. The sun glaring in your screen as you try to conduct a battle is extremely realistic and definitely a beautiful sight.

Sound: (9/10) Extremely polished and well done. The explosions are very pleasing to the ear. And if you get the chance, position your camera so the artillery shells will whiz by in mid air, it sounds really cool. The tapping of infantry guns is also very realistic and helps to immerse you in the environment and make you feel as if you were right there next to your men on the battlefield.

Control: (9/10) This game controls like a dream. The camera which has been the downfall of past RTS games handles beautifully and with extreme ease. I never once found myself cursing about rotating the camera during the heat of battle. The units are very responsive and move on your command, nothing to complain about at all here.

Gameplay: (10/10) No resouce management? But who cares! This game is pure strategy, none of this pump out units and overrun them, you have to make due with what you have, just like a real commander would. The single player campaign is a whole lot of fun and is different than most RTS games. It is different in that you don't get to choose who you play as in the beginning, but before you start moaning let me finish. Unlike most other games where you pick your side and usually the same general storyline will pass throughout the game, (in some the missions are identical which is unforgivable) Ground Control starts you off as the Crayven Corporation fighting the Order of the New Dawn, or Dawnies as they come to be affectionately called. Once you have thoroughly beat the hell out of the Dawnies you switch to playing as the Order of the New Dawn against the Crayven Corp! It's a progressive story so you get to play both sides while the story continues to unfold, thumbs up to Massive! The multiplayer you ask? Great fun! You pick your dropship capacity which depends on the map you're playing and drop with up to 7 other players for free for all or team based play. Free for all can get VERY interesting when everyone all bumps into eachother for a party you won't forget any time soon, it's some of the most beautiful fireworks displays you could possibly behold.

Overall: (9/10) There is nothing and I mean nothing to gripe about over this game. From the visuals, to the sound, to the control, to the actual playing through of this game is pure strategy bliss! I don't think I've ever stayed up so late for a strategy title in my life. This is a definite must have for any RTS fan! This game was a labor of love for the genre and it truly shows!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/02/00, Updated 07/02/00

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