Review by _Sevoth_
Misses the Point of Both Strategy and Action Games
Wrath Unleashed starts off about four gods that are not quite happy with each other, although two of them seem to have formed an alliance. And that...is basically the whole story.
There are two main modes in Wrath Unleashed: Campaign ("story mode") and Versus ("Street Fighters mode"). In Campaign, each of the four gods have four missions for you to complete. Versus is simply you pick a creature and pit it against your opponents a la Street Fighters.
What makes Wrath Unleashed stand out from simply being Street Fighters with monsters and gods, is that in Campaign mode, you are not only fighting others with cutscenes of storyline, but you actually have an army and can command a battlefield and resources. It is both a turn-based strategy game, and a good ol' action game.
However, that selling point may just be its undoing. With concentration on both aspects of the game, neither of them are done very well. They are both too simplistic, and take away from both genres. There is not enough tactics because much of the outcome of the battle depends not on careful calculations and chance percentages (like in usual tactic games), but on how well you are at bashing your opponent in. In retrospect, the action portion of the game is hindered by the fact that the tactics can give a player an advantage in the amount of life and in terrain (different "elements" have certain terrains that they are more powerful in).
At the beginning of each mission on the Campaign mode, there is a short cutscene where some story is given. However, any one story is only related to the ones under the same "Order" (that is, which god you choose to play). Coupled with the fact that the cutscenes are short and mainly consist of the gods being angry with each other, there is very little story to speak of.
Versus mode ends up being more fun and engaging. However, it still isn't without flaws. For one thing, it's still a very simplistic design. You go up to your enemy, mash the quick attack button, run away to dodge the retaliation, and come back to mash the button again.
Also, the load time is very long, and obnoxious. And when you're ready for hot-blooded screaming and button mashing, long load times are not good.
On another note, however, the graphics in the game are great. The creatures are carefully designed, and well animated.
In general, Wrath Unleashed is a mediocre game. There are many flaws, but it's still playable and enjoyable. There are games that are definitely more worth the money, but this is still a decent action game.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Wrath Unleashed (US, 02/10/04)
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