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This new strategy game from MicroProse takes the genre by storm, changing the 2D standard battlefield view into a 3D isometric view a la Sim City 2000. Imagine for an instant what it can be to have an army with soldiers and vehicles marching into a city where the zoom level allows you to see every single unit. You will admit yourself that it is quite simply fantastic. That's what I thought when I first heard about the game several months ago, and you can easily imagine how eager I was to test it.
As mentioned above, your role will be to lead your troops in combat against the enemy forces. You have five opponents to deal with throughout the game. The first, Crocodile Ghandi, is a leader of an Australian-based Church of Universal Siblinghood. His plans to invade South America will force you to a counter-attack as his territories become too close to your boundaries. The other leaders are Mondo Khan in Asia, Napolienne in Western Europe, Sheik Omar in Africa and the Middle East, and Shadowhawk. Shadowhawk is known for being the creator of the virus that completely wiped out the computer's network. No one has ever seen him or her, reinforcing the idea of a myth with its hold of rumors.
Each of your opponents have different tactics as you will discover later in the game. Crocodile Ghandi is said to rely on strong defenses while Mondo Khan, like his ancestors, leads an army that sweeps everything away in its path but features a low-level technology. As always, you must use your enemy's weakness to turn it into an advantage for you.
"This Means War" is divided into missions in which the goal is to expand your own territories. Major Cassandra Clarke will give you the orders in the briefing just before entering the mission and will tell you about your enemies progression. A geopolitical map will then be displayed with several colored areas, each nation being represented by one specific color.
The main view is composed of a 3D isometric representation of the surrounding terrain. The relief and the vegetation is well reproduced with textured graphics and, unlike Sim City 2000 and Transport Tycoon, the slopes are smooth and realistic. The different structures you can build or start up a mission with range from habitat to industrial and military buildings. There are also specific structures for resources such as mines, oil wells, wind mills, etc. At the beginning of the game, you start with basic buildings needed for housing, food and training. These three elements are essential in the game because if you lack one of them, you might lose the war. Why? Your army needs support, and without population to provide new men and food to feed them, you will be in trouble if you don't correct the situation. The barracks will train the newly recruited soldiers you will send to combat. They will be armed with various vehicles built in the factories. You can produce light vehicles (Battle Bikes, Jeeps, Assault Vehicles, etc...), armored vehicles (Tanks, etc...), hovercrafts, artillery and air vehicles (Fighters, Bombers, Choppers, etc...).
The control of the various units is easy. Click on any unit (soldier or vehicle) then move the pointer to the location you want your unit to go while holding down the mouse button. If you select an enemy unit or enemy building for the destination, your unit will attack them. It is also possible to select several units at a time. If you click the mouse from outside your units and drag over them, you will select them and thus, be able to give them the same order. Groups can also be formed by dragging one unit to another. You can select which formation the group will adopt, which direction they will face, etc... and even choose a leader. If you want to give orders to a specific group, simply select the leader (blinking unit) and give him your orders.
However, unless you turn the game's speed to fast or maximum, you will believe your units move like turtles and react too slowly. What made me crazy was the delay between the time I gave an order and the time it was executed. The only solution I had was to increase the game's speed with the result of being attacked faster!
486 DX2-66 MHz or higher,
Min 48b memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or later,
Windows 3.1 or higher,
Hard drive required with 20Mb minimum,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.
Windows compatible sound cards.
MicroProse Technical Support: 410-771-1151
MicroProse Fax Support: 410-771-1174
Spectrum Holobyte Technical Support: 510-522-1164
Spectrum Holobyte Fax Support: 510-522-3587
BBS (MicroProse): 410-785-1841
BBS (Spectrum Holobyte): 510-522-8909
Web site: www.microprose.com
Email: MicroProse USA
The Ridge, Chipping Sodbury,
Bristol BS17 6AY.
Technical Support: +44-(0)1454-329510
Fax Support: +44-(0)-1454-326499
Email: MicroProse Europe
MicroProse-Spectrum Holobyte GmbH
Technical Support: +49-(0)5241-946480
Fax Support: +49-(0)5241-946494
Email: MicroProse Germany
28, Rue Armand Carrel,
93108 Montreuil Sous Bois CEDEX.
Technical Support: +33-1-485-70554
Fax Support: +33-1-485-76291
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