Ground Control II
There’s a plus/minus problem when it comes to getting hands-on opportunities of pre-release games. Plus, you get a sneak peek before most everyone else. Minus, it’s really easy to form an opinion and write a preview that sounds like a review, even though the game may still have months of development time. Beta or pre-release versions of the game are there to give you the gist of the general direction the title is moving. I had to keep this firmly in mind when playing around with a preview build of Ground Control II.
before I give my brief -- and I do mean brief -- impressions of GCII, here’s the official line:
Ground Control II is a real-time tactics game set in a gritty science-fiction setting. It delivers explosive, action-packed gameplay, focusing on squad tactics with full use of the 3D battlefield. Weather and other environmental effects also affect units performance on the battleground.
In the war torn year of 2741, Captain Jacob Angelus of the Northern Star Alliance (NSA) becomes the central figure in the
war against the warmongering Terran Empire. In an attempt to crush the NSA permanently, the Terran Empire sends in an alien race of powerful warriors - the Virons. It soon becomes apparent that the situation is bleak for the NSA and that their only hope is to embark on an Exodus to another part of the galaxy.
- Strong focus on tactical battle and action-packed combat.
gameplay- Meld your Viron troops to create
stronger units with new abilities.
Graphics – Experience outstanding levels of detail. Take a
strategic view of your battlefield or zoom in to see the battle-scared
faces of your infantry.
Cooperative Multiplay – up to 3 players
Multiplay - Unique drop-in multiplayer modes allowing anyone to join an
on-going game at any time.
Immersive Sci-Fi Plot - Immersive storyline written in collaboration with sci-fi author Joe Dever.
The Massgate™ online community system gives immediate access to online matchmaking, hi-score ladders, tournaments, chat rooms and much more. Join thousands of players online.
camera is described as “intuitive” but I didn’t find this the
case. This is an aspect
that really has to be learned – you won’t instinctively know
what you’re doing. The
in-game graphics are very good and the cutscenes are polished to
highlight the story aspects and gnarly explosions. Buildings also
play a major tactical role and the graphic engine makes it easy to sort
out which buildings contain enemy units and which buildings can be taken
story is an interesting setup and I played just enough to become
interested in how it all ends for the three factions.
There is no doubt that it will drive the action. (And hopefully
all the pathfinding bugs will be squashed before GCII ships so the
action isn't more about finding your wayward units.)
like where Ground Control II is headed, but I’ll have to reserve
judgment until it ships at the end of June 2004.
(June 3, 2004)