Score: 5.0 / 10
all been there before… either reading a trade article in a magazine or
in a discussion with some people you hear about a new story for a movie:
“Ok. It’s a buddy flick, except one is a Killer Whale that is
agoraphobic and his partner is an alien life form that only he can talk
to… but he’s a sodium based life-form so contact with water will be
both explosive and deadly!” Sounds interesting right? Until you
discover that it’s a student movie so the special effects are $50 or
cheaper and the Killer Whale is voiced by Fran Drescher…. Eeek!
Anyways, that’s pretty much the feel of Project: Nomads, a great
premise that is downright crippled by gameplay such that it becomes
downright tedious. Instead of a non-linear RPG like Fallout or an
open-ended game like Privateer we end up being led by the nose through
game takes place on a planet called “Aeres” that has been decimated
by a war and now is reduced to floating islands (think Waterworld…
without water). You play as one of three Nomads who are separated from
each other – your goal is to find your friends and help a friendly
force (a ghostly apparition that looks like Gandalf but 100% less
Starting with your own island, you collect additional “magical artifacts” that are actually buildings for your island like turrets, hangers, power station, engine… and so on and so forth. This is where most of your Warcraft and Command & Conquer experience will come to play. A good sense of space and positioning is crucial – you don’t want all important equipment placed together in case of trouble and you have to space turrets for effective coverage. (Did I mention that you can only control one thing at a time? What sort of desynchronized traffic-light designing idiot came up with that?).
real winner is the lack of a damage report for the structures that you
build, the only sign that things aren’t all right is with the amount
of smoke pouring out of the buildings; one minute the building is okay,
the next minute destroyed – kind of annoying.
your island is set up, you can tackle the missions. Well, tackle may be
too strong of a word, trudge may be more correct.
missions pretty much come in 3 flavors: on island go somewhere and
defend it, get in plane and do stuff or, my least favorite, go on foot
and do stuff (includes jumping puzzles and “battle spells” which are
about as fun as they sound). The missions would be promising if they
weren’t so damned scripted. Almost all of the game missions can be
solved by one of two methods: turtling (a term where you maximize
defense and camp out to defeat the enemy) because any sort of aggressive
move will most definitely get you killed or blow up something important
and you’ll have to redo the mission, or smash attack where you use
brute force and frequent save points to finish the mission, not exactly
ground missions are no better, you run around fighting bug-creatures
called “Skrits” who don’t have brains or an AI – because they
are about as tough as flan but you’ll actually spend more time
fighting the controls that you can’t re-map in this game.
isn’t all bad – the graphics are pretty well implemented, all of the
characters and buildings look great and the scenery is top notch. The
different characters even have different looking buildings! Cool. The
multiplayer mode has some real good ideas – build an island then
rumble… unfortunately, the game is only LAN supported, so all of your
rampages are going to have to take place with people you know at work or
in all, Project: Nomads is a game that had potential but failed to reach
(June 22, 2003)
"Here's another idea... HELL NO!"
- Meatwad (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
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