Universe at War Earth Assault

By on March 19, 2008

The game has a lot going for it, but for now, remains a disappointment.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Developed by Petroglyph studios, makers of Star Wars: Empire at War, comes a new game, Universe at War: Earth Assault. The game starts in the year 2020 where human beings are facing extinction. It is a real time strategy game consisting of three new factions. These are the Hierarchy, Novus and Masari. Each of these factions play differently in terms of resource gathering and structure building, with the Heirarchy being the highlight of the game, in uniqueness, and in sheer fun of stomping out the opposition.

Our planet, Earth is infested by huge walkers, from the Hierarchy faction. They travel across stomping us  poor human beings. The human military try to marshal their insignificant number of existing troops and do their best in trying to eliminate the alien walkers. Unfortunately, their actions could be best compared to a fly trying to kill an elephant by banging it’s head on it–brave, but extremely foolish and inconsequential. These walkers create grunts which harass and kill innocent civilians. With almost all their forces destroyed, the human military make their last stand and are ready to give up and die, when, out of the blue, come more aliens. Luckily for us, these aliens are intent on destroying the Hierarchy, and don’t mind us. They are the Novus. This faction consists of androids who help the human military in preventing the Hierarchy from doing more damage to the human base.

This is the skeletal storyline provided in the game. A standard ho-hum sci-fi story presented in all of its soporific glory.

The game is a real time strategy game consisting of three new factions. These are the Hierarchy, Novus and Masari. Each of these factions play differently in terms of resource gathering and structure building.

The Hierarchy gather resources by sucking in cattle,  and humans, scrap metal, basically anything they can find. This is made possible by their reaper drones. These reaper drones are giant sized walking machines that have the capacity to absorb waste and convert it into fuel for powering their supply centers.

The Novus gather resources in a slightly more distinguished fashion. They have small harvesters that absorb waste from houses and nearby home sheds. It is quite interesting that they can absorb waste from the debris of fallen enemies. For instance, when you destroy some of the enemies that invade your base, your harvesters can gather the debris of these enemies and process it for producing energy. This in turn powers up the base.
The Masari are the remnants of a clan who were once destroyed by the Hiererachy. These people can be thought of as the Cuotl faction in Rise of Legends. Unlike the Hierarchy and the Novus factions, the Masari do not rely on harvesters to feed them energy. They gather resources through light energy.

In this way, Universe at war: Earth Assault tries to diversify it’s gameplay.

The Hierarchy do not focus on building structures. They have reaper drones that summon  Hierarchy walkers. These walkers are giant sized aliens which have two towering arms and a centre phase which emits laser beams. Surely, the presence of the Hierarchy walkers is intimidating to any faction on the battlefield. There are three types of Hierarchy walkers. These are the Habitat Walker, Assembly Walker and Science Walker. Each of these walkers have hardpoints which are customizable joints of the Hierarchy walkers. These can range from extra plating to pods for training infantry. The Habitat Walker is the primary walker of the Hierarchy faction. They are the cheapest but comparatively, the easiest to kill.The Assembly Walker are more powerful than the Habitat Walker in addition to having more hardpoints.The Science Walker emits radiation that destroys anything in it’s path in addition to having numerous customizable hardpoints. Each walker has a it’s own special structure which can be built on one of it’s hardpoints. The concept of the hardpoints and their various customizable options is revolutionary and is a commendable effort.

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The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
7
Diversified factions which would be a lot of fun to play in multiplayer. Very easy AI disappoints.
GRAPHICS
7.6
Well designed graphics especially with the unit animations and structures. However, the graphics are less detailed among the units. Bad camera angle.
SOUND
7.6
Music is done well. Draws you in with it’s heavy beats and techno. Voice acting among the units should be improved. Sound effects nonexistent.
VALUE
6
The campaign is long, but missions are very simple. Also, story of the game is nothing new.
FUN FACTOR
6.6
The game has used old school RTS concepts and offers nothing new to gamers. Lots of untapped potential.
OVERALL
6.9
The game looks good with neat graphics and a solid gameplay. However, a poorly designed AI and a bad camera view are problems which hamper the experience.

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