Ground Control
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 0
Date N/A
Publisher Sierra
Date 2003-03-28
Publisher N/A
North America Retail Box ArtGround Control ignites the stagnant real-time strategy genre with magnificent 3-D visuals, dazzling special effects, and enthralling gameplay. The game eschews typical real-time strategy conventions by forgoing resource collection completely. Instead, you're provided with a handful of troops--which you can custom-select before each single-player mission or multiplayer game--and dropped on maps filled with rolling terrain and tight chokepoints. Strategic unit placement takes priority over the size of an attacking force. Placing units on elevations improves accuracy; concealing units in shadows make them harder to hit; and flanking heavily armored units is vital, since armor is usually weaker in the rear than in the front. Dozens of units are available, including different models of armored personnel carriers, infantry, tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Most feature special weapons, such as mortars or grenade launchers, designed to take out specific units or structures. Despite the impressive visual and sound effects, Ground Control's arsenal of units tends to blend together, lacking distinction and personality. This is a minor gripe, though, against a game with such impressive visuals and gameplay. Ground Control's intuitive control system complements its flashy 3-D engine. Players can rotate and tilt the camera at any angle, from a bird's-eye viewpoint far above the action to a trooper's-eye view in the middle of a firefight. Important battle commands, such as unit formations and aggression levels, are seamlessly presented onscreen and are easily available for use. Robust multiplayer features enable players to test their tactics over the Internet or local area network against human opponents. Gamers can participate in deathmatch, free-for-all, and team play as well as unique games such as flagzones (gain control of particular territories) and--a first for the strategy genre--"drop-in" games where players can enter and leave active games at any time. Massive Entertainment has created an impressive package. Ground Control's excellent single-player missions, accessible multiplayer modes, and topnotch gameplay make it one of the best strategy games of the year. --Doug Radcliffe Pros: Engaging spin on the real-time strategy genre Breathtaking 3-D accelerated visuals; both terrain and units are crisp and detailed Intuitive camera system and control interface Eschews resource gathering, a staple of real-time strategy, and emphasizes action and tactics Excellent multiplayer support Cons: The heavily mechanized units lack personality
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