By Ala 'Soultrape'
Incoming Forces is the sequel to the award winning multi-million unit selling action/strategy game Incoming (you didn't see that one coming did ya?). The game takes place 20 years after of the original Incoming. Earth has discovered long-distance space travel and is out to neutralize hostile beings, concentrating on four alien worlds, the humans being their mass offensive for galactic domination. Your job is to defend those planets.
The first thing you will notice about Incoming Forces is the astounding visuals, although I don't own a Geforce3 (but a mere Voodoo5), the game looked amazingly delish. High quality models of both buildings and units (both air and ground units) make the sensation a whole lot more, on top of that add the Topnotch particles system which proves to be a core element of the games' visuals.
At first glance you will notice huge explosions, aircraft burners tails, ground units' projectiles, energy shield-like surrounding your main compound and a whole lot more lighting effects, not only that but add to the list the amazing skies with sky lights breaking through the clouds, not to mention the "sun" planet heating up the battle field.
The in-game graphics prove to be splendid as much as breathtaking, that's why I assume Rage decided to use the in-game engine to create the level (and intro) cut scenes, the hollywoodishly set camera's and fake alien voices (with subtitles for us humans to understand surely) are more than enjoyable to say the least, they give the game a movie-like feeling and a whole lot more buzz.
Incoming Forces follows its predecessor in the way gameplay is taken (ditching the strategy part though), it mostly occurs from the First Person point of view and although the missions differ from a range of lucrative naming (such as Escort missions, defending missions, air strikes or ground strikes) it falls short when it comes to not being repetitive, the missions usually require you to escort transports and vu-wa-la, the humans attack, defend your base, bada-bam the humans attack, demolish the enemy base, hey! It’s the humans again, and it’s pretty much the quantity and not the quality that matters.
Although the game lacks the versatility within gameplay, it tries to cover for it in verticality of units: During missions you will both use air and ground units, which are totally different (even control wise), though it does not kill the repetitiveness completely, it does give it a good feeling of change.
AI speaking, it is rather difficult to avoid enemy fire, but at times (and specially for air units) you just feel that they are sitting ducks, you easily dogfight your way out, Pick'n'Shoot, ground units are tougher to control (reminds me the heavier BattleZone tanks) but gradually seizable, flying the air unit is on the other hand, an utter breeze.
This is where the fun ends, although the sound effects such as the rocket launching, aircraft movement and engines, tank movement sounds and all the components the even shiver in the game are more than fantastic, the game lacks some decent music, in-game music is nowhere to be found and considering it is action based, some dramatic 'Hey's on my Tail' music would have been more than needed.
If you liked the original, you'll love this one (Pure action 'n' shoot'em'up), no longer will the storyline bother you to flyby and blow away evil humans, it is pure killing, visually astounding, shoot'em'up game.
PS: I noticed a building that resembled the Alien-based transport unit shown in the movie 'Contact', while extremely visually appealing, I wonder why...
Graphics: [8/10] Absolutely stunning visuals, even if you don't own the best high-end card.
Audio: [5/10] While the sound effects are superb, the game does lack decent music though.
Gameplay [6/10] Wonderful gameplay thought does get rather repetitive.