Ring of Red
Genre Strategy -> Strategy
Today's Rank 0
Homepage N/A
Date N/A
Publisher Konami
Date 2002-10-11
Publisher Konami
United Kingdom Retail Box ArtConsoles are not renowned for their strategy titles, so our initial approach to Ring of Red was a little less than enthusiastic. However, after just a couple of hours with its intricate plot and hardcore action we were totally converted. The RoR universe involves a fundamental shift in the history of the 20th century, featuring a continuation of World War II to involve a division of Japan into two parts, a measure of Russian interference and a fight for freedom--all pretty much run-of-the-mill stuff. Central to the game are a number of military missions conducted on 2D and 3D battlemaps, which allow the player to plan armed assaults on the opposition and then take to the field in a first-person perspective and take the helm of some mighty AFW battle vehicles (think big shiny robots here). The planning portion of these missions takes part on the overhead 2D maps and requires some serious thought to be effective. This is very much a cerebral game and a slip on the overhead plan can easily spell disaster for the troops on the ground. From here, enemy can be captured, new vehicles obtained and strategies planned--it's all good stuff. Once combat commences it's into real-time mode and impressive-looking 3D visuals as the player stomps around the battlefield in pseudo-MechWarrior style, employing all manner of weaponry and special abilities to pound the opposition into small metal fragments. This is amazingly good fun and requires at least one extra set of eyes to monitor internal AFW controls, the position of the enemy and the accuracy of the shots fired--but the beauty of it is there are very few keypresses needed to do it all. Graphically, Ring of Red is gorgeous; the 2D battlemaps move and shimmer as units are selected and the interface is simple to use. It's in the first-person battle segments that things really spring to life. Konami have done a superb job of conveying a feeling of size and raw power as the mighty mechs stomp around blowing chunks from each other. Sound is sadly lacking, though, which is a shame; there's a great storyline wrapped up in the game engine that could have been really rich if the inter-character speech had been voiced instead of presented as onscreen text. It's only a small point, but it niggles when conversations involving just a few words from each of the participants take minutes to complete rather than seconds. This small grumble aside, Ring of Red is a killer strategy title for the PS2, working on many levels to create an effective gaming experience. --Chris Russell
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