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Reviewed: Force 21
Publisher/Developer: Redstorm Entertainment
Genre Type: Real Time Strategy
Price: $44.95
Required System: P200 (w/3D Accel) - P233 (w/MMX), 32mb Ram, 150mb HD, Win95+
Reviewer's System: PII300, 64mb Ram, TNT, Win98
Related Games: Mech Commander
Overall Rating:
Author: Chris Kim       Date: August 18th 1999
Page: 3

Multiplayer is a ton of fun; however, since the game is still very new, not many people have gotten it yet, hence it was difficult to find a running game. The game is playable through both the Zone and MPlayer, those with decent internet connections should have no problem playing. There are three different type of gameplay styles: Escape, Defend or Destroy, and Destroy the Flag. Each of them are very different and unique in the way they play, but are all tons of fun. Each map is custom made for the gameplay style, but the downside is that there are only 10 multiplayer maps, this should not pose a problem; however, a map editor is included in the game which is quite powerful and new maps can be made using this utility. So map makers, get on your horses and start making those maps.

Protect the Shuttle
Smokin' Away
Anyone for Burnt Tank?

Interface and control are brilliant in the game. Learning the game is easy, simple, and a cinch to jump right into. There are a ton of tactical options which can be used to customize how the war is fought. There are barricades, camouflage, air strikes, altitude adjustment, and take over bridges to name a few of the tactics that are faced to the player. There are also the simple commands such as patrol, stop, move, and rally points which are pretty self explanatory. The path finding of the units was excellent, instead of units always bouncing around and hitting other obstacles like rock formations that most players are accustomed to in other RTS games, Force 21 is smart enough for the characters to actually not bump and run each other off the map. Units will slow down to keep up the same pace with other units, platoons will stop to aid a slow or behind tank to catch up. Little things like this really make the controls a lot easier. The control is quite simple with only the mouse as the main controller, clicks here and there with both the left and right mouse buttons is all that is required to play the game. There are keyboard hotkeys which can be used, but most often they will not be need to be used.

That Was a Close Call
Launch It!
Moving, Moving, Boom, Moving...

Pleasing graphics are given in the game, although the color shows the bland and colorless environments along with units, the graphics are a very close resemblance of real war terrain and (assuming Kazakhstan is dry and desert like) accurate portrayal of the battlegrounds. The terrain is nicely detailed with little accessories such as roads, rocks, and other non important things. The non animated artifacts such as the shuttle in the above screenshot is very nicely rendered with several different layers of textures aligned together. The explosions and streaks of fire look very nice. The flamed rings formed when hard rockets are launched are great, and the combination of bullets and heavy artillery shots from the tanks have a nice "pop" to them. The units themselves are very well rendered and modeled, each of the units have a very authentic and realistic look to them. The heads of the tanks (whatever they are called) where the cannon is attached to is nicely animated as it spins and when a round is shot has nice feedback like a pop. The damage models on the units are also quite realistic and look excellent. The burn marks and indentations on the tanks and trucks look awesome.

Missile Streak
No Sweat

Musical compositions in the game sound excellent; however, they are only offered in the interface and menu screens. No music in game, but this is to attain the most realistic battle experience, to make the player feel truly immersed in the universe of Force 21. The music that is in the game sound like master pieces of orchestrated music. The upbeat and strong emphasis is heart pounding. The sound effects are pretty good, they are high quality and give a good feeling of what it would be like in the heat of combat.

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Added:  Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Score:
Page: 3/4

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