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  • unmanneddrone 7:18 am on July 14, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , RTS, , SunAge, Vertex4   

    SunAge (PC) – Review 

    It took ten years of development for an indie studio to create a classical RTS. Are the fruits worth picking?

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  • unmanneddrone 5:46 am on July 5, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: Dark Colony, , RTS,   

    Get Your Mouse To Mars – A Dark Colony Retrospective 

    From the RTS Golden Age, a forgotten title left an unsung legacy.

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    • bowlisimo 8:17 pm on July 5, 2012 Permalink

      Interesting, never heard of it. Looking at the screenshot up there, it looks like it clearly falls on the C&C RTS tech path of using a giant sidebar to build units, which was pretty handy back in the day.

      Was it Starcraft that overshadowed this game? Or was it Total Annihilation? Or was it that RTS games were a dime a dozen in the mid-late 90’s, and this one just didn’t differentiate itself enough from the pack to be remembered? The first Age of Empires came out the same year, was very different and is still remembered today despite Starcraft’s long, dark umbra.

      Either way, I’m definitely glad that mirrored faction idea is a thing of the past. Also, I wonder if that day/night cycle was Blizzard’s inspiration for a similar cycle in Warcraft 3.

    • unmanneddrone 10:36 pm on July 5, 2012 Permalink

      An old school RTS appreciation thread sprang up on NeoGAF after someone was trying to remember Warzone 2100…and Dark Colony was mentioned by a fair few folks (undoubtedly genre heavies and obsessed with curios).

      I think it might have been a culmination of all the things you mentioned, the glut especially, but Dark Colony certainly had a lot going for it – symmetry notwithstanding.

      In regards to Age of Empires, thematically it cast its own shadow and enjoyed a position outside of the sphere of its pulpy fantasy/sci-fi contemporaries. Not to mention it had the Microsoft backing…in DC’s case, SSI probably didn’t have the marketing swathe – being a publisher primarily of neckbeard entertainment. Sort of like if Matrix Games wanted to tussle with the big boys.

      The late 90s/early 2000s were my favourite times for the genre. So many interesting and ultimately forgotten titles to sift through. Force 21, The Gladiators, Submarine Titans, Conquest: Frontier Wars, those strange Homeworld B-tiers in Starmaggedon and Offworld Resource Base etc. etc.

      I’ll rustle up another retrospective on a far newer title that I think you’d enjoy, or at least be intrigued to read about.

    • bowlisimo 4:33 am on July 6, 2012 Permalink

      You’re clearly more versed in the genre than I am. Haven’t heard of most of those games. As a teenager without a lot of dough, I pretty much stuck to Blizzard, Westwood, and Ensemble, with a few deviations here and there.

      Yeah, the Age of Empires formula was pretty strong on its own for a while, begat several series like Empire Earth, Rise of Nations, and then went out with a whimper. Its only surviving heir is the facebook game, I guess? Kind of a shame, but Total War satisfies that niche for me now. Tried playing my .01 cent copy of Age 3 last month… yuck.

      On that note, I kind of want to see a graph that shows the entire history, starting from Dune (or whatever), everything that arose from it, and all of the subsequent evolutions that spawned from them up to present day (if they made it). I wonder how that would look. Probably way more complicated than I’m imagining.

    • unmanneddrone 5:31 am on July 6, 2012 Permalink

      Most of my investigations came after the fact, both via bargain-binning and second-hand stores. Dark Colony was a second-hand pick-up of curiosity. Turned out to be a fond favourite.

      I hear Age of Empires 3 is a great multiplayer game, if anything. I didn’t have the massive love affair with the second and, arguably, greatest in Age of Kings, but it certainly has a wide following all these years later. Ever play Galactic Battlegrounds, the Star Wars reskinning? Not bad.

      Would love to see that graph as well, with all the moments of mechanical inception. As far as I know, Eugen Systems’ first ‘big’ title (that’s The Gladiators) was possibly the point of divergence for the Dawn of War squad-based RTT idea. You’ve got other titles prior that feed into the idea, but it’s the closest common ancestor I can find.

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