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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Element of War PC Review

Mother Nature is a Bitch.

The PC isn't no stranger to RTS titles, in fact that's where RTS games shine the most for it's controller of Mouse and Keyboard. Not all RTS are winners but some are entertaining and can keep you glued to your seat for a few hours at a time or until you complete the game. Here comes Elements of War an RTS based in the near future where Man entered ground he was never suppose to enter by controlling the weather. The idea is a good one and I do wish everything else was well executed but sadly it's not.
At the start of the game you are shown the events of what's going on around the world, from Tornadoes to Tsunamis all hell has broken loose. When I saw the FMA I couldn't tell if I was suppose to take the events serious because it was really comical the way people were moving and acting. In one scene you see a man walking up like whatever sees a TV and then steals it.

You are then taken to one of the most painful scenes in the game. The Tutorials. During the tutorials you will learn everything there is to know about the game mechanisms but the problem is that the tutorials cannot be skipped and when they are explained the guy just takes his sweat time to explain it. You cannot move the mouse cursor or make selections until he finishes his explanation. The tutorials are somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes long but trust me those are the longest minutes of your life.
When you get down to it Elements of War is a military RTS where they're job is to keep order while everything blows over. You get futuristic military technology including vehicles, weapons, tanks and marines. Your job as the commanding officer is to come up with a strategy to counter attack the rebels trying to steal supplies or trying to take over the land or at least that's what it seems they're doing because the explanation of the events are sometimes vague.

Throughout the campaign you will take different roles from different nations. You will play the European Forces, US Army or Russian forces. Besides armory and weaponry nothing really changes although it is a fresh of breath air to play as different troops.

Elements of War takes place in big landmarks and I'm not talking about New York or LA but in big empty massive landmarks with a city or 2. As you travel you will only get 3 vehicles to keep things simple. Those vehicles can hold many troops and you can embark or disembark them at any time. The only problem is finding your troops after a mission has finished if there are other military forces in the area.
The developers had a great idea when developing Elements of War but sadly it feels a bit out dated when it comes to graphics. At times it feels like playing a game from 2001, 2002 with its choppy animation and bad textures. The characters voices are also not synced with the animation as sometimes they will speak but their lips wont move until a second later. This game can probably be played on your grandmothers computer as it doesn't really take much memory to run it. Heck I think it can even run on a Pentium 3 processor. The minimum system requirements are as follows:
  • Requires: Windows XP (32-bit), Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0
  • 1GHz Processor
  • 50 MB Available System Memory
  • 100 MB Available Hard Drive Space
Anything above that is practically over kill and will probably run your games in high settings.
Thankfully the controls are just like any other RTS game. You move around with the keyboard and select your actions with the mouse. Selecting soldiers can be a pain at times however if they are close to something that can also be selected. Another problem is that you are also in charge of babysitting your entire platoon as they will just stand and get shot at when they exit a vehicle in an area with heavy resistance. This is a big problem when there are a lot of enemies in the area and you have to keep a look out for your vehicles as well as all your men.

Elements of War has a very long campaign but it's replay value falls short. There is suppose to be online play but I cannot find that option anywhere in the game. Yes that's a great idea make it impossible for users to find the online play button. But is there really online play or maybe the developers decided not to use it in the final product. I don't really know but if I read that there is suppose to be online play then I am going to be looking for online play but it's no where to be found. I decided to give up as I will probably grow old looking for it.
Verdict: Wait for a Price Drop.

Elements of War is not a bad game per say, but if you enjoy Armageddon type RTS games then it's definitely worth checking out. At this time it retails for $29.99 but for a game with outdated graphics and possibly no online gameplay which I cannot confirm or deny that it's in there because I can't finding and don't know whether or not it's suppose to be there or isn't, is just too expensive when you can probably get a good RTS game with great graphics for that price. Wow that was a long sentence. Elements of War does have a decent story line but so much was promised yet so little was delivered.

GamePlay: Classic RTS game but it can fall short on some events and even fall flat. 5/10

Graphics: Awesome Graphics. If you live in the year 2000 and have a bare minimum computer. 3.5/10

Sound: The soundtrack is awesome and the voice over is decent. 7.5/10

Story: Great story of Man messing with nature and everything goes down the toilet and at times it can be comical. Probably the few promises that the developers delivered with the whole game. 8/10

LifeSpan: Very long campaign if you can make it pass the game's shortfalls and online gameplay is no where to be found or if it was even implemented. My head hurts. 6/10

Total Score: 60/100





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