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    Earth 2150


    Click image to enlargeUntil recently RTS games featured you as a god floating above in the sky, gazing down on your hundreds of units, micromanaging each one and launching huge attacks. Games such as Ground Control, WarCraft 3, and Earth 2150 have set out to forever change that.

    TopWare Interactive's Earth 2150 is not planned to "change the way you look at RTS, but the way you play them," as stated on their official Earth 2150 website. But it is in fact kind of hard not to change the way you look at them, due to the game's 3D-engine, which I experienced through playing the demo. It is a major improvement from the real-time strategies, but not what I expected. I was hoping to go into the game and be able to get right down next to the units, similar to Massive Entertainment's Ground Control (another RTS expanding the 3D revolution for the genre). You can indeed get more even with the horizon than in a traditional RTS where you are a god floating in the sky, but not much. However, a feature I did like is the ability to rotate the camera view 360 degrees. This is definitely a step up from the previous products.

    Click image to enlargeOne of the better features in this game is the day and night cycle. On the top left corner is a clock, and as it progresses into dusk and night, you will know it. At which time, the buildings and units have lights, which turn on and illuminate the surrounding areas (very cool effect). Various weather effects may also come about at any time, all of them spectacular looking. Earth 2150 is a very beautifully rendered game, with superb graphics heavily accented by the 3D engine. But eyecandy isn't the only thing in this high-tech RTS...

    You'll be doing fast and furious combat in a variety of vehicles including (but not limited to) planes, tanks, robots, ships, submarines, and helicopters. All of which have very nicely done textures and sounds. While on the subject of sound, the music and FX in this game demo are quite good. The music was a nice steady beat to keep you going, and when you engaged in battle, a fast-tempo song blares as your units combat each other in spectacular firefights, containing only the highest level (to an extent) of realism. As you can see in one of the screenshots, although I took it at a bad time (much more action about three seconds after I took that), you can tell I was getting my ass kicked. The AI in Earth 2150 isn't fool's play, they will flank you and get on you as fast as you can snap. Though my attempts of revenge were futile, it was still very fun to build up Pamir tanks and at least damage (including setting on fire) the enemy mechs.

    Click image to enlargeThe units you have depend on which of the three races you are, The United Civilized States, the Lunar Corporation, or the Eurasian Dynasty. The term race is misapplied, however, as each of the factions are human. The Eurasian Dynasty is a group of humans from the Easter side of the globe, i.e. Europe and Asia. The Lunar Corporation, a group not unlike NASA, is responsible for construction of an orbiting city and two (2) lunar bases. And lastly, the UCC is a possibility of the future United States. All citizens are lazy and pursue only that which is a pleasure to them. Therefore wars are entirely carried out by robotic mechs, while the citizens stay at home, not caring about the war much at all, and watch it unfold on TV.

    So why are humans broken off into these separate societies? After the Lunar Corp. constructed the orbiting city, many left the troublesome planet to live there. The LC then constructed a lunar base, where more humans flocked to the security of. After which, a "Great War" broke out, and total anarchy and chaos erupted upon the blue giant. After the end of this war, 12 of the previous United States formed the UCS, and the Eurasian nations formed the ED. As both factions grew mightier in power, controlling the resources in their territory, one got jealous of the other and an unavoidable war erupted, yet again. This war altered Earth's orbit, changing a few environmental situations at first. Then scientists realized that Earth's distance to the sun would decrease 17%, and slowly be pulled into the yellow being which had supported life for so long. Rather than join forces and evacuate the masses of people left, a third war broke out for that which remained. The LC then decided to scavenge for materials, which t herefore forced them into the war in order to do so. This brings us to the year 2150, the Earth is doomed, and three forces rage in battle...

    Click image to enlargeAs with any RTS, Earth 2150 has a great storyline that will be progressive as you complete missions in each of the three campaigns. You must manage resources, also typical of an RTS, and build up a force of units from scratch in order to succeed. But that which is not making Earth 2150 a typical RTS is what makes this a game to look for. When, you ask? Rush to those game stores and check into this title in the spring of this year!
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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

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