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Head 2 Head Review: Earth 2150

The Match-Up:
Name: Michelle M. (a.k.a. Mish) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Favorite Games: TA: Kingdoms, Baldur's Gate, The Sims

Mish

Gambit

Name: Remi LeBeau (a.k.a. Gambit) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: Action/FPS, RTS, RPG, Sims, Puzzles and anything else unique

Favorite Games:Quake 2, Quake 3, Armada, Red Alert and Starlancer

Mish: Today we are reviewing Earth 2150 by Topware Interactive. Definitely a far leap and bound from Command and Conquer and Red Alert.

Gambit: Uhh, red what? oh yeah! that OLD pixelated game you're talking about right?

Mish: Oh yeah! The graphics are wicked!! Details that would make any designer proud. Texturing is amazing...smooth where smooth, rocky where rocky

Gambit: That's just to begin with. I mean graphics in this game play such a small role. The game has so much depth to it, it's unbelievable.

Mish: The basic game is a generic RTS at its core, but the graphics, the environmental elements and the subterranean warfare make it more than just generic.

Gambit: Well, if you want to look at it that bluntly, then yes. But every RTS, Action, or any other category is the same as the basic level of its genre. However, Earth 2150 has so much IN the game that it surpasses every RTS ever made. If you're talking in "general" terms, then this RTS is the BEST ever.

Mish: I think that this is a great game and that it definitely deserves recognition for its greatness but i would not call it the "best ever". For example, it is somewhat original in its storyline. Based in the year 2150, the earth is one ball of waste and three dynasties inhabit it: United Civilized States, Eurasian Dynasty, and the Lunar Corporation. Funny enough, they are all trying to get off the planet. But, these 3 groups all seem like they stemmed from some 'cold war brainstorming session' that took place in a coffee shop between a couple of the game developers. Not impressed there.

Gambit: Well, what would you say is the best then? Because I certainly haven't seen anything this good before.

Mish: The best game to ever suit my taste and style of gameplay is Age of Empires: Age of Kings. The struggle to get off of the earth is fruitless when the AI is hiked up so high that you can barely start the game before an infinite number of enemy tanks march into your base and wipe you out.

Gambit: Well, that's arguable, because I can't stand RTS games that are easy to beat or that cheat (ie. Red Alert). I like the game hard, and I want a smart AI that can find my faults, unlike Red Alert or other RTSs that cheat by being able to build anywhere at high speeds while you have to build your buildings adjacent to each other. Earth 2150 eliminates those little quirks, which is why it makes the game so great.

Mish: Well to each their own opinion...i think that the camera control is really nice. I love being able to zoom in and out so that i can view my base as a whole or as individual parts. The rotation is pointless for me because in this particular game i feel i only need to view it from one angle. But think that the option for every one else is great. The three window maneuver is also a great added feature.

Gambit: True. I think the 3 windows are a great option but again, it's very hard to get used to it. Zooming wise, I think it's beautiful, and personally I like to keep it in one view. But in terms of rotation, there are certain times you just HAVE to rotate it in order to see stuff like vehicles hiding behind buildings. Also, I love the fact that you have the option to remove or add any window (ie. construction window, etc.) from the screen.

Mish: Yes, the removable windows are cool but i prefer to keep them on...i prefer everything at my fingertips (like my apartment:)). I can do nothing but praise the elemental aspect of the game. It is trippy to come back to my base after venturing into unknown territory and find all my vehicles covered in snow or that their lights have come on because the day has ended and night has begun. The environmental fog (not fog of war) freaks me out because i loose sight of my buildings and vehicles just when moving a small distance away from my base. That's just trippy and scary at the same time-kinda like bungee jumping.

Gambit: hahahahhaha ok, if you want to put it that way. But yes, I agree that the game is very detailed and environment specific. As you said, you can turn the lights on or off or have them switch on or off automatically when day changes to night. Also, I love the fact that you can be stealthy by turning off your lights at night to launch sneak attacks on the enemy.

Mish: Yes i agree...i have had that happen to me. The option to go underground is certainly groundbreaking (no pun intended). It adds to the personal stress and enjoyment of trying to maintain the organization of two levels. It totally adds to the complexity of the game...reminds me of Armada's wormholes except that wormholes weren't constructable in the game-only in the Armada game editor.

Gambit: Yes, it is a completely new thing for me to be able to manage both levels of ground. And that's just the beginning. The option to completely optimize your structures' and tanks' weaponry is incredible as well. Another added realism is the resupplying of troops' bullets as they run out which I think is a good idea. Definitely adds a more strategic element to the game.

Mish: Once again, i have to say that i am not a fan of single player missions. I think that the multiplayer is great. i prefer to play with another computer opponent in a skirmish or another human player. The single player missions are extensive and look like they would be great. But being the skirmish freak that i am, i must confess that i did not play much of the single player...so maybe you should tell me how you found it.

Gambit: I am generally the same way. However, with Earth 2150, it's different for me. I actually enjoy playing single player. It's soooooo much fun because as the levels progress you obtain new things to research and build (as with most RTSs), and that's much more exciting than finding everything out off the bat. That can sort of kill the game. And the missions are very interesting as well because you have in-game videos with updates of your new researches, and you get to go through campaigns which have missions as well.

Mish: Sounds great...but i am all 'opinioned' out. Anything you feel that you need to add?

Gambit: Well, let me say this : This game is definitely the best RTS I have played so far and definitely has a potential to be the BEST RTS of the year. But with that in mind, there are a couple of things that are "missing" so to speak. One is that you can't build troops, (like riflemen, or spys, etc), only vehicles and robots. This isn't necessarily bad, but it would be interesting to see how it would work in this game. The other thing is the game is really strict on hardware. I have an Athlon 750 with a RivaTNT and 128 RAM and it still croaks on my machine once the action get hot. Other than that, I think this game is just right. Plot is definitely there, explosions are just too incredible, the ability to add more than one weapon on each unit in beautiful. For example, I can make a tank that has twin laser cannons and a rocket launcher in the middle with an automatic shield generator. The music is PERFECT for the game regardless of the fact that it's only about 3 tracks, and the graphics really kicks ass!

Mish: Well... i think that it is great with its details and graphics and researches etc. You practically said it all. But to me, this game is what Tiberian Sun should be have been. However, in the realm of 3D RTSs, this game doesn't grab me as much as some other 3D RTS titles have. The very fact that it reminds me of a 2D RTS says it all. But, as for final words: if the AI was not so damn good and i could get rid of the damn fog of war, i would be much happier. Still a good game though-that i can't deny.

 

Mish's Mark
Mish's Final Words
Gambit's Final Words
Gambit's Mark
80%
great game, but doesn't appeal as much as some other 3D RTS titles
the best RTS I have played so far and has potential to be the BEST RTS of the year
97%

The Earth As We Know It-in the future:

BOOM. This is the world in the future according to Earth 2150. Nuclear-like explosions that are commonly found with the decimation of Eurasian power plants. Sound like a nice future? Hmm...

 

Scouring the wintery forest for enemies, these units reinforce that the lighting in this game is very sweet. You can expect to be dazzled at various points in the game with the lighting effects Earth 2150 has to offer. Most of terrains in the game look the same though.

 

Whoops! Ever wish you could self-destruct each one of your buildings, one at a time? If so, Earth 2150 should be perfect for you. And if you didn't get enough of your 'explosions' fix after seeing the first screenshot, hopefully this will tide you over.