The demo I downloaded from FilePlanet.com of Universe at War: Earth Assault featured the first two missions in the Hierarchy campaign. The first was a tutorial-style mission, with the basic troops. The second, however, was more ‘freestyle’, but with limited access the more advanced troop types.
At a first glance, UAW:EA seems like your run-of-the-mill RTS, but looking a little closer, you see a nice little feature known as the ‘BattleCam’. Upon pressing the backspace key, the birds-eye view of the battle suddenly becomes a dynamic action camera, moving around at ground level among your troops and battles. This gives the game’s graphics a chance to shine, and the stylish sci-fi look of the armies gives an excellent impression to the player. A noticeable example is the design of ‘Orlok’s’ legs. With a black scaly exterior, the ‘knee’ is replaced by a shining silver girder, connecting the thigh and the shin, which, by the way, are designed in such a manner they seem to be able to fit together, creating a more sturdy but shorter Orlok. The idea of collecting resources for this particular race is rather than sending out miners, there are the similar Reaper drones, which roam the battlefield absorbing everything they can find, including animals, people and their houses and cars. The walkers, being huge metal monstrosities, are the most epic things in the game. With specific animations for different slope gradients, there is no more of the sticking feet through walls or on invisible platforms, as, even when half on the ground and half on a raised mesa, the walker stands at an angle so two legs are raised, and the other two are down, and a crawling motion seen best through BattleCam as they crawl up mountains. Nothing stands in the way of these titanic things. This game is better than most science fiction movies.
It features three races. The ancient Masari, the hive like Hierarchy and the technological Nexus. The Masari, according to the game’s storyline were the first inhabitants of Earth. They gave the Hierarchy their weapons and technology, before falling into a deep hibernation under the Earth’s crust, which is where the pyramids came from.
Each unit features skills and different modes, such as Orlok’s assault and siege modes. Assault mode is his default battle form, utilising a shoulder-mounted ray gun and an arm cannon. In siege mode, he becomes slower, and his shoulder ray gun inactive, replaced by a huge cannon used to fire at distant targets.
This is one game to be first on the Christmas lists. Excellent graphics, wide range of troops and unique features are just the icing on this huge, digital cake. Just the demo I have was enough for hours of entertainment, so the full game will have you absorbed for days.
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