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TVG checks out JoWood's title; promising a healthy dose of strategy and action for PC and console gamers alike...
Future Tactics is a strange beast of a game and the fact that it is coming out on a number of formats makes it even more unusual especially as it is coming from Jo Wood, which is better known for being purveyors of PC strategy titles.
Coded by Zed Two, now merged with Warthog, who released a couple of really interesting puzzle teaser games before their demise, gives some extra substance to this title.
If you had to pick a game that moves along the PC ethos, whilst giving console fans a nice dose of action and strategy, then Future Tactics could not be a better example.
Future Tactics: The Uprising, the genre extender, offers both turn-based strategy, action-oriented gameplay, along with RPG-style character advancement, which is a bit of a mouthful. There is also a host of gameplay modes and features, which include two, play team play, etc.
Although the backdrop story to the game is pretty irrelevant, the stylised onscreen setting and characters give the game a very unique feel and ambience. Strangely the game looks like an Amiga title, which some might say is not a bad thing but the onus is totally on gameplay and building on a very simple premise.
Basically the game is set in the future on Earth and giant green creatures and aliens are trying to take over. How they got here no one knows but they do possess some remarkable powers and are now wagging war. The appealing idea is that you control Father and son, Low, who must destroy these creatures before they wipe you out -which is not a straightforward and simple task. They are mean, smart and well equipped but so are you!
Here we have a straightforward idea and easy to understand interface and icons that you wonder if it can work. The real corker and central focus for the player is getting the winning tactics right and here you will be tested to the full! The bottom line is that they, the green baddies, can move around a large deformable area, and they are armed and dangerous, but once again then so can you. When you have your turn you search for the enemy and give them all youâ??ve got and every time they get shot your experience bar will grow and increase your character resulting in you being stronger but the same applies to the enemy. It all sound so bland but its appears to work well.
Like all good games you have to flesh out the simple idea but you worry that extending things could weaken and make matters worse. Being turned based means there is time to recover and with a number of weapons comes a catalogue of devious ideas attached. One step forward, two steps backâ?¦â?¦â?¦â?¦..
Zap an enemy and they lose power, zap them a few times and they are a gonna. Well not quite. You must consider the landscape. You can blow it up and huge rocks are propelled into the air. Play the game right and the enemy can be hit â?“ wallop with a large boulder causing damage and injury. Get boshed a few times and with energy low you will need to rest, heal and recharge yourself for future battle and this is where the turned base aspect of the game kicks in. Yes, for every positive there is a negative which means you must be devious and cause as much mayhem on your turn as possible. Now if you go for the jugular and get the target on every turn the game will not last long, so here enters some excellent AI which means the clever enemy isnâ??t stupid, so there is no easy meat to cook and sizzle in a few goes.
There will be loads of weapons to find and use but early on it is more about moving around and finding the best spots to attack. The tools of your destruction include a sort of radar viewfinder where you can look around the landscape and zoom in and pin point exactly where you want to shoot. You can also hot foot around. Finding some goodies like a double power shot for double the damage isnâ??t a bad find early on and making full use of your special abilities, like being able to shoot twice in one turn, will give you a good advantage!
The mechanics of the game are as simple as the game idea and exciting actions become almost second nature. Use the right tool, find the right spot and go for it. Simple as that.
There were some debilitating factors, like having to learn the key presses and not having any mouse option. (We hope these are rectified for the final review.)
Each level, we are informed, will offer a detailed landscape and surprises galore. The really cool thing within Future Tactics is the locations which are an integral part of gameplay so ensuring you use your weapons and â??nouseâ?? is essential.
Although the gameplay and actions might not conjure up the kind of excitement that gamers are yearning to read about, let alone play, we can possibly say this is due to the fact that mere text cannot convey the kind of enthralling imagery and interaction that Future Tactics offers. It is a bit like trying to explain and expand on a game like Worms or Lemmings, seeing is part of the experience. It is the compelling and compulsive nature of the game that wins out and we canâ??t wait to get our hands on a review sample to play the game in its entirety to make up our final and long term thoughts on the game.