Demo Day

Posted by WhenYourGodGivesYouLemons On 12:57 PM

Now most people may think, after reading this article, that it is a little behind the eight ball. The two demos which I've recently downloaded and played are World In Conflict and Empire: Total War released in 2007 and early 2009 respectively. As you can see I'm not exactly Johnny on the spot when it comes to playing and commenting about these games but I have a good excuse, my computer was absolute rubbish up until Friday. That's when I got my new 3 GHZ Quad Core PC I like to call The Beast, it's not the best thing going round by far but it's the best thing a 19 year old uni student on a ridiculously low income could afford. Now I'm able to rekindle my love affair with the PC and play some of the best strategy games going round, mainly World in Conflict and Empire: Total War. Unfortunately The Beast has kind of left me high and dry on the money front so demos are a poor guys best friend.

The first demo I got was Empire: Total War. I love this series, I remember playing Shogun Total War and loving it and since then I've played most of the other titles. The thing I love most about this one is the inclusion of actual Naval battles. Whenever I'd have a fleet in Rome or Medieval they'd always get slaughtered by any rival fleet, no matter how big my one was. I always thought I could do better myself and now I can. Admittedly it's hard to get the hang of, you have to factor in wind and the direction of your boat and managing multiple ships in a large scale battle is very hard. Most of the time I can only concentrate on 2 or 3 ships at once leaving half of my fleet exposed to countless broadsides. I also haven't really made use of the other shot types yet, there's the standard round shot for blasting hulls then there's the chain shot for ripping down masts and disabling ships and finally the grape shot for taking out enemy crew up close and personal. I also haven't been able to board a ship yet, outside of the tutorial but I have watched a clip of it and it seems fun. Did I mention the naval battles look amazing, never since Far Cry have I commented on how good water looks so much. The land battles also took a bit of getting used to, I mean we are in the age of gunpowder now. Artillery has an impressive rang, I was getting my units ready to attack thinking I was well out of range and all of a sudden I was being pelted with cannons. Cavalry is still good for flanking and routing enemy infantry, I love Dragoons they always remind of the Patriot. Also by more mistake than plan I found out you have much more flexibility over the formation of your men, this was good when I made them march in 2 lines behind each other but a complete fail when I didn't realise they wouldn't go back to the standard line formation when attacked by the enemy. They pretty much got slaughtered which meant I could watch the cool new death animation put in by Creative Assembly. After my brief yet cool experience with Empire: Total War I am definetly going to buy it...when I get the money.

World In Conflict is a game that blew everyone, including myself, away back in 2007 with it's amazing graphics and explosion effects. For fear of actually making my computer explode I never bothered trying the game until now. Let me tell you I'm glad I waited because now on my new PC it looks amazing. The demo lets you try the first campaign mission and the tutorial. I started with the tutorial so I could maximise my experience with the game...ok I downloaded the whole thing might as well try the whole thing. I'm really glad I did because World In Conflict is different to most strategy games I've played. It reminds me of a game called Ground Control where you don't build a base and churn out infantry, instead you capture control points and use reinforcement points to fly in new units. My favourite part of the whole demo was the tutorial that showed you how to use Tactical Aids. These are things like artillery strikes, airstrikes and napalm which become available to you as you progress. The explosions and effects assoicated with these aids are amazing. The smoke plumes up into the air, shrapnel and debris fly across the screen and all that is left is scorched earth. I spent half an hour in the tutorial just calling in different airstrikes and artillery so I could watch the explosions. The campaign level itself was good, it was very long with differing objectives and had a real good story telling element as it interwined voiceovers and cutscenes during the mission. Also levelling buildings with the daisy cutter bomb and the USS Missouri's cannons was so fun. World In Conflict impressed me and my dad so much that a copy is on it's way to my house as we speak.

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