Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stab That Wall, Build More Boats

At some point I'm probably going to cut back on the RTS-based content, but today is not that day.

So I'm rarely especially big on the campaign missions in RTS games, because they're usually kind of... meh. The Total Annihilation missions are kind of an interesting alternative to try out that adds a little variety to what is often just the same thing over and over, but other favorite RTS games (I'm looking at you, Seven Kingdoms II) have completely and utterly uninteresting ones*.

So the campaign in Total Annihilation: Kingdoms is pretty refreshing.

First off, they're framed using a mock historical documentary, which is a pretty amazing approach to this and a lot more fun than most mission briefings I've ever seen.

Second, this means that the campaign follows different sides depending on the particular events of the mission.

Third, some of the actual missions are unusual enough that I can't recall seeing anything quite like them in other RTS games.

In my favorite of those missions I've bothered to play, you get precisely one unit, an assassin. (This happens to correspond to the bit of the video that runs from about 9:10 or so to about 9:50.)

As such, you need to use the assassin's invisibility to sneak around, find a specific unit, kill it, and then escape without being killed.

The thing that really makes this mission fun is the realization that you can use the assassin's weapon to break a hole in the wall, which allows a useful bypass of the front gates and a more casual approach than one might otherwise expect.

Of course, the real reason it's so fun is because stabbing a hole in the wall is hilarious.

In case that was boring, here's a screenshot of a stupid AI insisting on building an immense fleet of useless boats.

I have no idea why he was so determined to build all the boats, but he sure did build all the boats. (Boats that couldn't get very close to the enemy and whose primary purpose was to transport things; the boats were trapped in a pretty small place. And he was doing basically nothing else, and refused to stop once I started sinking them en masse even though he was my ally. It got pretty ridiculous.)

*The game Swarm Assault (which I have a rather blah review of here) had some really silly and memorable missions, such as one where you had exactly one colony of flying units, and the enemy had a few dozen colonies of non-flying units, and one is expected to somehow be able to overcome the various issues such as being severely outnumbered and flying units being unable to attack while crossing the water that made up most of the map.

Also, the map placed your colony on what looked vaguely like Spain and the enemies on what looked vaguely like the Americas. Dude, that's at least a bit offensive.

I did in fact mention all this in the blah review.

-Signing off.

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