Universe At War Demo

By Jim Rossignol on November 16th, 2007 at 7:13 pm.

I’ve been meaning to post this all day, but ended up playing Assassin’s Creed instead. (What a peculiar game, but more on that when they finally get round to making that PC version.) So yes, the Universe At War demo is available for your downloading pleasure. It’s info-girth is an uncomfortable 1179 Mb and it includes two levels of the big stompy robot campaign, The Hierarchy. I particularly like these guys because they hoover up cows and people for fuel, as well as have giant walking robots as their principle base structures. They talk as if everyone last one of them is pretending to be the Imperial Dreadnought from Dawn Of War. And that’s a good thing, if you like alien machismo. (Which I do.)

The demo is a little dull to look at, and you can safely crank it up to very high detail (from the default not-much detail) to get some better terrain. (Because aren’t we all here for the terrain, really?) The environment on the first level is seven shades of bland, and there’s much more interesting stuff in the game proper (marshes, cities) because I’ve seen it demoed months back. This follows a trend this year of releasing not-that-good parts of games as demos. Games are one medium in which keep the best ’til last rarely does anyone any favours. What’s most fun about Universe At War is wide open splatter of mad ideas they’ve bunged into the three alien factions and I’m not sure any of that will come across until we get hold of the full game. It’s old skool, this one, but it’s tasty.

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18 Comments »

  1. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    Aw Jim, give us your current take on AC. I’m sure many of the visitors would be interested. Just got it myself…havent got to the first main city yet…have been bouncing on people’s roofs.

  2. Jae Armstrong says:

    This is the Sup Com alike with the standard issue “American-esque guns n’ tanks” faction told to GTFO, right? I may have a poke.

    But I really wish more distribution sites would start using bitorrent. The last demo I attempted to download was the brain-meltingly large 1.63 GiB Empire Earth 3 demo. I started it rolling sometime around noon and woke up the next morning to find it had timed out somewhere around 83%. Which was a bit pants, really.

  3. Andrew Mayer says:

    I’m always curious about the interface in these kinds of games, so as long as it cover that I’ll be happy with it.

    And since you mentioned Imperial Dreadnaughts

  4. Jeremy says:

    “But I really wish more distribution sites would start using bitorrent.”

    You should search some of the bitorrent sites, just in case. I’ve found a fair few demos around, although for some reason in this case, they wind up being a lot slower than the direct downloads.

  5. Jae Armstrong says:

    Probably because anyone on a bittorrent site would usually make a beeline for the leaked/cracked/beta copy of the full game. >_>

    But the speed isn’t so much the issue as the resumability and the auto-hashing, which generally means (barring a fake/dead torrent) you can just let it run and it’ll get there eventually.

  6. Kieron Gillen says:

    It’s just before six. I’m checking before I go and get a flight. I’m not really awake.

    Mayer, that Dreadnought link may have destroyed my mind for the day.

    KG

  7. James says:

    What a peculiar game …

    It’s not peculiar. It’s an unmistakable blend of game mechanics (most of which would be the primary focus of any one game), with fantastic narrative (brilliant voice acting), perfectly realised atmosphere (I’ve been sat on buildings admiring the backdrops, the weaving streets, the dirt on the mapping on the textures on the pixels on the small one-cell organisms on the walls.

    GOTY (which is impressive since CoD4 was only GOTY for less than a week).

  8. Jim Rossignol says:

    The Medieval Assassin part of the game is undeniably awesome, and I enjoyed it immensely. But the sci-fi lab stuff and the genetic memory fiction? I can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. It’s one of the weirdest conjunctions of excellent and awful I’ve ever seen. It’s compounded by the fact that there’s absolutely no need for that backstory. Ubi created a perfectly good assassin game, and then go and pile even more ideas on top? Bad ideas at that. I’d say it was peculiar.

  9. Alec Meer says:

    Assassin’s Creed is going to be this month’s The Witcher, innit?

  10. Andrew says:

    Trust me to be behind the times, then.

    I’m only installing The Witcher now. Whee.

  11. James says:

    I can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea.

    Welcome to life after Far Cry.

    Assassin’s Creed is going to be this month’s The Witcher, innit?

    They both have pretty awesome coup de grace finishing moves (though playing Creed at the moment it’s going to be hard to go back to click-click-stab-die-5-minute-loading-times.

    Trust me to be behind the times, then.

    You are a Scot.

  12. Andrew says:

    :(

    You hurt me, James.

  13. Evo says:

    As this is by Petroglyph, can someone tell me if it plays like any of the old Westwood games?

    Currently downloading CoD4 from my lovely steam press account so can’t really be arsed to set up another download :o

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    It does play like a Westwood game.

  15. Evo says:

    Hmm intriguing…may have to try the demo then

  16. cliffski says:

    a 1 gig demo?. that’ll be great for the 0.01% of gamers with 8MB links. I’ll just keep playing cod 4…

  17. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    The Medieval Assassin part of the game is undeniably awesome, and I enjoyed it immensely. But the sci-fi lab stuff and the genetic memory fiction? I can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. It’s one of the weirdest conjunctions of excellent and awful I’ve ever seen. It’s compounded by the fact that there’s absolutely no need for that backstory. Ubi created a perfectly good assassin game, and then go and pile even more ideas on top? Bad ideas at that. I’d say it was peculiar.

    It worked quite well for most of the game for me, creating as it did a driving sense of mystery, but towards the end it just fell to pieces. The denouement itself was pretty awful, more for the way it’s handled in terms of interaction between the medieval/sci-fi elements than anything else, and taints the whole experience a bit. For the most part though it’s a great game.

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