Posts Tagged ‘universe-at-war’

PCG: UAW and Savage 2

By Jim Rossignol on March 25th, 2008.


A couple of my PC Gamer reviews have been posted on CVG. The Universe At War piece seems to have a random sentence out of place, but I don’t have a copy of the magazine handy to check their edit of it… and the Savage 2 review starts with “So games have souls?” When actually the magazine copy read “Do games have souls?” Which leads me to believe that it has subsequently discovered that games do indeed have souls, and the review has been edited in light of that. Anyway, this is what I was getting at:

Do games have souls? They certainly have personalities. Savage 2′s is warm, complex, and yet oddly unlikeable. He seems like a fine chap, but you’ll never be friends.

It’s a shame they didn’t post my review of 18 Wheels Of Steel: American Long Haul, which is altogether more satisfying. Instead, perhaps you could go and read this interview with the devs who make their living from mesmerically boring driving games.

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Christmas at War

By Kieron Gillen on December 22nd, 2007.

Petroglyph are in that seasonal spirit, and released a three (COUNT’EM!) disc soundtrack of Frank Klepacki’s music for the game, in a single 8 Imperial Peggles download.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and we feel like listening to RTS soundtrack music.

Frank, who you may know from Dune 2 and Command and Conquer says: “I hope you enjoy listening to this soundtrack as much as I enjoyed creating it for Universe At War: Earth Assault. Nothing is more gratifying to me then to see it completely integrated into the rest of team’s hard work on this title, in the name of creating a fun experience for everyone. This game is definitely the most unique rts I have worked on to date and I’m proud to be a part of it on all audio fronts. Thanks to all of the community – Keep rockin’!”

We can only concur and hope that you, indeed, keep rockin’.

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Universe At War Factions Vid

By Jim Rossignol on December 4th, 2007.

One of the more interesting RTS games of the year (although perhaps, as KG and Alec observe, that’s something to do with it being a slow year for the old click ‘n build) with Petroglyph’s veteran designer, Adam Isgreen, talking a bit about the three different factions in the game:


Game Trailers, you may be spared when our alien overlords arrive.

I’ll be reviewing the alien ménage à trois in a PC Gamer magazine near you, real soon.

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Universe At War Demo

By Jim Rossignol on November 16th, 2007.

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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Universe At War Trailer

By Jim Rossignol on September 12th, 2007.

I’d like to interrupt this FPS-excitement to focus for a moment on the real-time strategy game, Universe At War. Now I’m well aware that, between C&C3 and Starcraft 2, this is going to have a hard time. But I was lucky enough to play it earlier this year, and I’m actually pretty excited about its mad verve. It’s a game that sits half way between Starcraft and Red Alert – it’s packed with madcap ideas and over-the-top sci-fi silliness. What I’m trying to say is: there’s a good deal of cowbell.


Thanks, Game Trailers, you big game trailering site, you.

Yeah, the engine looks pretty ropey, and that ugliness has put a load of people off right away. Do not be fooled: this could be one of the best asymmetric multiplayer games you’ll play in 2007 or any other year. The three races are pleasingly different, and one of them has a cow hoover for sucking up their resource: cattle.

I like my RTS as bombastic as possible, and Universe At War fits the bill. I just hope the delayed beta doesn’t mean there are more problems in the pipeline for this particular underdog.

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Hey, it’s the Universe At War Beta

By Jim Rossignol on July 22nd, 2007.

The chaps from Petroglyph have reached that vital testing stage of development with their new RTS, Universe At War: Earth Assault. You can sign up for the closed beta here, and I recommend you do so, because from what I saw earlier in the year this could be one of the most entertaining strategy games of 2007. Hopefully there will be an open beta to follow.

The Petroglyph team, who previously made the fairly average Star Wars: Empire At War, have let the juice of game-glands flow freely on this one. It’s feels colourful and slightly crazed. The scene is set by three alien races invading Earth, each one with its own concept and base-building methodology. Universe At War just seems to be dripping in ideas – stuff like the varied resource gathering could make for some fascinating tactics. The bio-invader aliens, for example, hoover up cows and people for their organic resources, while the robotic aliens need raw metallic materials from cars and other technological devices. You might find yourself defending a herd of cattle to fend off your enemy’s advances, or staking out a car park to ambush the robotic harvesters.

There’s a strong whiff of the Starcraft asymmetric conflict going on, as well as some of the character and silliness of the Command & Conquer series. Petroglyph are all veterans of the Command & Conquer games, so we can expect the kind of polish and ease of play that you find in those games. While Empire At War seemed a bit stiff and constrained by the Star Wars licence, here the development team are clearly enjoying themselves, and just pouring whatever seems funny or entertaining into the game world. There’s a sense of excitement in playing it that I’ve not felt elsewhere for quite some time. It really knows this is a game, and the mercenary sharkmen and titanic walker-robots really testify to that.

What’s more interesting however is the mass and inertia of new concepts that the various alien races bring with them. There’s no ‘human’ faction, so you’re constantly playing with wildly diverse, often completely weird units. The two races I played included immense walking-base style robots that could be modded after being summoned down from orbit, and a networking Protoss-style iPod-theme information tech robots. They played quite differently, and each offered a slew of different tactics. Simply walking my mega-robot HQ into the enemy base was a joy. I was also impressed by the way the game continually opened up with new tech options, making you feel as if there was always something you could do to suddenly change tactics, or to claw back victory from the most precarious situation.

There’s also another black hole bomb in there, which suggests Blizzard, EA Los Angeles and Petroglyph might all be thinking rather similarly about what lies at the top of those tech trees…

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