Live And Let Zwei: Cyber-Wing

It even looks a bit like Planetside. Man! I hope this is good.

Browsing through the recently released demos, Cyber-Wing caught my eye, mainly because it claims inspiration from the generally-credited-with-father-of-RTS game Herzog Zwei. To modern PC-eyes, it’s more like the games like Hostile Waters and (the relatively modern) Battlezone than what we think of as an RTS, based around building units, then controlling them as you go out to kick ass. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but in terms of influences, that’s quite the caliber. The demo can be found here, and there’s a whole more info on their site. I especially like the nervous disclaimer of “Cyber-Wing is not a sequel to Herzog Zwei nor is affiliated with TechnoSoft or Sega. It is no more similar to that game as Call of Duty is to Counterstrike.” Its price? Five dollars. Crikey. Anyway – video follows.

Anyone played? Thoughts? And five dollars?

From this site

36 Comments

  1. Psychopomp says:

    Battlezone-like RTS? We desperately need more of those.

  2. Rich says:

    Silly blue gunship. Flying straight and level for more than a few seconds.

    This does look interesting. I never got into Battlezone, but it was always on my list of stuff I’d like to try. Not sure I’ll bother buying it though. Unfortunately it seems to be essentially multi player focussed, with a few single player missions to keep you occupied when Mandelson takes away your internets.

  3. Dominic White says:

    “A console game was the great granddaddy of the RTS genre as you know it” must elicit the same reaction from some of the readers of this blog as “Luke, I am your father.”.

    This looks pretty interesting though. Hopefuly they keep the Herzog Zwei style of putting the player in a transforming superunit, equal parts supporter and commander of the ground troops.

    On a recent note, many comparisons were drawn to Herzog Zwei when Brutal Legend was released a while back, and they’re pretty on-the-money there. The player is as much frontline fighter as commander, and there wasn’t much more to unit commands than bunching them all up and attacking en-masse. Didn’t stop people complaining that it was either too complex or too simplistic.

  4. bill says:

    Another Hostile Waters you say?

    Awesome! If anyone hasn’t tried it, pick it up on GOG… for about the same price.

  5. Kelron says:

    I never did work out how to play Herzog Zwei.

  6. mbp says:

    Can this be a cue for a lament on the sorry fate of Hostile Waters please (or Antaeus Rising as it was also known)?

    An absolutely superb innovative and engaging action-strategy game that managed to sell about four copies before being consigned to bargain bins.

    Of course action-rts has always been a risky genre but having read several reviews of people who gave up playing the game before they even figured out what was going on I am convinced that the main culprit for the games demise was a non-intuitive (albeit clever) keypad control scheme combined with terrible user documentation that didn’t properly explain how it worked.

    • l1ddl3monkey says:

      Love that game – frantic, clever and still reasonably pretty graphically and it had a quality script/story that pretty much f*** all else aroundd at the time aspired to.

      Plus I was a massive, massive fan of Carrier Command (still play that on STEEM every now and again as well) so it was unquestionably a game that I was going to play.

      I still give it the odd annual playthrough. Any game with voice talent from Doctor Who, Avon from Blakes Seven and..erm…Makepeace from Demspey and Makepeace, deserves to be played for the quality of it’s voice acting alone.

  7. OstrichFarmer says:

    That looked so much like Planetside when I first saw that picture… sigh… *remembers*

    • Blather Bob says:

      To me the tank is reminiscent of BZ2, and the terrain of Tribes. In fact, that little banner image (and the $5 price tag) immediately made me wonder if it was using some variant of the Torque engine… and sure enough it is.

      I’m looking forward to trying this out. I loved the newer Battlezones, especially the second in multiplayer, and fully intend to finish my GOG copy of Hostile Waters as soon as I finish off some other games, so this sounds really interesting. I also don’t think I’ve ever actually tried a torque-engined fps. Wandered across many screenshots, but never actually seen anything released and playable before (I guess there’s that Tribes remake that requires installing a browser plugin).

      @mbp: I think the lament has already happened, and you missed out :P

  8. Ira says:

    Battlezone is one of my top 5 games ever. So easy to control, so awesome. Spent countless hours sniping friends or being run over. :P

  9. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    That’s so Herzog Zwei it makes me smile/cry. It’s understandable they made such a disclaimer: in this day of intellectual properties and lawsuits, they are probably too invested in the project to let it go to waste at the hands of some desk jockey looking to justify his pay in brand management.

  10. Reverend Speed says:

    Hostile ‘Waaters’ (thanks Tom Baker) is awesome. Not seeing much of a resemblance here, though.

  11. Stick says:

    Just started playing the demo. Stopped. Currently looking for “Invert Y-axis” functionality.
    In this day and age. Sigh.

    (It’s not Hostile Waters without the incessant bickering and bragging, is it?)

    • Dominic White says:

      You’d be amazed at the number of developers who honestly don’t believe anyone uses Invert Y.

    • Carra says:

      I’d imagine it’s only people who played Descent fifteen years ago ;)

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      OMG yes. I was just trying to figure out why I’m still stuck on inverted y and was blaming games like Elite, et al, but I think Descent probably was the real nail in the coffin.

    • bill says:

      yep. for me it was descent.

  12. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Tactical Combat Armour. Now available in PINK.

  13. Vinraith says:

    Interesting, it always irritates me how broadly-forgotten dear old Herzog Zwei is. It was my favorite Genesis game (perhaps alongside Shining Force and Shining in the Darkness) and consumed unspeakably huge swaths of my early teens. Anything claiming inspiration from it is worth a serious look, at least. Then again, Hostile Waters never did much for me.

  14. AdrianWerner says:

    Console gamers like to rub pcgamers faces in Herzog (especially after Dune2 gets mentioned), but when they do they just show the same ignorance they’re laughing at. Herzog Zwei is far from first RTS. What really was depends on your personal definition (especially if it needs resources gathering or not), but even then…a game that had all the elements of modern RTS was Nether Earth, released for ZX Spectrum over two years before Herzog Zwei landed on the market.

    So mentioning “Herzog Zwei was first RTS” isn’t like ” “Luke, I am your father.”…instead it’s like hearing “Brazil’s capital? Rio de Janeiro of course” :D

    • Vinraith says:

      @AdrianWerner

      First off, most “console gamers” and indeed most gamers in general have never heard of Herzog Zwei, so it’s not as though it were some kind of popular trump card. Second of all, who cares what platform it was on, it was a superb game and an early forebear to RTS games in general. I primarily game on PC these days, so if I were to be shoe-horned into your false dichotomy I’d most certainly be a PC gamer, but I still have my copy of Herzog and it’s virtually the only thing that prompts me to break out the old Genesis for a nostalgia trip now and again.

  15. AdrianWerner says:

    @Vinraith

    I don’t know why you act like the only way for Herzog to be considered good is for it to give a birth to a genre. I didn’t write that it a was a bad game, it just wasn’t the first RTS, that’s all.

    • Vinraith says:

      @AdrianWerner

      No, you didn’t write that Herzog was a bad game, you just tried to use it to try to start round #3847938539856376529384734 of the inane PC vs. Console “debate,” and drew a completely false dichotomy in your first sentence in order to do so.

  16. AdrianWerner says:

    Vinraith:
    how come? If console gamer mentions Herzog as first RTS he’s ignorant, same as when pc gamer names Dune 2 as such. There’s no dichotomy here, both would just as ignorant

  17. Darthey says:

    Yeah…this is a bit rubbish. It looks shiny but lacks any form of polish.

    No y-axis invert, no crosshairs for the jet mode, jet has so little fuel you’ll crash before you can do anything interesting, command system consists of four orders applied globally to all friendly units without the ability to specify locations or targets…

    I’m all for indie games, but this is just lazy. Go spend that $5 on Hostile Waters or Battlezone.

    • spelk says:

      No y-axis invert, no crosshairs for the jet mode, jet has so little fuel you’ll crash before you can do anything interesting, command system consists of four orders applied globally to all friendly units without the ability to specify locations or targets…

      There is a y-axis invert in the options, and the cross hair exist for the jet you have to press ‘X’ whilst in flight, akin to the zoom for the Mech form. There are only four orders available, but from what I can gather you have to be locationally near the units for them to follow them. So you can setup defensive blockades and attacking fronts. The attack/forward order relies on your cross hairs positioning I believe.

      The game is quite rough and ready, but theres a surprising amount of polish with the models and the animations, and the switch between Mech and Jet form is very well done.

  18. Max says:

    Seriously lacking in polish. As Darthey pointed out, the jet controls so poorly and has such little fuel that it’s really only useful for moving around quickly for a few seconds. And the fact that you have to lift units one at a time (even infantry!) and then wait for your fuel to replenish in between drops makes it very tedious.

    I’ve also hit a brick wall in the demo: I’m on the mission where you need to build your own units but I can’t figure it out for the lift of me. I’ve been following the instructions to the T and nothing is happening.

    • spelk says:

      I’m surprised to see people think it has very little polish. For an indie title that costs $5 it has a lot of good things going for it, models and animations are really well done. Also, I thought that the physics based flight model of the Jet form works very well, the jet has inertia, and drag from what I can tell. The limiting factor being the fuel, means the jet cannot be used all the time. It has to be used in planned strikes to soften up the armour and then you need to get back to a base close by.

      In skirmish mode, you use the Jet form to build and transport your army. But as long as you’re hovering over a base of yours you’re constantly being refuelled and repaired. So amassing an army around a base, doesn’t cost you anything other than resource points and time. The single item build queue is a bit frustrating, because if you’re under attack, you can only plonk down one unit at a time, and you’re not going to make much progress if you’re not taking part in the battle as a the Jet or the Mech form.

    • spelk says:

      Forgot to mention this..

      To build your own units, you have to press a number from 1 to 9 selecting the unit, as long as you have the resource points to purchase it, then that unit becomes available for pickup from the base. Go into Jet form, and press Q near the base, to load the unit into the Jet transport bay, then fly to where you want to deploy the unit, and press Q to deploy.

  19. JuJuCam says:

    I’m a cross-platform gamer and I’m proud of it!

  20. Acies says:

    For those who are interested there is a fairly indepth history of rts on gamereplays over