What began as a conflict over the transfer of consciousness from flesh to machine has escalated into a war that has decimated a million worlds. The Core and the Arm have all but exhausted the resources of the entire galaxy in their struggle for domination. Chose your side, build an army and crush you enemies on huge, three-dimensional battlefields. And remember, there is no such thing as "too many guns"!
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: TEEN with Animated Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended), Mouse, Keyboard.
Minimum system requirements (Mac): OS X 10.6.8 or later. Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz+ Memory: 1GB of RAM Graphics: 64MB of video memory Recommended two-button mouse, or Apple mouse with Secondary Button / Secondary Click enabled.
Posted on 2010-08-17 06:51:38 by zebber:
Total Annihilation is a game that bucked a lot of trends in the RTS genre, and came away far far better for doing it. Let's break it down:
The soundtrack is an excellent place to start, as it will be among the first parts of the game you experience. Simply put, this is some of Jeremy Soule's finest work. Search around for the game's intro on the streaming video site of yourread more choice, and enjoy. Even better, the soundtrack is used dynamically in-game, switching to more energetic tracks when battles swing into high gear and mellowing when things are calm.
But how about gameplay mechanics? This is among the first games that found the older "resources and the peons/workers/units that harvest them" mechanic tiresome. You do not build drones or engineers and sic them on a pile of slowly decreasing resources. Instead, you set up structures that gather or produce resources at certain rates. The idea is that the structure will not run out of the resource, it just collects it at a certain speed. For people who have only ever sent harvesters out to collect, this might seem dangerously unbalanced, but I assure you it isn't. You might have infinite resources to collect, but you're gathering them at a slow, automatic rate. There's also a number of ways to gather resources. For energy, you can build solar collectors, or if water is available, tidal generators, or fusion plants can be built. For metal, there are different sized mining structures, and an interesting set of buildings that make metal from extremely large amounts of energy. And of course you can scavenge both from the battlefield, if things are especially tight.
For unit behaviors, you have several options readily available in the hud, dictating how aggressive or indifferent to enemies they are, allowing you to avoid the issue of a patrol that foolishly chases an enemy all the way back to their base. Also, when units fire and attack, they use different arcs and trajectories for their shots. Some units fire in high arcs, able to go over hills and obstacles, while others fire in straight lines. Nearly every unit can miss when it fires, as well, which adds a welcome bit of realism. In addition, there's often a real sense of scope to unit ranges. This isn't a game that has artillery that fires a third of the way across your screen; you'll be firing that stuff across the map.
There are a number of different maps available: worlds made entirely of metal, or fully submerged water worlds. Island maps or dense jungles. Fights among toxic explosive plants. All different maps, and many requiring a fully different set of tactics and units.
Bringing me to perhaps the biggest positive, the units themselves. Speaking plainly, there's a crap load. The Core Contingency expansion adds even more. Fully fleshed out navies (not just one or two ship types), a host of infantry mechs and vehicles, radar jammers, amphibious units ("are those tanks coming out of the water?!), aircraft, hovercraft, and a collection of advanced structures that really add flavor. And the developers, in a very unique idea that I have yet to see replicated in modern games, made it relatively easy to add custom units made by users freely to the game. While some games were allowing the creation of maps, this game did that and more. Users can create their own models and behaviors for units and add them into the game. Search around, and you will find enormous quantities of units and packs of units if you're a fan of customizing your game.
To be fair, if the game had a weak spot, it would be story. The story is fairly simple, and acts mostly as an excuse to blow things to bits. You won't be seeing a cutscene every mission. Briefings are simply delivered, with a small bit of flavor text, an objective, a little narration, and then you go. There are no hero units (other than your nameless Commander unit) to rally around. I usually miss heavy story elements in games, but this game delivers heavily enough on the gameplay side of things you'll be hard-pressed to notice.
In the end, this is a great example of what the RTS genre needed, rather than pumping out clones of other games with slightly different skins.
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Posted on 2010-08-17 09:41:51 by lowyhong:
Move aside Starcraft, and make way for Her Royal Highness Total Annihilation! Well, Starcraft had to be mentioned since they were of the same era. Jokes aside, Total Annihilation is One of the Best Games You've Never Played. It had a rubbish storyline, true, and even whatever remnants of storyline it desperately tried to clutch at and present to the crowd was a rather half-bakedread more attempt.
But that would be it's only shortcoming, because it more than makes up for the lack of a decent storyline with unrivaled gameplay; till today, no game - not even Supreme Commander - has surpassed this masterpiece in terms of providing truly tense, epic battles. In fact, besides being one of the pioneers for pushing polygons in a top-down strategy game, it was also one of the first games where your units could move while shooting, and where every bullet was a projectile that did not always hit its target with pinpoint accuracy, unlike RTSes of yonder days.
It's been a while since I last touched the campaign, so I shall not go into that, but the music is worth mentioning. I am hard pressed to find a word that can clearly define the awesomeness of the music, but the orchestral nature of the music goes very well with the game. Late game battles can be huge, like Supreme Commander (well duh since Supcom is TA's spiritual successor), and you truly get the sense of being there to dish out the hurt. Who can forget the battles where your base gets swarmed by a massive platoon of Wombats, only to scare the pants off your enemy when your first Kroggy marches right up and obliterates all of them within seconds? Or taking the enemy's base by surprise by an onslaught of Mavericks to take out their artillery, only to realize that their aircraft has attacked your base from it's Northern flank?
These are but a few of the grand moments that you will experience in Total Annihilation. All the praise it got in the media back then was well deserved, even though it did not sell well due to poor marketing on Cavedog and Atari's part, as well as a few other strong competitors that were in the running that year. This, my friends, is the ultimate RTS. At $6, it's almost paying you to get it. Unless you really loathe RTSes - and I mean to the extremity - you will get your money's worth from this, even if you're just a casual player.
Note: there are also a lot of mods for TA, and I mean a LOT. From space-battle mods to new units, there's almost something for everyone.
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Posted on 2010-08-17 08:33:11 by krogers:
I spend ages playing this when it came out - it may lack the cut-scenes and plot from its C&C and Starcraft contemporaries, but it more than made up for it in innovative features - queuing commands, radar warfare with scanners and jammers, workable defences including artillery worthy of the name, the wonderfully animated hordes of unit types done in full 3d....
Andread more it still scales brilliantly on modern computers - more units, bigger maps, more annihilation!
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