Get the chance to play one of the forerunners of today’s RTTS games.
Engage in a classic point and click slugfest were well-designed units, and quantity is the name of the game.
Experience what it was like to play RTTS in the late 1990s and early 2000s and compare the difference with what we have today.
Way back in 1999, Eidos released a game that was quite advanced for its time. It was a Real-Time Strategy and Tactics game called Warzone 2100. At the time, there were only a handful of notable RTS games, of which StarCraft, WarCraft, Command and Conquer, and Total Annihilation were included. Warzone 2100 was one of them.
The game was released for both the PC and the PlayStation One platform. Warzone 2100 may not have been as good as the aforementioned RTS games above, but it did gain a sizeable following which eventually resulted in the game having an online community of its own.
Eventually, around 2004, Eidos dropped support for the game, technically making it Abandonware and gracious enough to open source the game for the sake of its community and fans. Of course, most of us know what open source is, meaning the code was open for modification by anyone who had the interest and patience and the valid reasons to do it, and from that point on, the community took over the continual development of the game.
Warzone 2100 is an amazing game and has been updated several times through the years by the community itself, which maintains the game’s homepage, where you can download it for free.
The game takes place in an apocalyptic setting where civilization was thrown into ruins by the very defenses that were put in place to protect the United States. Apparently, the NASDA (North American Strategic Defense Agency) accidentally launched a bunch of nukes at several key major cities around the globe resulting in mass retaliation, killing millions on the first salvo and millions more from the radioactive fall-out.
Those who survived were split into groups and began to rebuild civilization. Eventually, these groups started to go up against each other in the quest for very much-needed resources and territories, particularly the main source of energy which remained the same as in the post-apocalyptic days, oil.
As this game was one of the forerunners of the RTS games we currently have today, building a base and gathering resources was the core objective of the game as well as setting up defenses and training and building attack units to defeat one's opponents and gain territory and access to more resources. The cycle thus continues and repeats again until all opponents are obliterated, or the mission objectives met.
The game can be played solo or multiplayer online. Solo missions build upon preceding ones. The base and units you build will be carried over to the next mission and the next, and so on. Gameplay is objective-based with all the elements of (Real Time Tactics and Strategy) RTTS vs. AI opponents. Multiplayer can be played via LAN, modem connection, or via Internet Server. The games get more interesting in multi-player as you have to go up against other online players as you build your base and battle it out for the coveted resources. You can also set up alliances with other players as well and try to beat the crap out of the other alliances.
If you are familiar with the gameplay of Total Annihilation, playing Warzone 2100 will not be that difficult for you. However, in today’s gaming environment, one's experience with the different available game plays in the RTTS genre would already give a sort of common sense knowledge and intuitive feel for the game. Basically, it’s point and click. The menu options and windows are easily accessible, and playing the game in practice mode will already provide you with the things you will need to know as you grope through your first attempt.
One advanced feature of the game, though, is the ability to design your assault units or tanks (should you call them that) based on the research and resources you are able to acquire. You can design hover crafts, builder trucks, scouts, vipers, and a whole lot more. There is no unit limit like most RTTS games. You can build as many as you can send towards your enemies.
For a forerunner game, the unit AI is quite good in combat. They just don’t attack but attack smartly. However, point and click will still be needed to let them know where you want them to go.
By today’s standards, the graphics may be old, but not in 1999. However, graphics aren’t everything, and the visuals were done pretty well, notwithstanding the game's continual updates. The music is so techno-immersive and jives very well with the gameplay. The sound effects and voiceovers are so cool, especially for a game coming out from the turn of the century.
Warzone 2100 is a gem of a game by today’s standards, and getting the chance to play it would give one no doubt a valuable historical and current insight on the development of RTTS games.