Dark Colony article by Al Giovetti
By Al Giovetti
On April 16, 1997, GameTek, Inc. announced they had signed a multi-year agreement whereby SSI will publish and distribute the IBM PC and Macintosh versions of Dark Colony in North America and Japan. GameTek has been developing the real-time strategy PC game for the past year and half.
Mark Burke, vice president of sales and marketing at GameTek comments, "We specifically targeted SSI. We felt that they were the right partner for us and believe they will dominate the real time strategy game genre. With Dark Colony II and Robotech for the PC scheduled for 1998, we felt it was extremely important that we partner with a company who is making the commitment in terms of resources and focused to win this category."
Company LineChuck Kroegel, president of SSI notes, "GameTek has created an intense and exciting game. Were pleased to add Dark Colony to our strategy gaming library of titles. With top notch and engrossing game play, Dark Colony will provide real time strategy gamers with plenty of action and a unique gaming experience."
Specialized units known as "commanders" will be available to assist other units to fight more effectively, a unique feature not included in other games. Many other features add to the multi-faceted levels of Dark Colony. Waypoints can be placed and also be used as sentry points. Other features include hidden and blocking terrain, changing of the time of day, multiple objective missions and multiple difficulty levels. Each side will have special units to assist in emergencies, such as a drop ship and a multiple attack Cyborg.
The humans specialize in high technology, while the Grays specialize in biological technology. And each side has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can play from either side. This section of the review sounds like the same section for dozens of other real-time strategy Dune2-clones.
Dark Colony begins in the year 2172. Mars is finally inhabitable and is being colonized and mined for its valuable resources, chiefly Petra 7 gas. Only as the humans have become comfortable in their unfamiliar surroundings, do the aliens (more commonly known as Grays) begin to reveal themselves. The Grays are a race who specialise in genetic manipulation. It was a gray ship that was captured at Roswell just after the war.. The Grays are not pleased. Unleashing their forces on the unsuspecting humans, both sides battle to control the planet and its valuable resources.
Dark Colony has extremely detailed units, a large play field consisting of three distinct terrains (desert, jungle and underground), special lighting effects, day and night cycles, and fiery translucent explosions, Dark Colony takes graphic realism to a new level.
There are up to 500 high resolution 3D rendered sprites on screen at the same time, animated buildings and indigenous creatures. Game players should find Dark Colony not only challenging but visually stunning and compelling. Dark Colony will also be one of the first real time strategy PC games to support the new MMX technology, which will create a visually stimulating and fast paced gaming experience like never before.
Music ScoreThe soundtrack is composed of techno music.
UtilitiesPlayers will be able to design their own maps with the assistance of a map editor.
Multi-player FeaturesUp to eight players can wage tactical warfare via modem, a network or over the Internet.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesMore information regarding Dark Colony, including a short AVI movie showing actual game play, can be found by accessing the game web site at: http://www.gametek.com/dark/index.html.
Scott Udell, Computer Games, issue 78, May, 1997, pg.32.
Based in Sausalito, California, publicly-held GameTek, Inc. develops, publishes and distributes interactive multimedia titles worldwide for IBM PC/compatible and Macintosh computers, as well as for Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation video game systems.
Strategic Simulations, Inc., a Mindscape Company, is one of the industry's leading electronic entertainment game publishers. Founded in 1979 and based in Sunnyvale, CA, SSI is recognized worldwide for its critically acclaimed 5 Star Series which includes such mega-hits as Panzer General, Allied General, Fantasy General and Star General. SSI is also acknowledged as a premier fantasy role-playing publisher for its World of Aden=D4 and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons line of products, its highly realistic simulations including Su-27 Flanker: The Military Flight Simulator and Silent Hunter and for its recently released real-time strategy game, War Wind.
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