Dark Reign
by Al Giovetti
Preview 11/19/96
Price: tbd
Genre: real time strategy
Release: February 1997
Developer: Austrailis and Activision
Programmer: Austrailis
Music: Jeehan Hwang (did the music for MechWarrior 2)
Art: Austrailis, Activision, Mondo Media, Equinoxe
Producer: Josh Resnick
Publisher: Activision
Phone: 310-473-9200
Website: http://www.activision.com/darkreign/
Requirements: Pentium, 16 megs of RAM, DOS, Double speed CD-ROM drive, 1 MB video card, 30 megs of hard-drive space availible

Company line: Dark Reign: The Future of War is a multiplayer, real-time action/strategy game that plays like a 3D combat simulation. Combining the best features of current best-selling strategy games with never-before-seen options and player-controllable artificial intelligence, Dark Reign delivers an unprecedented gaming experience.

In the 27th century, civil war rages across the galaxy. The Imperium, with control of precious water resources, commands the fate of a thousand worlds. They are under siege by a small but dedicated resistance, the Freedom Guard, who are attempting to break the Imperium's grip on the galaxy's water supply. The Imperium, however, has developed a devestating weapon - one capable of destroying entire worlds within seconds. And only one man, a scientist believed to be shipwrecked in the war-torn Strata system, holds the key to mankind's survival.

As the leader of an expedition to find and retrieve the scientist, you must journey into the heart of an empire at war. By studying the tactics of the warring Imperium and Freedom Guard armies, you must discover their weaknesses and annihilate them. Only by rescuing the scientist and defeating the forces that threaten him can you alter the destiny of the galaxy....

History: Activision has never tried to produce a strategy game, but they have guts and longevity. Activision has been around since 1979, over 16 years. Activision had as one of its affiliated labels Infocom, the company that produced 31 successful text adventures, including Zork the most successful series of all times with five sequels and two spinoff games. If anyone can pull of jumping to a new genre, its Activision. The picture at the bottom of the page shows Ron Millar (kneeling) teaming up with Greg Borrud (left) and Josh Resnick (right) on Activisions first strategy game, Dark Reign.

Plot: Element 115 is the substance that could unlock the secrets of matter. Dr. Bole, thought to be dead after an attack on his ship, leads a scientific team that is investigating this element somewhere in deep space. A colony ship also thought dead after an Imperium attack now commands a respectable force on the outer edges of the universe called the Freedom Guard.

Two hundred years later there are three groups vying for control. The Imperium know controls over a thousand inhabitable planets Dr. Bole’s scientists have developed into a galaxy class power of their own. The Freedom Guard emerges to cement the three way struggle.

Game play: Terrain will change the ability to spot the enemy. If you do not have line of sight the enemy will not appear on the map. Terrain, including mountains, swamps, and forests, will have movement effects. Movement can be set up in a series of complex moves from point A to point B with movement waypoints. Fog of war and gameplay on much larger scrollable maps that other real time strategy games.

Game units you command include scouts, snipers, tactical nuclear weapons, spies, marines, and others. Orders can be set to a variety of different commands that will be more specific than the click and attack or move commands of other strategy games. These commands will determine attitude and independent action.


Graphics: Third person perspective


Voice actors:

Music score:

Sound effects:

Utilities: Design levels with the included construction kit.

Multiplayer: Support for 8 simultaneous opponents or team play.



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Trent C. Ward, http://gamespot.com/previews/darkre/

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