By Al Giovetti
In 1988, Dynamix and Activision collaborated on the first MechWarrior using Dynamix's 3Space engine which was first used for their award winning Red Baron combat flight simulator. The game featured first person perpective and had a mission based game system that survives today in Multiplayer Battletech on varioius online services. The game was linked together with a graphic animated adventure plot and has sold well over 100,000 copies.
EarthSiege first appeared in 1994, shortly after the introduction of Mechwarrior 2 by Activision. Both games caused a sensation. Sierra's first person perspective rock-em-sock-em robot game was based upon a Terminator type plot. The evil robots created engines of war that they turned against their human masters. Earth is fighting a war against a technologically greater foe which ironically humans created to make life easier.
The plot was not what made EarthSiege such a success but the well thought out scripted missions which added all the drama and complexity of a flight simulator to the ease of play and fun of an arcade game. Sierra also adapted the game for a turn based strategy game called Mission Force: Cyberstorm.
Dynamix will be using an enhanced version of their original 3Space engine that will also be used in Red Baron II and X-Fighters.
Fifty new weapons and units adorn the new title. New weapons include tank, aerospace, and hovercraft combat units.
There will be 50 scripted missions that should get difficult right from the get go. The increased quality and depth of scripting should also hold the public's attention long enough for the game to catch on. Adding a third faction further complicates and increases the interest in the plot.
The three levels of difficulty will be handled by playing from different perspectives, Human Corporate, cyborg-mind Cybrids, and the Human Martian Colony freedom fighters. The easiest level is the human corporate, which will have familiar goals, but only to those with corporate background. Medium difficulty is found by those who learn to live as a machine, the Cybrids. And the highest level of difficulty will be the Martian colonists who want to be free of both the Cybrids and the Earth-based corporations.
The one weakness in prior games was the depth of the script. The new plots, there are three of them, are carefully scripted to provide depth and atmosphere, two things lacking in prior games.
Graphics have a unique three dimensional look that incorporates white and yellow feather-like explosions, glowing beams of light for weapons beams, and slick gauraud shaded, texture mapped, three dimensional smootly rendered characters. Hercs will not be able to travel into the water which would seem logical. The cybrids will have a new look like living metal clad reptiles.
UtilitiesA full featured mission generator will create missions on the fly from a number of separate parameters. Randomized mission generators have the advantage of increasing game play at the expense of the more intense and literary scripted missions. The mission generator will also work as a mission planner and allow the gamer to design missions to fit what he wants.
Multi-player FeaturesUp to 20 gamers can get online in either a cybrid or human Herc.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesAl Giovetti and Michael Giovetti, EarthSiege, Personal Computer Combat Simulations, volume 2, number 4, September-October, 1994, pg. 49.
Steve Wartofsky, Computer Games, issue 75, February, 1997, pg. 16.
Johnny L. Wilson, Computer Gaming World, issue 153, pg. 52.
William R. Trotter, PC Games, volume 4, number 4, April, 1997, pg. 88.
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