Alliance: Future Combat Preview
|Genre:||Real Time Strategy|
|Release Date:||Spring 2006|
|Writer:||James Barlow (Malis)|
|Buy now at Amazon.co.uk|
In the near future, a coalition of terrorists seizes control of a top-secret US Military research centre. The order comes in to send in AEGIS, the elite terrorist response team. Play through this RTS as either side, in two action-packed campaigns.
Alliance: Future Combat is an all-action RTS that brings several new twists to the genre. Firstly, there is no resource gathering in this game. Let's think about the real world a second: when armies go to war, they don't set up a camp near the enemy lines and process lumber for unit upgrades do they? Nope, they go to war, and this principle is taken to heart in this game. You enter a mission with nearly full military strength (with the odd reinforcements appearing at set points on the map) and it's up to you to decide how to use it. With no resource play, the strategy comes from using your units to 100% efficiency to get through the map.
The second twist Alliance: Future Combat brings is the introduction of voice-controlled units. By speaking lines such as 'tanks' and 'solider' into your mic, you can select units, and then move and attack with similar voice commands. This seems to be in effort to further streamline the game and it's interface, providing faster, more action-packed game play. It's a nice idea, but one I found to have some flaws. While sometimes it appeared to work smoothly, I found that quite often there would be a lag of around 15 seconds between what I said and the game understanding my command. It may have just been my gaming rig or even my voice to blame of course, and this sort of problem can indeed be tweaked for the final release of the game.
On the graphical front, while no Age of Empires III, the graphics do look good, especially in motion. Crisp units, along with detailed animation really do bring the game to life. Often I found myself just watching battles and not giving orders, as it really does come across as quite realistic. Environments in the demo range from desert to forest, and all look suitably real in nature. Sound too is handled well, with the boom of every weapon heard distinctly and your troops radio messages crackling through the sounds of gunfire with a real sense of drama.
The future does look good for this game, it's simple, fun and plays well. With only 2 maps in the demo, and no tutorial, it's hard to say just who polished the final game will be, and what the variety will be like between missions. The twists this game brings are welcome and fresh, hopefully they iron out any possible bugs with voice-controlled units. My only concern will be with this game's longevity, as without the sandbox nature of base building and resource gathering some may find one play-through of the game enough.
To sum up, the short demo we played would seem to be fun and action-packed - there's definitely some hope for the full game.