Ah, history. Stranger than fiction, and the source of the best stories. JoWooD, makers of variable quality games, rely on our love of the conflicts of the ancients to bring us a range of real-time strategies developed by WorldForge, who made Ancient Wars: Sparta. WorldForge, it seems, are keen on creating ponderously predictable RTS campaigns in a game engine that softly mimics Warcraft III and its ilk. Sadly for us, the game has nothing of the charm or polish of the Blizzard games, and sits quite comfortably below the standard we can recommend.
Fate of Hellas is based roughly on the events that made Alexander the Great so, er, great, and the events that made the Spartans so feared by the other Greek states. There are two campaigns - one for Macedonia and one for Sparta. Each of these consists of fighting a heavily narrated series of battles that roughly correspond to things that happened in the mists of antiquity. Weirdly, for a game that looks like a cross between Settlers and a half-finished Warcraft III mod, there’s very little awareness of what people want from a story in a strategy game. There’s loads of waffle about ancient history, leading into a series of shoddily scripted fights and some classic resource-collecting, base-building, unit-pumping, hero-protecting, real-time tank-rush-with-horses action.
The WorldForge engine does have some nice touches, like how infantry can mount abandoned horses, and how said horses send people a-flying when they charge into them. But it’s all still a little Toy Town for the purposes of an otherwise serious historical RTS. We’d like to see the team use the Sudden Strike 3 engine, or something else with a bit of depth and fidelity. That way you really could deliver the battlefield-sweep of hundreds of tiny Greeks making war and shouting about gods.
Apr 25, 2008