Life after the apocalypse is going to be tough, but we think we’ll cope with the help of our survival kit. Buried in an old biscuit tin at the bottom of a garden we’ve got a pair of studded shoulder pads, an eye patch, a mohawk wig, a battered leather jacket and a rust-streaked Hummer. How did we manage to fit so many post-apocalyptic clichés into such a small container? Let’s just say we got a few tips from KDV Games.
Maelstrom isn’t just filled with Mad Max clichés, it’s also crammed with RTS ones. Leap straight into the campaign mode and it’s seven or eight hours before you arrive anywhere novel. That’s seven or eight hours of cobbling together bases, guiding gaggles of grunts around maps, and watching MG jeeps and sci-fi tanks squabble ritualistically like old married couples.
Part of the problem is the order in which the game’s trio of factions are introduced. For the first seven missions you lead the rather dull Remnants (scrap-salvaging renegades whose top-tier unit is a black hawk chopper (that fires missiles) into battle against the only slightly more interesting Ascension (DNA-salvaging renegades whose top-tier unit is a mech (that’s quite tall). Your reward for slogging through this formulaic romp? A similarly bland sequence leading the Ascension against the Remnants.