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whatshot Stormrise PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.3
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.9
Value 7.2
Distributor: SEGA
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
March 2009
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

7.3


Stormrise

Australia's Creative Assembly have tried to rewrite the real-time strategy genre in their latest science fiction epic entitled Stormrise which is set in the distant future where Earth's atmosphere has been destroyed by a cataclysmic event. The story follows two opposite factions that are linked in their origins, however in the present, they are two totally different races.

The Echelon are the militaristic aspect of the game and are quite powerful at long distant attacks, whereas the Sai are more suited for close combat or for sniper style of attacks. In its essence, Stormrise is a real-time strategy game with certain micromanagement aspects that has been cutback for the console world. The game does contain some resource management abilities which assists with your "bases" and units.

Features

  • Lead from the front - Control units and issue commands while viewing the battle from the 3rd-person POV of any unit on the battlefield. The 3rd-person camera offers unprecedented immersion in the game world and presents warfare in a more visceral, emotional, and epic manner than ever before.

  • The first fully 3D RTS - Gone are the flat levels of traditional strategy games. Engage in warfare on battlefields comprised of sprawling cities and towering skyscrapers that let you play in a truly 3D environment

  • Revolutionary Console RTS Features - Groundbreaking control method for quick and intuitive controls. ‘Tactical Playbook’ which gives players all the strategic choice they get from a traditional RTS, but with the simplicity and accessibility of a playbook

Stormrise is an interesting concept that unfortunately tries to be too clever for its own good as you control the game from a group of units perspective. For instance, the view of the game changes from each of the different units, whether it's land or air based. Switching between units is done through the "whip select" which gives you a line from your current unit to your intended unit and then you flick the right analog stick. Although quite a clever conception, it's actually quite tricky to master due to the fiddle some nature of the control system, especially in battles which becomes even more complex when these squads are not onscreen.

The units in the game for both sides are quite diverse and each have their pros and cons. Apart from your stock standard perishable units, the gamer has access to hero units that you must at all costs protect throughout the game because if they die, you will need to restart your mission.

The AI of the units also range from poor to good, depending on what objects are in their way and you often find that units will get stuck which means the player needs to intervene with their decisions and when a battle is in progression, this becomes frustratingly quite irritating. It's actually quite amusing when a bottleneck occurs as they are attempting to navigate their allies through the same small hole and thankfully this occurs with the enemy as well.

Where the game does excel is through the impressive level design that is quite 3D and detailed and really assists in portraying this futuristic environment of different terrains. Unfortunately the navigation abilities of the units hampers this impressive design. The developers ensured that the gaming environment is quite diverse as battles take place in the open or through narrow corridors that often have the enemy lying low. The greatest asset of the game as mentioned before is the ability to have a birds eye view of your location, provided you have units that can fly or reach high places in the game. Definitely an advantage when you are attacking your enemies.

Graphically, the title feels a little rushed, even though some of the gaming environments are visually quite impressive. The units are well animated that unfortunately get stuck with obstacles in their way and clipping also plays a part. There is some decent special effects and lighting, however the low resolution textures does make this game seem like a PS3 game that was released a few years ago as opposed to today. The musical score of the game is great as is the professional voice acting which really assists in the story. Match that with a plethora of sound effects from the guns to units and it goes hand in hand with the gameplay.

Apart from the single-player campaign mode, the multiplayer aspect is quite good and allows you to play with up to eight players worldwide. The game plays quite well in this aspect, although the navigation issues is still a problem, however gone are the convoluted missions which are replaced with some great multiplayer skirmishes. Add in some leader boards and the developers have attempted to create a sense of community with this game.

At the end of the day, Stormrise may have been better on the PC than the PS3, however it does have its moments from the clever RTS views and some twists and turns. It does feel a little beta-ish at times, however if you're after something DIFFERENT, than it's worth an investigation. 





 

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