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Earth 2150: Lost Souls Review

GAME INFO
publisher: Strategy First
developer: Zuxxez Entertainment
genre: Strategy

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
PII 333, 64MB RAM, 8MB Video Card
ESRB rating: T
homepage:
www.earth2150.de/ls/

release date: Sep 09, 02
» All About Earth 2150: Lost Souls on ActionTrip


September 28, 2002
Zvezdan "GTS" Obradovic

Did you know that nuclear wars can divert the Earth's orbit towards the sun? and what then? Utter destruction seems inevitable. This is exactly what is in store for all who didn't manage to escape earth in Earth 2150: Lost Souls, the third part of the Earth 2150 trilogy.

If you happen to remember the last Earth 2150: The Moon Project, you know that most of Earth's population managed to escape to Mars, and those who were left became lost souls in search for revenge for being left in a tight spot.

Earth 2150: Lost Souls was developed by Zuxxez and published by Strategy First, and it is in fact a number of add-on missions with practically no other novelties... yet, this doesn't necessarily make Lost Souls a bad game.

Again we meet all of our old friends: Eurasian Dynasty, Lunar Corporation and the United Civilized States. You will have to go through all three campaigns in order to see the full plot. If this is your first go at an Earth 2150 game, you should go through the tutorials first. The "ED" campaign sets you in the role of General Fedorov who has to oversee the preparations of the escape vehicles while defending his compatriots from the remaining two fractions. The "LC" campaign will make you protect a secret project of theirs, and the last campaign will let you play Marcus Grodin, an ex "UCS" defense minister. Apart from the campaigns you can also play the skirmish mode which features a large number of maps, some of which are incredibly huge...

Each of the fractions has specific vehicles equipment, weapons, technology, units, etc. Anyone who played the rest of the series will immediately realize that these missions tend to be a lot harder than the ones before and that they are primarily meant for the hard-core fans of this game. This features your classic RTS gameplay; you have to take care of the resources, gradually upgrade your technology and weaponry, transport your troops and resources to faraway places, form and break alliances... one good thing is that you have a fairly limited time to achieve your goals which will make you think always one step ahead of your opponents. And there's always spy-crafts to help you with that. The terrain also plays an important role in devising strategies; a well placed base with prudently set buildings will always be far easier to defend. As always, the most important structures have to be additionally secured.

The interface is all too well known; it is simple clear and functional, enabling smooth and comfortable gameplay. The game features an immense number of vehicles weapons, buildings and upgrades. Now before you start frantically upgrading just about everything, you better devise a development plan, as you simply won't have enough time to use all possible options.

This offers practically an infinite number of strategic possibilities. The terrain configuration will help you decide whether you are going to attack your enemies from land, sea or air, but the smartest thing in most cases would be to attack them from more than one side at once. Never try to rush in this game. Your base first has to be secured and attacks carefully planed because of the very limited ammo your troops carry. If the moral starts dropping, you can simply make one of your vehicles carry your flag, and that should mend things. The debris from destroyed buildings will act as obstacles and thwart movement. Some missions will give you a lot of trouble even on medium difficulty, as the enemy tends to appear out of thin air just when you thought you won.

The enemy AI is pretty good; it will try to avoid your fire and always aim for your weakest points. Path-finding is mostly OK, but some units seem to get lost once in a while.

The graphics will in a way leave you speechless, if nothing else, because it has all been seen before, but it is still becoming and functional. Lost Souls utilizes the same engine as the last Earth 2150: The Moon Project. The objects have relatively few polygons and the textures are fairly simple, but the animation and the visual effects are really nice. The camera will let you watch the action from just any angle. You can set the level of zoom as well as game speed, which is very useful as this is one of the slower games I played. The night and day changes make the game look better, and also let you perform tactical maneuvers during the night. The fog of war looks far from impressive. All in all, the graphics are mediocre yet functional, nevertheless. The game will offer you a great number of options for setting the visual quality and adapting the game requirements to what your machine has to offer, just bear in mind that the game becomes ridiculously demanding as soon as there are many units on screen.

The sound effects and music are all very good, but we already had a chance to hear them all in the previous installment. It could not have hurt to add some new sounds or music.

Earth 2150: LS is a very good game to play in multiplayer mode and it offers 25 maps for you to battle out on LAN or Earth-Net (internet). The map editor that ships with the game gives you unlimited possibilities in creating new maps, and hence, substantially increases the replay value.

This game has nothing new to offer, but it is still fairly interesting. The large number of new, hard and complex missions is bound to keep and SF RTS fan in front of his computer for some time. Earth 2150 trilogy fans will be overwhelmed with this game. The rest of you would be better off with something else.

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6.9   Above Average 


HIGHS
A lot of missions and options, map editor;

LOWS
Déjà vu, mediocre graphics, slow missions, too demanding at moments.

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