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Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising Review
developer: Rage Software
genre: Action Strategy
PII-266, 64MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM, 8MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Jun 13, 01 (released)
|» All About Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising on ActionTrip|
Rage Software is a name I didn't hear too often, but I sure remember it ever since the first time I heard it. Four (or was it five) years ago, when I first saw Incoming on our EIC's new Voodoo 2 hardly believing my eyes, the age of 3D acceleration was walking in through the big door, and Incoming decently presented what it would bring us... well, visually, at least...
On the other hand, I must admit that I didn't find the game and its senseless shooting too interesting. As most players had similar objections to Expendable, which appeared somewhat later, Rage was simply forced to add a need to think to all that left-clicking. This gave us a game that will require you to do some strategic planning, and then shoot senselessly - Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising.
The plot behind the game is a bit shaky (not to say stupid). The "Professional graphic novel author" who wrote it is obviously a utopist on heavy drugs, judging by the irrationality of the story. The entire thing takes place some thirty years in future, when there will be no evil, no wars, no weapons, ailments, hatred or starvation. You see the perfectly harmonic communion in which all population works on advancing the civilization. This is a pretty stupid situation for a shoot-em-up, but, fortunately, there's always that "but" that will provide the players with something to do. In this case the player will have to face a group of ex CEOs, dictators and similar frustrated individuals who find only fear and suffering in a world like this. They are not too numerous, but they are extremely militant, so they organized their own fortifications and units on an archipelago of twenty artificial islands in the Pacific Ocean. As there are no more weapons on the rest of the planet, the humanity found itself in rather an awkward situation. Fortunately, they somehow found the last 'adaptive cruiser' - Antaeus, a dangerous carrier equipped with a special onboard nanofactory, which can produce tanks, fighters and choppers out of raw materials... And that's mankind's last resort...
You, of course, assume control of this carrier and its resources, which you will have to use carefully in order to win through. The resource-management functions about the same as in any real-time strategy out there: using the scarabs, the harvester-like vehicles, you have to scrap metal, the basic resource used by Antaeus for making helicopters, buggies, hovercrafts, tanks, planes, guns and special equipment... The good thing about it all is that you can design and equip each of your vehicles the way you like it... you will be able to attach chopper guns to a tank and vice-versa, build up any amount of armor you can afford, or better still get a better AI chip that would run the unit. This is where we reach one big difference between Hostile Waters and most other strategies. The idea is that you have to use AI chips to run your robotic units. Each of these chips has imprinted memories, thoughts and feelings of deceased soldiers thanks to the 'Soulcatcher' technology.
AI is relatively decent. The soldiers performed their tasks quite well, even if they were out of their profession. So, even if you put Madsen the tank-driver's chip into a buggy, it will do relatively well. I only hated the fact that the choppers frequently get close to an object, be it a building or another chopper, and tend to smash their propellers without figuring that they should perhaps move away... the Programmers gave their best to build the personality of each and every soldier, giving you an impression that you are playing with live soldiers that have their own personal characteristics and ways. This seems interesting, but the sometimes-repetitive dialogues can become boring after a while. For instance, I cannot remember how many times I heard "You're not that bad!"... "Shut up... I hate compliments"...
6.9 Above Average
Interesting missions, nice effects;
Pathetic, frustrating camera, commands, no multiplayer...