Stop crying and start CRYING!
Everyone needs a battle cry. Braveheart cried “Freedom!”
Captain Kirk startled us all with his mighty “Khhaaaannnn!”
Xena charged into battle shrieking her piercing “Ayayalalalalalala!”
Both He-Man and She-Ra fought for Greyskull.
The mighty Tick strikes fear in the
hearts of evildoers everywhere with his ominous “Spooooon!”
Apparently, even President
W has a battle cry, although it’s long and boring and involves prayer, terrorists
and tax subsidies.
if you don’t have a battle cry of your own, you can either use this handy
form or you might want to check out Warlords: Battlecry II from Ubi
Soft. At first it looks like a pretty standard real time strategy game, but
it’s got a couple cool RPG twists and impressive depth that makes it strangely
The world of Etheria is at war, for some reason. Mostly, it seems, because
you keep attacking your neighbors and taking their land. Sounds like war to
me. If you want a story, look somewhere else. Just scream your battle cry, choose
your race, and let the other guys have what’s coming to them.
You might have to put some thought into choosing your race, though, because
Warlords: Battlecry II has 12 of them. That’s right -12 fully developed
sides including Humans, Barbarians, High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves, Dwarves,
Orcs, Minotaurs, Undead, and more. Each race has its own unique abilities, buildings
and units. And Starcraft thought it was soooo cool to have 3 sides.
But you don’t just choose a race; you also choose a hero, whom you see on the
battlefield. Your hero has their own stats, abilities, spells and skills, and
they gain experience as you play. Based on your race and attributes, you even
choose character classes and later sub-classes for your hero. Be a warrior,
a wizard or a shaman – it’s your choice. Add in some items like the boots of
speed, the golden sword, or the adamantine shield to buff you out, and your
hero might just be ready for battle. It’s not Baldur’s
Gate, but it’s still plenty cool.
How do you go to battle? Well, it’s pretty easy actually. You just attack someone.
The map of Etheria lies open before you with 70-some odd areas to conquer. Your
hero fights right there down on the ground with your troops. Win or lose, your
hero will still gain experience from the battle (although you get more if you
Conquering different lands will gain you gold in tribute which you can spend
on a number of different things; magic weapons and mercenaries for example.
Of course, you must be prepared to defend a battlefield from the occasional
attack as well because the 11 kingdoms that are your neighbors (remember those
12 races?) are all trying to take over the world as well.
While functional, the graphics won’t impress your friends. Best are the units,
which are detailed and extremely well-animated. The terrain, however, is pretty
simplistic and bland, with bits of flair (a rock, a tree, a wagon) pinned to
it randomly. Worst are the buildings, which are almost comically unimpressive.
sound is just fine with clanks and zaps during combat and your troops saying
all the regular things when you click them – “Yes my lord,” “Death
to the enemy,” etc. But the music really stands out thanks to an impressive
orchestral score and some Celtic harp ditties.
The gameplay is very straightforward, direct from the book of real-time strategy
games. Build your buildings, mine your resources (4 of them) create some little
guys, upgrade them and order them around. Destroy the enemy and you win. Different
battlefields may also have unique rules, such as limitations on types of buildings
Your troops can also gain experience from battle, and those that have done
particularly well (and have survived) can become part of your retinue and join
you in the next war. Your experienced units may be powerful, but they still
cannot hope to match the power of the Titans.
Build a big enough base and mine enough resources and you can summon your race’s
Titan. These behemoths are the most powerful creatures in the game, but you
can only summon one per battle and they cannot be taken with you afterwards.
The most impressive thing about the units is the diverse AI settings. You can
choose one of 13 different “attitudes” for each unit or group of units.
Want them to guard something, or cast spells, or not cast spells, or
stand there like idiots, or be aggressive, or defensive, or just run around
the map trying to kill anything they find? You can do it all. The developers
must have read GR’s complaints about the dumb AI in the
Finished with the single player campaign? Warlords: Battlecry II comes
with a random map generator to challenge your hero and any possible spare time
you might have left. If that’s still not enough and you really need a game that
you can dedicate your life to, the robust multiplayer will make sure you never
see the light of day again. You can import your powerful heroes from the single
player game and scream your battle cry at some organic opponents. There are
even 12 different types of multiplayer battles.
Warlords: Battlecry II may look pretty rough on the surface, but there’s
a lot going on underneath. So much, in fact, that it’s hard to describe it all
in a review. If you’re a value-conscious gamer, it’s a very good choice – this
might be the highest number of gameplay hours you can get out of a single RTS.
While not revolutionary, Warlords: Battlecry II gives the RTS genre a
good swift kick in the pants to get it moving again. That’s all for now…Hi
ho Silver, away!