Wait… you mean this game isn’t for the Atari?
In the game industry, this kind of a game event doesn’t occur very often. In
this era of light sourcing and 3D acceleration, it’s rare that we see a game
with a story that is much better than the graphics.
Normally, we here at Game Revolution would have praise for this kind of an
attempt at an immersive experience. Unfortunately, the gameplay in Army Men
is so bad, it is impossible to overlook. Like I said, it’s a rare scenario.
The story for Army Men rocks. You remember those little green, tan,
gray, and blue little plastic toys you used to play with? Even if you don’t,
the game comes packaged with two of them that will help you remember (in fact,
I think I’d rather play with the toys than play Army Men). Personally,
I remember setting up grand scale battles between the miniature men. The story
is set up brilliantly – the Green’s are attacking the evil, tyrannical Tan’s.
Blue and Gray are supposed to be neutral, but these groups sometimes help Tan,
and sometimes help Green. In a complicated story of backstabbing and trustworthiness,
little toys go head to head in plastic death.
The gameplay doesn’t quite pan out the same way. In three different environments,
Desert, Alpine, and Bayou, each containing four different missions, you must
attack and destroy the evil Tan invaders. Don’t let anyone trick you into thinking
this is a real-time strategy game. You control one unit, Sarge, who has his
own array of weapons and moves. You can call other soldiers in to help you,
but you still only control Sarge. So instead of getting to set up large battles,
you control one soldier. Quite boring.
On the plus side, you can drive vehicles. On the minus side, the novelty of
running over Army Men (admit it, you put them under car tires when you were
a kid) wears off quickly. Simply put, there was absolutely no fun involved in
playing the game.
in-game graphics are outdated. Lacking both style and substance, they seem unprofessional.
On the other hand, the cut-scenes are really good — they look like old newsreels,
except they have little plastic men moving around and talking. These small intermissions
really add to the story while making the gameplay look worse and worse at the
same time. And to add insult to injury, the sound and music suck too. What are
supposed to be radio communications between you and the base come off as garbled
static. Gun noises sound like they were made by a guy saying “Pkow! Boom!”.
The whole game has a distinctly amateur feel. It might have been great on
my 386, but now it’s just an old mess. The multiplayer mode may be the game’s
only saving grace. Although it only has a four-player maximum, which is disappointing,
it contains two different methods of play. The tried and true deathmatch mode,
as well as capture the flag. Deathmatch is boring but capture the flag can be
fairly fun. You can play modem to modem, over the internet, or on a LAN, so
at least the method of play isn’t limiting.
Legions of grown ups that were anticipating this game so that they could venture
back to their childhood will be deeply disappointed. If you want to play a boring,
tiresome game that seems like it should have been made 8 years ago, be my guest.
But for everyone else, I suggest not touching this one with a 20-foot stick!