- Manufacturer: SEGA
Machine: Sega Genesis
- Graphics 8
- Playability 7
- Overall 7
Herzog Zwei is a third-party entry into the Genesis realm, having been developed by TechnoSoft. Some consider the first crop of Genesis games, all of which were produced by Sega itself, as a mediocre demonstration of the system's potential - not only as far as sound and graphics, but also in complexity. The Genesis' innards make it capable of more than running and jumping games. Thus hopes have been high that third-party developers would exhibit greater efforts to bring Genesis games up to speed.
Herzog Zwei ("Duke Two") is such an effort a unique arcade game played at breakneck speed, yet with all the strategic elements of a sophisticated war game. Striking out into territory that obviously could not be adequately charted with lesser equipment, it lets two players manage multitudes of troops, vehicles and weapons while displaying complex, fast-moving graphics in split-screen format. Though tough to learn, a clearly written 25-page manual is provided, and the computer is a good teacher.
In the simple plot, you're High Commander Ludwig, leader of the forces in rebellion against the evil oppressor Herzog Eins...Supreme Commander One. For each of the eight battles that comprise the war, your forces and your enemy's are balanced in resources. How quickly you decide which weapons or vehicles or men to buy and deploy and how deftly you implement your strategy with the joystick, determines whether you perish or prevail.
You can play against another human, against the computer or you can have the computer play against itself. There's no provision, unfortunately, for the TeleGenesis modem, so you can't play with armchair despots around the world. You also have the option of using a password system to keep track of which scenarios you've played. Win all eight battles against the computer, at each of the four different skill levels (32 battles total), and you win the war - and can expect to be properly rewarded. That's a Herculean task, though. Even at the lowest setting, the computer is a cruel and quick opponent.
The battles take place over varying terrain that scrolls beneath you as in Thunder Force II. The terrain is beautifully done, with bubbling lava, rippling water and other dynamic details, but without the 3-D multilevel effect of other Genesis games. The screen is split (with the option of a single, widescreen view when playing against the computer) and each side works independently. You control the movements of your "fighting force", which is either an attack jet, an infantry or an air transport - depending on the situation. At times, you'll directly attack the opposition's forces, but your primary task is to create and deploy as many armored cars, tanks, boats, trucks, cannons and infantry soldiers as you can. Each such item requires an appropriate command from a list of eight. A command screen pops up at the touch of a button, with current information and a radar window.
You have to watch your money and your fighting force's energy level. Energy can be replaced at base camps, and your overall objective is to capture all the neutral or enemy base camps while defending your own. Then you destroy the enemy's main base camp, and that's how you win a battle.
This game, with its frantic flicker-free graphics and dizzying strategic angles, is more than a match for any computer war game. But I believe Herzog Zwei is the first of its kind, and for those who enjoy wild shoot-'em-ups and war simulations, it's a superb and definitive crossbreed.
Herzog Zwei DownloadsHerzog Zwei download
- Levels: 32
- Theme: Action
- Players: 1
- Difficulty: Hard
Military simulation on 16-bit? You bet! Pilot your advanced plane from base to base laying down tanks and other combat vessels in order to mount the final offensive on the enemy!
In the distant future, our planet is held under oppressive rule by a single man: Herzog Eins. Not all of Herzog Eins' followers agree in the dictatorship, however. One of his most respected generals, Ludwig, has decided to use his military skills to restore Earth to a time of peace; a time when people ruled fairly and justly. So Ludwig secretly gathered a force to stop Herzog Eins and is now prepared to revolt, knowing the consequence for such actions is almost certainly death. Yet the promise of freedom is worth such a risk, and he vows to fight until the Earth is saved.
Herzog Zwei is a futuristic real-time strategy game, the first of its kind on the Genesis. Your goal is to defend your base from enemy attacks while mounting an assault of your own. A top-down view of the battlefield will show your hovering attack jet used to transport troops, spy on the opposition, or morph into a robot to fight on the ground! Units you'll be able to build include tanks, robotic infantry, armored motorcycles, missile launchers, boats and supply trucks. Since you directly control the attack jet, you'll be able to transport your created armies to key sectors along the battlefield. Each unit costs money, however, so you have to spend wisely.
Herzog Zwei takes place on eight planets, each offering different terrain such as snow, desert, water and lava: Abgrund, Vulkan, Loch, Strand, Stadt, Eisfrei, Waldung and Oase. To win the game, you must defeat the computer on each planet through four levels of difficulty. Once you've completed the one-player game, the war doesn't have to be over: two players can battle it out simultaneously on a vertically split-screen! A password system lets players resume their campaign against Herzog Eins after turning off the console.