Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars
There's nothing like building up a massive force and sending it out to squish some enemies. Unfortunately, Dynamix's latest strategy game, Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars, delivers no such rush.
Taking Care of Business
It's several decades after the events of the original Cyberstorm, and the alien threat is gone. Greed and violence, however, have created eight corporations that make up the economy of the Ty-phoeus System. You'll head a corporation and, through excessive violence, earn the rights to the jumpgate that leads to the other side of the galaxy--where you'll amass even more wealth.
CS2 can be played three ways: turn-based, simultaneous turn-based, or real-time. You can build robots and hover tanks, upgrade your facility, and make "bioderms," clones that take the place of human pilots. Everything's fully configurable: You can swap weapons on your vehicles, choose your type of mission, or set the shields and armor way down if you feel like a bloodbath. Or, if you prefer, you can just let the computer handle it all.
Sadly, Cyberstorm's gameplay isn't very interesting. There are three types of missions, but they all seem repetitive. Sonically, it's pretty cool hearing your bioderms scream when they get obliterated, but the game is plagued with ridiculous-looking terrain and sluggish map scrolling (even on a Pentium 200). All in all, you'd do well to skip Cyberstorm 2 and boot up StarCraft.
- Tanks are very fast, but they have weak weapons and armor. Make sure you have at least one of the bad boys (like this Giant) in your arsenal.
- Gang up on the most powerful enemy first and take him out. The rest should be really easy pickings.
- The stock bioderms run at the first sign of danger, so engineer your own and bump up their discipline stats.
Download Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars
What do you think of when you hear the word "corporate?" Dull meetings and boring memos? Droning accounts and stupidly complex legal documents? If so, Cyberstorm 2: Corporate Wars will not disappoint, at least in its faithful reproduction of corporate structure and excitement, or lack thereof.
The original Mission Force Cyberstorm was a pretty solid turn-based Mech game that was quick to get you into the field and had, for its time, a different feel from most other strategy titles. It was a bit top-heavy with tactics and Mech loadout decisions, but not painfully so. Unfortunately, Cyberstorm 2 dives completely down into the mundane, tiresome and Dull with a capital D details of your "business."
At first I thought this title really had potential, because I had some fond memories of Mission Force Cyberstorm and I was immediately intrigued by Cyberstorm 2’s option to play as either a real-time strategy game or as a turn-based strategy game. And even now, it has potential. Once it gets a patch or two.
The problems: well, to begin with it takes a hell of a long time to get into the battlefield in this game. Or rather, it takes a hell of a long time if you want to live for more than 30 seconds, as your initial allotment of Mechs is pretty badly configured for the forces they’re about to tangle with. But okay, let’s assume that you’ve put in the 20 minutes or so it takes to get your forces reasonably set up. All right — into the field. Try the "real-time" option. I put "real-time" in quotes, because on my screaming P2-266 with every ounce of video card brawn available and a ton of RAM, Cyberstorm absolutely crawled. Hmm … maybe it doesn’t like something about my system configuration … let’s try it on the P-133 I have in the other room. Nope, sorry, unplayable. So forget the real-time strategy and go back to good old turn-based. Pick a few missions, any couple of the dozen or so available. Then go out, get your Mechs beat up, and try to patch ‘em together for the next mission. The payoffs for the missions are so small that you can never really get your platoon of Mechs up to a respectable level of strength, and then bang, you run into a couple of enemy Mechs that are several levels more advanced than yours and you’re wiped out. Game over. Like, over and done and enter your name to start a new game. Or not.
Cyberstorm 2 appears not to be ready for prime time. I really, truly, sincerely wish that game makers would quit rushing titles out the door just to catch the current wave of popularity. If you are a game designer out there and you are listening, cut out this review and bring a copy of it with you to your next meeting with a marketing manager who might try to force the project you’re working on out the door before it’s ready. Gamers forgive having to wait, but they do not forgive companies that gladly take their $40 or $50 and then make them wait for 6 months’ worth of patches that sort of make the game play as it was intended and advertised to play in the first place. Onward …