Earth 2150: Lost Souls
In 2150 Earth is a grim old place indeed. The planet has been knocked out of orbit and is on a collision course with the sun. The only people left are the remnants of three factions fighting over the resources necessary for evacuation.
If you have visited this bleak future in either of the previous games, Earth 2150 and The Moon Project, then you'll know to expect an involved, technically excellent RTS with a number of interesting innovations, albeit wrapped up in slightly laborious gameplay.
The map and units in Lost Souls are rendered in 3D with an elegant and intuitive camera system. It’s a good-looking piece of work, even though superficially it hardly differs from its predecessors. Its main downfall is the limited draw distance, leading to slight disorientation and a difficulty in keeping tabs on the bigger picture. This aside, Lost Souls ties its gameplay to the environment in an impressive fashion. Day turns to night mid-mission with shadows cast from units and buildings lengthening as the sun dips. Buildings and vehicles turn lights on when darkness settles, rain and snow fall convincingly, and aerial units climb and bank as they pass hills and mountains.
Base To Base
Common with the other two games is the way your home base interrelates with the bases you set up for each mission. Resources will often have to be sent from your mission base via airlifters, and units that you evacuate from each map back to HQ take their experience bonuses with them.
The elaborate technology tree lets you research everything from weapons to varying vehicle chassis types and scanner systems, and then custom design units before ordering your factories to produce them. These flexible research tree and inter-base management dynamics provide plenty of meat for the more technical player, but have a serious impact on pick-up-and-playability. Granted, no one expects an RTS to be playable without at least a cursory peek at the manual, but the baffling array of options here makes Lost Souls one for the more committed RTS fan.
Fight The System
The other side effect of the highly involved research and build mechanic is that you’re always conscious you’re battling the system rather than the enemy. You feel it’s much less about your combat strategy than your economic planning abilities. Can you regulate the flow of supplies between your home base and the front? Can you counter the Al’s ceaseless assaults with your defensive structure building?
The three linked campaigns, a skirmish generator as well as the multiplayer mode makes for good value for money for newcomers. But for anyone who has played either of the earlier titles, don't bother unless you found yourself gagging for more when the credits rolled on The Moon Project. Dazzling in its day. but we’re beginning to expect more from strategy games.
Download Earth 2150: Lost Souls
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP