A wise man once said, Everybody wants to rule the world. Or was that a pop star? Regardless, who wouldn't want to rule the world? Psygnosis must have been thinking just that when they began developing Global Domination, their new strategy game that gives you the chance to take over the world (insert evil laughter here).
Global Domination is by no means your standard strategy game. In fact, it is a real-time game with a fairly strong emphasis on action. It has been described as "Risk meets Missile Command," and the definition seems quite fitting.
You play as a new recruit working for ULTRA, an organization that resolves conflicts around the world. As the game progresses, you will take control of a country. At that point, the world can be yours for the taking.
The weapons at your disposal range from old WWII devices to fighting implements of the future. There are also defensive weapons that can take out enemy missiles or turn their own weapons against them.
So what can you do with all these toys? Well, the most obvious thing to do is start pounding your major opposition with them until they're toast. If you're feeling a tad more strategic, however, you can pick off weaker countries to expand your territory. You can even defend other countries to gain their allegiance in future encounters.
After you've beaten all of the normal missions, you can use the game's mission editor to create your own battle scenarios. This feature, along with the strategic and exciting gameplay, should make Global Domination a blast.
Download Global Domination
If you read the press release for Global Domination, you might think you were in for a real video gaming treat, maybe even a whole new kind of game. Here's what it says:
Taking inspiration from James Bond’s "Never Say Never Again," the board game "Risk" and the Arcade classic "Missile Command," "Global Domination" gives players the challenge of strategic level warfare across the globe. Command & Conquer, it is not. Although we do have land, sea, air and space based military hardware. Risk, it is not. Although we have split the world by quasi-political boundaries ... our sole objective being to create a game that stands out from the rest and create a whole new genre.
Unfortunately, the game bears so little resemblance to a James Bond movie, Risk, or Command & Conquer that it is basically Missile Command 1999. It has a nice holographic globe that you spin around and slightly better sound effects than the old arcade game, but that's about all the extra intrigue there is.
In fact, Psygnosis does itself a huge disservice in mentioning all these other, far more enjoyable ways to spend your time. This is a game that suffers a great deal from the "what if?" syndrome: what if they had made it much more of a strategic and less of a very thin tactical game? What if they had brought in more elements of a Risk-type scenario? I think they might have made a much better game.
What you get instead is a very repetitive arcade game with little replay value, hugely underwhelming play options, and "bargain bin" written all over it. In fact, as of this writing it can be had for $14.99 at the local CompUSA, despite the fact that it came out less than a month ago.
Oh yes, the story in case it matters to you is this: "It is the year 2015, and the world is in turmoil. Political stability is a thing of the past. Countries struggle to protect themselves from the greed of their enemies ... " blah blah blah. Would these guys have known originality if it had smacked them upside the head? I doubt it.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
A more accurate title for Global Domination might have been Sit n' Spin, as the game consists almost entirely of spinning a holographically-projected globe back and forth, up and down, while clicking on different icons that may or may not respond when you want them to. There is a passing attempt at resource management and force deployment, but it really isn't all that important, since no matter where you put your missiles, batteries, naval units, etc., they're really just slightly different-shaped icons that all pretty much make the same like-colored blip fly from one country to another. They've thrown in a number of little cut-scene style animations to show you that they were paying attention to Command & Conquer, but these seem like a cheap knock-off when the game behind them is so simplistic. I think they should have spent less time rendering the cut-scenes and a good deal more time on game concept.
The gameplay, game concept, controls and graphics are, in short, very disappointing, just like the rest of the game. It isn't fun for more than about five minutes, and if you're forced to play it for longer than that it quickly gets frustrating to realize that you're wasting time that could be better spent scrubbing your oven or bathing the cat.
In all fairness, yes, there is a mission tree; yes there are numerous weapons that become available as you progress through the game; and yes, you can set different levels of difficulty, including playing multiplayer if you want. But no, none of this redeems this game.
The graphics in Global Domination are very simple polygons overlaid on a holographic-looking globe. The globe itself is nice to look at, but the rest of the graphics end up looking that much poorer due to the photographic quality of the globe.
The missiles you shoot at your opponents are basically just colored globs with little trails behind them. Sort of like, well, Missile Command. The box says that Global Domination features 3Dfx-enhanced graphics, but I didn't notice anything particularly compelling about this feature either.
The audio in Global Domination is as basic as it comes. Zap. Pow. Freen. You certainly don't need more in this game, and you certainly don't get it. All in all, I really didn't care one way or the other about the audio in this game -- its complete lack of any other redeeming features made the audio a moot point.
Required: Windows 95/98, 166MHz Pentium or higher, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive
Reviewed on: Windows 98, Pentium II-266, 64 MB RAM, 32X CD-ROM drive
Global Domination is one of the worst looking, more obvious "cash in on the hot genre" games I have seen in a long time. It isn't fun, it admits it isn't original, and even at $14.99 it's not worth the price of admission. Look for it soon in one of those 10 packs of stinker games that they hang like so much bad sausage at your local CompuSuperMegaMart. It rates a 30 out of 100 -- and only that because it reminded me I should get my old Risk game out of the closet for another spin.