|a game by||Shrapnel Games|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
|Rate this game:|
Remote Assault, you may think, has the perfect premise: Sometime in the future all warfare might be a remote control, push button affair. With that in mind then, a game that sets the player in the control booth of these avatar military forces would be the perfect mesh of the technology and theme. To an extent this succeeds but the shortcomings of this game weigh in somewhat against perfection.
Apparently in this future time when solitary geeks control the forces in the field remotely, your only air assets are choppers and the AFVs are pretty much of the conventional sort you'd see on a present-day battlefield. Yes, there are walkers but this is far from a Mech game. The walkers merely replace the infantry; their main advantage being that they can go anywhere, including the terrain where the heavies can’t venture. They're called RABs (Remote Assault Bipeds) and they look like tiny versions of the Star Wars AT-ATs.
One benefit to all this simplicity though is that the game is exceptionally stable and smooth, but one gets the feeling that this high quality could have been applied to a more ambitious graphical and gameplay premise. The screen controls allow total fluid scrolling and zooming around the playing field, er, battlefield and you can look at the action from any angle or distance.
The game includes a tutorial and two linked style campaigns. There's also a mix of single battle scenarios. There are no options for random battle generation or scenario editing. Multiplayer is here but I didn't try it -- it appears to allow host-client type connectivity for IPX LAN, IP network and direct serial connection.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
The game controls are fairly flexible. You can direct your forces at three command levels: individual units, squads or groups. You can designate "behaviors" like scout, attack or cautious movement. Right click on a unit for a list of commands that allow for the designation of target units, deploy in a line or resupply. Supply is a factor in some scenarios. Units run out of ammo and can be replenished if they're in the vicinity of supply vehicles. Movement is all mouse, either though the right-click command menu or simply by left clicking a unit and the again on their desired destination.
The graphics, in a way, have suffered some from the perfect premise. You might think resources have been directed away from this area of the product because there's no need to depict too much reality. After all, your role as a remote assaulter has you looking at the battlefield through a computer monitor. The landscape is minty green, like a wrinkled pool table. There are patches of uniform trees. The roads are perfect blacktops with brightly painted dashed white lines and they never get shell pocked. Explosions are decidedly understated. A killed tank just goes black and rolls over like a turtle. It makes sense, again, in keeping with the theme but is not very graphically exciting. The most smoke on the battle field is provided by the, well, smoke units -- the primary variation of your main battle tanks has the ability to throw smoke. Perhaps detailed and careful play of the game might reveal how this is deserved. At any rate, when smoke is thrown by a group of units, the canisters splay out in uniform patterns and the uniform foggy result stays in place.
As for the audio, apply the same principles or resource conservation. Since you're a remote warrior, you don’t need to hear much. There are the explosions and the tanks and the choppers, but the sound perspective seems off. The choppers can be hear when they are off screen and sometimes projectile impacts make no sound. Oh, well.
Minimum: Pentium 233, 3D accelerator with features and speed of a Voodoo1, 32 MB RAM, and Windows 95/98 with DirectX installed.
Recommended: P2-400 or Celeron class processor. 3D accelerator with features and speed of a Voodoo2, or TNT2, 64 MB RAM, and Windows 95/98 with DirectX installed
This title has the perfect premise for the computer wargame player and lots of potential for further exploration. This stable game gets it right but provides conventional gameplay, unimaginative graphics and a noticeable lack of depth. A more fully realized game might have engaged the player more in the computer aspect -- maybe a computer virus, technical malfunctions or misleading information. Maybe next time.