You are a robot and the gods have chosen to fight with you, this time sending three of their own fancy robots to sport with you. With this very thin premise as a background, you go out to fight in 8 different cities, finding opposing robots and destroying them with various weapons you gather along the way. Sound familiar? It should -- it's Stargate II meets MechWarrior.
Although Scarab's story is thin, gameplay can be enjoyable since the old-fashioned strategy of simply overpowering your opponent is often not the most effective approach. To really succeed in Scarab, you'll have to plan. You'll have to work carefully alongside the supporting forces who remain above in the mother ship while you descend to the planet to do battle. The mother ship delivers the materials you'll need to defeat the enemy, among them a series of towers which you can position at different locations in the contested city to construct a power grid. Use the power grid to gain control of 70% of the city and maintain control for a certain time against the opposition's challenges, and you'll win the game. Of course, if you like the old might-makes-right approach, that can be fun too since the opposing robots are tough to find and tough to kill.
In the end, though, Scarab is more frustrating than fun. Weapons are difficult to master -- a fact that in and of itself is acceptable; the poor documentation of the difficult weapons is, on the other hand, completely unacceptable. And although the gameplay is realistic and the graphics okay, the game is too easy to win without ever really engaging the enemy. When I began playing the game, I would usually spend ten or fifteen minutes trying to chase down and kill the other robot, but I soon realized that I was putting myself in unnecessary jeopardy. It is possible to win simply by setting up towers and waiting inside the relative security of the power grid. Sure, that's effective, but it doesn't lend itself to edge-of-your-seat thrills. I feel like I could have more thrills per minute by playing capture the flag with a bunch of my friends.
Scarab is no match for the games it's trying to emulate. Overall, since it's possible to win with little engagement of the enemy, the game is too slow for action thrills -- MechWarrior will raise your pulse much more effectively. And though Electronic Arts should be commended for introducing an element of strategy into this combat game (a good idea had they pulled it off), it isn't really complex enough to make it as a strategy title, either.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP