Time of Defiance
A million years ago, a bunch of scientists destroyed their planet's crust and had to replace it with a flotilla of antigravity islands. Luckily for us this tragedy spawned an online RTS that now causes sleep deprivation, agoraphobia and unpleasant body odour among a legion of die-hard strategy-heads - and will do so for years to come. Not all bad then.
Time Of Defiance is a perpetual strategy game played against real people, up to 1,000 of them in each game. You start off on a randomly generated island, joining 3,000 other rocks on a colossal map - a map so big that it takes about 10 hours for one of your ships to cross. Through a combination of resource building, diplomacy and strategic planning, you must ensure that your budding empire prospers in the face of your neighbouring players. Games last 28 days, although weekend-only options are available for wimps and the terminally busy. On the plus side this limits your chances of meeting a behemoth MMOG player who has been building strength from day one (known in ZONE circles as 'a Chris Anderson') and keeps affairs tight and furiously addictive.
It's a game that you can keep running in the background of your desktop - a battleship will take around 50 minutes to create after all -and should you ever feel the need to sleep or go to the toilet, orders can be left with your islands to keep them ticking over. If some git attacks you in the middle of the night then you're slightly buggered, but the game will send emails about your upcoming decimation, so perhaps the answer is to never to touch your PC's 'off' button.
The real hook for Time Of Defiance is the player interaction. Hazy alliances can be made, information can be traded and powerful aggressors can be paid off with bribes (the online equivalent of giving your dinner money to the big boys at playtime). Intelligence, pre-made ships and warp-gate codes can also be purchased from the omnipresent Eighth House - an NPC corporation that makes a tidy profit from supplying arms.
Some may be familiar with ToD already. Having been available to download for some time now, it's already garnered an enthusiastic community. Thanks to Nicely Crafted Entertainment's recent deal with publisher Oxygen Interactive, it's now heading to retailers with a barrage of new content. Updated graphics, new music and sound effects and a free three-month trial period all come with the boxed copies. Refinements to the gameplay are also promised, although this down to balancing and nicer-looking interfaces. How well this will go down with the paying public remains to be seen.
Download Time of Defiance
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP