War Diary

a game by The Adventure Company
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
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Ever wonder what Warcraft 2 might have looked like if it were made ten years earlier? Wonder no longer. War Diary, by The Game Factory, provides the answer. Take a handful of very pixelated sprite graphics, along with an AI that brings the term "cowlike" to mind, and you've got the basic structure of this game. There are many problems here. I could tell you all about how my SoundBlaster wouldn't auto-detect and how the game had no manual configuration options. Or I could delve at length into how the text wrapped mid-word in the game's pop-up messages or how the opening scrolling storyline cut off repeatedly before I could read my mission objectives. But suffice it to say that this is a very poorly-constructed game.

I'm always rooting for the independent, small-budget games to succeed. Often, they introduce an element of inspiration or clever design that the mass-produced games lack. Sometimes these elements can make such a game worth getting, even if the technology used is not up to par with current industry standards. But War Diary has no such innovation or personality. It wants so hard to be Warcraft 2 that it loses any sense of itself and completely forgets its supposed Japanese warlord storyline.

With the great number of professionally-produced real-time strategy titles coming out this year, War Diary cannot hope to fool enough gamers into giving it the kind of attention it would need to compete. Don't be lured by the "only $19.95!" tactic. Though it may provide an interesting example of what happens when a small company with few resources tries and fails to ride the tail of a trend, I wouldn't recommend buying it, even for curiosity's sake.

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