Warhammer 40,000: Final Liberation

a game by SSI
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
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Overview

Warhammer 40,000: Orcs and Imperial Troops. If you have ever played Warhammer 40K on a sandtable you have played this game. Any changes made from the tabletop to the computer only add to the playability, so if you like the board game, buy the computer version, then make it known that you want an expansion for each group and a terrain editor, and this game will truly do the original justice.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The multiplayer gameplay is simple: you choose a side, build your force, and (hopefully) kick some tail. The single player gameplay is seemingly even more simple, yet in some ways a bit more complex, mostly due to the evolving structure of the campaign. Let me explain: you start your first battle with a pre-set force and as long as you win it has no effect on later missions. So starting off is easy. From then on though you have to determine where to attack, what army you are going to attack with (as the game progresses you get more armies), and which troops you want to repair or which new troops you need to buy (money is limited by the number of areas you control and their value). Early decisions affect later options, so although it looks simple in the beginning, the outcome of your battles determines your strategies later.

As for controls, each button has a clearly defined function, and when you move the cursor over anything you get information on that object in a text window at the bottom of the screen. The interface is simple, easy to understand, and has just about any feature you need. One thing I feel I have to mention is that just about anyone can sit down in front of this game and play. You don't need a manual or instructions. It is that easy. You may make bad tactical choices, but if you keep at it, you'll pick up the nuances.

Graphics

The graphics are just what I expected: solid, flat, 2D images. No rendered 3D, high-polygon count graphics, but you buy the game for its tactical play and that's what you get. If this game did have a movable camera and 3D units, I would still be playing the game and wouldn't have time to write this review.

Audio

First off, when a new musical track starts, the game pauses to load it. The pause is only about one second, but it drives me nuts. Second, the musical tracks are such good theme music that when I had a role-playing session in my apartment we left the game on and turned up the sound. It had a very suspenseful battle-will-happen-soon feel to it. The sound effects were not as good, but the missiles, lasers, war-buggies, chain guns, and just about everything sounded like I would think they should sound like.

Multiplayer

It's fast, easy, and works any way you want it to (hotseat, modem, network, Internet, null-modem cable). I for one am glad that hotseat, the most common multiplayer style, was implemented and implemented well. The only gripe I have about multiplayer is that to play an Internet game you have to know the IP address of your opponent. The search for a TCP/IP game never turned up a game.

Documentation

The documentation tells a story, gives tactical advice, lists the units, and shows every button and what it does. It does just about everything but give a picture of every unit. Oops ... that's right, that part is online, accessible when building an army or in the middle of combat. The only complaint I have with the manual is that the game is so well done that you don't need it (they just should have put the story, history, and tactical advice online with everything else).

System Requirements

Required: Pentium 90 MHz IBM PC or compatible, 16 MB RAM, Windows 95, uncompressed hard drive with 160 MB free for full install, 2X CD-ROM drive, SVGA video card with at least 1 MB of memory and a color SVGA monitor, 100% Microsoft (or Logitech) compatible mouse, Microsoft mouse driver version 9.00 or higher or Logitech mouse driver version 6.24 or higher , Windows 95 compatible sound card

Reviewed on: K6-200, Windows 95, 48 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, ATI 3D Expressions+ PC2TV, SoundBlaster16

Bottom Line

Other than Warhammer 40K: Final Liberation locking up on my spare computer because it does not currently have a sound card and the problems in getting an unplanned Net game going, this game is a winner. I enjoy playing it and so do my Warhammer 40K board game-playing friends. If you like tactical war gaming and/or the Warhammer 40K universe, don't hesitate to buy this game -- you'll be pulling it down off the shelves for a long time to come. With the addition of a terrain editor and some of the other armies (Chaos, Eldar, etc.) this game will offer unlimited replayability.

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