Tag Archives: Apocalypse

Haven Review: Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100

Why is a doomed future always a featureless desert with murder machines? The world has ended and a bunch of survivors found an abandoned army base and made the place their home. After dealing with some local raiders, they came in direct conflict with something called the “Paradigm”; more war happened.

The future is brown and desolate
The future is brown and desolate

Warzone 2100 is a strategy game where war is a battle of research and resources, a veritable arms race. Machine gun research leads to rotating turrets, and that research leads to the option of making rotating canons. These can be combined with various chassis and turrets. This is the crux of the game play. Researched parts are assembled by the player into whatever configuration is needed and available at the time. This includes heavy cannons, which are not a very good thing to put on a squishy hover-tank. However, laser guns and artillery work great.

The sheer amount of weaponry, upgrades and research is simply staggering. This in turn means that matches can go on for ages. It all depends on the path each player takes, and the strategy used. It can turn into a pretty cool case of bouncing artillery shells back and forth due to various countermeasures. It was one of the first games that introduced the concept of units getting experience in combat, giving them an extra edge if they survive long enough. Luckily this experience can be transferred to other newer, shinier units.

War is noisy, brutal and not very flashy!
War is noisy, brutal and not very flashy!

After some time, those pesky all old units will become obsolete, rusted buckets of bolts. Back in the day I played this on a Playstation demo disc and the most interesting thing was the ability to manually navigate units with the controller. This is extremely helpful, since the path-finding is atrocious. Incidentally, this is also the biggest downfall to an otherwise great game; that and the horrid timer on each mission. Luckily there are cheats to disable these.

The other feature that set the game apart from other strategy games is in the way the campaign is set up. Each area has a main base and a limited map. As events occur, the map expands. Eventually you have to put units into a drop ship and ferry them to the next combat area. This makes the main base a staging point, which might be attacked during or after a mission.

Watch giant armies duke it out!
Watch giant armies duke it out!

Haven Review: Warzone 2100

Aside from a Playstation version, a PC version also exists, and dedicated people still play it. The game keeps up to date with newer Windows releases. However no one has yet had it in their mind to remake the game with better path-finding and more refined graphics. Most of the game is brown. The soundtrack is quite good and composed of several very long tracks which are most enjoyable outside the game itself. Personally I find the title very enjoyable, even though the path-finding is terrible. But by now you already know this.

Here is the page where the current version of the game can be acquired for free. Open source is awesome like that, and same goes for dedicated fans whom keep the game running on new systems.
http://wz2100.net/

Disclaimer: We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: LISA

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LISA, the painful RPG created by Dingaling Productions, is a side-scrolling, turn-based story set in a future where all women have mysteriously disappeared. You follow the story of Brad and his gang, trying to find Buddy; the last remaining girl. Early in the game Buddy runs away, and you must find her before hoards of roaming marauders and Mad Max-inspired raiders do.

Before I go deeper into this review, I would like to state that the contents of this game contain very mature themes. <Trigger> Warnings of Sexual Assault and potential violence toward minors.

The design of LISA is truly unique and amazing. While offering incredible storytelling, the game subverts classic RPG mechanics, making for a truly twisted experience. For instance, fellow teammates (and even portions of yourself) can be lost or traded away during in-game events. Sometimes this happens for “beneficial” reasons, but more often it’s because the game just wants to kick you a little harder while you’re already down.

Picture1One thing LISA creates very well is stress. I couldn’t play for more than an hour at a time; the story’s weight was too much to handle. I would have to take breaks and come back later, refreshed. If it wasn’t the story bringing me down, it was the game play. The two feed off each other; intertwined into a perfect mix of insanity, victory and hope.

While playing through LISA, I managed to skip a ton of content. Either because I just missed an area completely, or I was too stressed to continue in a particular direction. There are a million different items, party members, and power-ups to collect, and I managed to avoid most of them. However, that means that going back through the game would be a pretty different experience. Of course the majority of twists and turns wouldn’t have the same effect upon replay. Now that I think about it, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad. You could enjoy the game in a different way, without being punched in the stomach every ten seconds from the shear bleakness of everything.lisa-rpg-chickens

The game’s mechanics are very difficult to get through. It’s one of the hardest turn-based RPGs I’ve ever played. Now I’ve always been notoriously bad at this kind of game, so LISA might be a lot easier for RPG veterans. The real difficulty of the game lies in its complex resource management system. Everything is currency; from your actual money, which takes the form of nudey-mags, to your very body parts. By the end I was out of everything useful. I literally couldn’t beat some of the last bosses because I lacked the resources. Playing through again, I would definitely do a better job in this department.

Luckily, the music in this game is incredible. From dark, depressing scenes where you are begging for your life, to lighter moments just prior to the begging; there is a perfect piece to fit every occasion. I remember one particular song that’s still stuck in my head. It played whenever I came across a group of men doing something particularly Bro-ish, like pumping iron at the make-shift gym. It’s a soundtrack that accelerated the mood of the game; heightened or lowered your feelings to an extreme. It’s a soundtrack I would listen to on it’s own, and I do while working out…I can’t help it.Lisa_Combat

The music wasn’t the only thing about LISA that fit the mood. The visuals were also spot on. The 16-bit graphics were carefully selected to put the player in a certain mindset; to bring on feelings of nostalgia and retro-ness. The game then took those feelings and completely blindsided me with all the violence. It can get surprisingly gruesome for a style that doesn’t intrinsically lend itself to gore. The game also performs the interesting trick of keeping changes to the character models and scenery; permanently.

The controls of the game also subvert the classic model. In combat for instance, each character has their own abilities, fighting styles and overall setup. It takes a fair bit of time to learn how a character actually works. The main character, Brad has a default set of enabled abilities. But you can choose to disable one ore more, affording more power to those you leave enabled. It makes combat interesting and inventive.9d62e9cba0fb9bbead87965575b49687e05e0e28

At it’s core, LISA is such a unique experience; one that I really haven’t seen before in video games. It’s difficult. It’s unfair. But it’s so unapologetic and unwavering in it’s delivery and purpose that I can’t help but respect the shit out of it. It’s honestly a game that’s hard to describe. When I talk about it, it seems like I’m saying mostly negative things. This game is so steeped in negativity, that in the depths of stress and hopelessness there is a solace; if that makes sense. Plus, the comical moments are such a joy that they almost provide relief from those feelings.

This is not a game for everyone. Hell, it might not be a game for anyone. But LISA is aware, and she doesn’t care. It’s for those who want to experience something truly painful. It’s not what I would call “fun”, rather it’s an experience that I am better for. If you are the type of person who uses games to escape, you may want to stay clear of LISA‘s outstretched arms. This game is especially not for people who are easily offended, or for those who have trouble processing dark themes.

As stated at the beginning of this review, this game has huge trigger warnings. I found it to be an incredible experience, and if you think you can handle it, do it. But player, beware. LISA will take you places from whence you may return…changed.LISA

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-

 

Haven Review: Epoch

epochFirst up is our disclaimer.  We got this game because we wanted to review it, and as such
all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.Epoch_screenshot07

In a world decimated by Robots and war much like the terminator franchise comes a Robot who has to save a princess. Battling your way across various stages in the game of EPOCH.
You fight not only for your own survival but also to find and protect the Princess that you fear other robots are after.

During your fights you can upgrade your equipment and your chassis to become stronger and more powerful and when you thought you were strong enough you unlock hard mode and the other difficulty levels after clearing that mode as well.epoch1

Combat in the game solid considoring that it was designed originally for the Tablet and then ported to the PC where it is a simple swipe and fire interface before you duck back behind a piece of concrete. Using the terrain also to your advance to clear out enemy robots that are trying to destroy you and also stop huge bosses.

Is the game worth it, honestly I think it is as it is cheap and kinda fun to play and I recommend it to anyone of all age groups who like robots and shoot’em ups.
My only issue with the game is that to find out more about the plot and the story you got to replay stages over and over again and also read a lot.

-Daniel Clatworthy-