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 Home -> Reviews -> Universe at War
Universe at War By: John "Award" Del Percio
March 24, 2008
Developer :Petroglyph
Publisher :Sega
Release Date :Q4 2007
Demo Available : Yes - Download
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Never Ending Gameplay. Partially Ending Story.

Overall, Universe At War is a pretty fun game. It features a bit of classic RTS gameplay, but adds some of the most original concepts to an RTS I've seen in a long time which really serves to shake things up a bit. The implementation is far from perfect, but it's far better than most that are attempted. It was a rewarding experience to play an RTS that finally felt original and creative. It's been many years since I've seen such a thing. I'm not sure how well Masari plays out in practice, however there are at least strategies to deal with them, even if those strategies are rehashes of age-old balance annoyances in RTS games going back to the early days. For an RTS gamer who's a bit tired of the same-old, you just may find a bit of refreshing change in Universe.


Personal Note

Graphics - Sound - Gameplay - Depth - Multiplayer  Reviewed by John Del Percio
90 %

The graphics are pretty good for a modern RTS, even without DirectX10. Unfortunately the camera is locked pretty low, preventing you from getting a large field of view on the battlefield. On the other hand this reaffirms the sense of scale when a Walker consumes most of your screen.

85 %

The music of the game is very good, with a C&C:RA type military RTS theme for the human prologue, a spacey ambient electronica sound for the Novus, a heavy metal on acid sound for the oppressive Hierarchy, and a more traditional but hard driving fantasy RTS type score for the Masari. Sound effects are pretty good, nothing special, but nothing disappointing. Voice overs were pretty well selected, though I'd like to personally bludgeon whoever wrote some of the dialogue scripts. Some sequences are so much like an action cartoon the player may expect a children's cereal commercial to follow them.

90 %

The gameplay, while not perfect, tends to be pretty fun. The quick hitting Novus, and the totally original Hierarchy give a new sensation to RTS, while Masari brings back some retro gameplay in a new package. The game loses some points for some puzzling balance issues with the Masari and for the third act collapse of the campaign.

85 %

In terms of the story, the depth starts out fairly well, but leaves the player dazed and confused in the third chapter where the story seemingly cuts out until a quick flicker of story in the closing cinematic. In terms of gameplay, the depth is reasonably solid given the various gameplay tactics that can be implemented between three entirely different factions

86 %

Through the return of a metamap system similar to that of Star Wars: Empire at War, and some very unique factions, multiplayer should be a long-lived strength for the game. The Masari may prove a bit problematic for long-running online games if not neutralized in their weak beginning. A late-game Masari player could be nearly invincible, if not attacked in a joint effort of other players.

I had a bit more fun playing this game than I should have. There aren't too many games I get fully addicted to, but for some reason this was one of them. From a technical standpoint, there are enough arguments against it to prevent it from being a favorite, and I don't think it will be one of my most frequently played games. That's a special enough designation that very few games get. But somehow while I was playing it I found it very fulfilling to play, and certainly recommend it for any strategy enthusiast, or even casual gamers looking for something that feels a bit different yet familiar at the same time.

Overall Rating



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