Genre: Strategy / tactics
Perspective: Bird's-eye view
Visual: Free-roaming camera
Gameplay: Real-time strategy
Interface: Multiple units / characters control, Point and select
Published by: Interplay Productions
Developed by: TopWare Programmy Sp. z o.o.
One of my favorite real-time strategy games, which, unfortunately, was not appreciated at its true worth by the majority of players. Despite the gorgeous graphics and good AI and game balance, the game simply did not have enough well-known publisher to attract attention.
The plot of Earth 2140 is simple and straightforward. In 2140, only two groups remained on Earth - EA and UCS, which are fighting, if not for world domination, then simply for another small piece of land polluted by an endless war. Well, you provide one of the groups with all possible assistance.
For me, this game is especially attractive because of the many seemingly small things, which I will list below.
The first of these is the very significant role of the infantry. Buildings are captured not by engineers with wrenches, as is customary in the C & C series, but by soldiers, and they are being taken by storm. Accordingly, you can protect your buildings from capture by placing several of your infantrymen there.
Here you will not see light fighters frenziedly shooting a tank from small-caliber weapons. In the case of the infantrymen of the Eurasian Alliance, they will simply throw grenades at him. And the cyborgs of America are armed with much more impressive machine guns, capable of piercing even the armor of a tank.
The infantry can get through the thickets, while the technique can only bypass them or burn them out.
The second interesting aspect can be dubbed "logic", or rather - an attempt to somehow smooth out the absurd things that are often found in other representatives of the RTS genre.
Have you ever been embarrassed by how a tank comes out of a box of comparable size? The developers of Earth 2140, apparently, were very embarrassed, so they tried to find their own graphic explanation for this phenomenon - the unit is built in an underground compartment, and travels to the surface on a special elevator.
The same is true for construction. How can buildings crawl out of the ground or be built by a single worker? In Earth 2140, a building is constructed inside the main base, where it is placed inside a special moving construction platform, which can then be transported to a location convenient for deployment. The construction process itself is bashfully hidden by the steel pyramid of scaffolding. Decent solution, in my opinion.
Although you have to collect minerals, they do not lie on the surface, but, as they should be, are deep in the ground, and therefore are detected only through radar and nothing else. This raw material is extracted by automated mines, from where it is then transported to the plant for smelting on trucks or flying transporters.
After the explosion of a nuclear power plant or the fall of at least a nuclear missile, the nearest zone will be contaminated, and the units in it will be damaged. If you have the desire and resources, the enemy can arrange his own small, localized Chernobyl.
The third aspect I will call, no matter how trite, the graphics. Because in Earth 2140, she's really great.
Beautiful landscapes, detailed models of units and buildings, as well as amazing explosions and fire effects. All this makes you admire every battle, every moment of calm.
On soft surfaces, such as mud, there are tank tracks. A very cute effect that appeared back in the era of Dune 2, unfortunately rarely used.
And finally, the final, but perhaps the most important touch is the balance of the sides.
EA staked on a time-tested technique. Therefore, their arsenal is made up of tanks, helicopters, ships. All of them are extremely durable.
The UCS, in turn, followed the path of progress, so that their main combat units are various types of bipedal robots with air support from anti-gravity aircraft.
Only EA has a fleet, while UCS is limited to a mineboat. Although the robot, loaded onto a hovercraft, also poses a considerable danger to the enemy's naval forces.
The differences between the sides are noticeable even in architecture. It is difficult to confuse EA's rough steel boxes with the rounded shapes of UCS buildings.
And one more small detail - AI. It plays pretty well, the units in the three pines don't get stuck, but in addition it provides a couple more features rarely seen in other RTS.
In any strategy, situations are sometimes created when you have to comb a huge map in search of hidden units or remnants of enemy bases. In Earth 2140, this task is made easier by the presence of "generals". Each of them (there are three in total), you can give command of one of your squads and set him a line of behavior. Then all you have to do is watch your AI-controlled squad clearly follow orders, checking every corner of the map.
It is also possible to record a whole line of behavior for an individual unit or the entire squad. You can specify the route and targets to be destroyed.