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Z (DOS)

Zed DOS
Genre: Strategy / tactics
Perspective: Top-down
Visual: Real-time
Pacing: Real-time strategy
Interface: Multiple units / characters control, Point and select
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Developed by: Bitmap Brothers
Released: 1996
Platforms: DOS, PlayStation (PSX, PS1)

A real-time strategy game that completely redefined all the rules and fundamentals of the genre. Absolutely bloodless, but about war. No construction, but with factories. With a complete lack of money, minerals and everything related to the economy, but with a wild hunger for the main resource. How is all this possible? Take a sip of rocket fuel from an aluminum can, play heavier music - and everything will fall into place!

The game is completely bloodless. No, this does not mean at all that no one will die! It's just that there are no people in the game and no living creatures at all, except perhaps the crocodile lizards of the local fauna, but they do not count. All your soldiers are robots, and that's great! But these robots, and especially some of them, are so charismatic and sometimes so similar to us ... but more on that later.

First of all, this is a strategy with units and a classic "rubber frame". The mobile part of our army is represented only by infantry and equipment, no aircraft and ships, but believe me, this is more than enough to break your head. The idea that there are few types of units will not appear in your mind! The stationary part is the factories, the cannons and the Fort. We can only build cannons out of all this, the factories must be captured, and the fort must be defended. It seems that everything is simple, but only until you remember the main resource - time. Indeed, what could be more important on the battlefield? Certainly not oil and spice.

Each battlefield is divided into sectors, many of which contain vital factories and factories. With the capture of the symbolic flag in the sector, the plant, as well as the adjacent territory, come under your control. With the acquisition of new sectors, the time for making units and guns decreases, however, the area that needs to be defended also grows. By the way, each plant can only produce "specialized products", since there are only two types of factories - infantry and tank, so you won't get confused. The only exception is the fort that builds everything, but it is usually the farthest from the front line.

The entire gameplay of the game is "real-time chess". True, it is impossible to calculate all moves with a probability of 100% or at least 50%: unlike other strategies, your valiant wards can either hit the enemy or miss. Or the driver in battle will stick his head out of the hatch - and ... the enemy, rejoicing, accepts a brand new tank as a gift! Moreover, any infantryman can climb into it, and the effectiveness of the new unit will be determined by the IQ of the new driver, and it (IQ), by the way, is present in this game. In general, the soldiers will more than once please you with the skillful use of the found grenades, maneuvering and ... panicky screams for help! The game is difficult. And it will often force you to seriously strain your brain synapses. You will need speed of reaction, thoughtfulness of decisions, tactical planning and, of course, luck! Very often, luck will decide everything!

By the way, there are main characters in the game! Brad and Allan. Two ordinary soldiers of your army, part-time pilots, dragging us all over the worlds, where this hot mess is taking place. Clockwork and cheeky guys who adore rocket fuel and heavy music will not let us get bored even during missions, although they will not give orders. The only thing that can stress them is General Zod. But with this blockhead in a hat and black glasses, who does not choose expressions in orders and actions, we will only meet in the screensavers. The latter are in the game, and all are saturated with great (far from English) humor. So if suddenly the gameplay does not "catch" you (which would be very surprising), then for the sake of the videos it is definitely worth playing!

There is sound in the game. Cries for help, explosions, gunfire and, of course, music. The latter is not brilliant, but it maintains the atmosphere well and does not get boring. The graphics are quite decent and even stylish, the artists did a great job. The game animation is not a masterpiece, but in the overall picture it only caresses the eye: all sorts of lizard-penguins, spectacular explosions (which can kill those standing nearby with fragments).

The game is recommended to all fans of the genre and not only, although the high difficulty may scare some off. But the game will definitely not leave anyone indifferent.