Fodders Favourite: Real Time Strategy

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RTS! None of this fake time/hammer time bullshit – we’re talking real time mother fucker! And who’s the realist of the real in this highly contended gaming genre? A game that totally annihilates the competition: Cavedogs Total Annihilation!

Command and conquer may hold a special place in my heart for being my first, Warcarft 3 may have altered the genre and supreme commander may have gone bigger, but none, in my opinion, have ever gone better. Total Annihilation didn’t so much raise the bar, as it did grab it and launch it into fucking orbit – to this day there are still game developers out searching for it.

Never has a games name been more apt

Never has a games name been more apt

The list of innovations this game delivered is so vast and fundamentally awesome that they continue to be used as the foundation of genre even today; well over a decade since the game was released. The game took RTS from 2D sprites to 3D models, introduced command stacking for issuing a chain of orders, build queues, resource streaming,  increased unit diversity and totals by an order of magnitude, physical unit wreckage, map scale and topography, destructible environments, gameplay driven audio synchronism and most importantly, next level uber-fun-cakez 2.0!

See, the net result of all those elements was some of the most intense battles and versatile gameplay the genre has ever seen, coupled to an interface that allowed for deep complexity, but never at the expense of simplicity. Through a combination of easy to use short-cut keys, hot-keys and mouse clicks, you could orchestrate multi-faceted attacks of land, sea and air units, watching in glee as the carnage unfolds and your enemies are devastated before your eyes.

These battles all take place on maps that range from big, through to humongous and all offer a variety of terrain types that ensure no two play alike. Winning in Total Annihilation is rarely a simple numbers game. Deploying the correct strategy that takes into account the lay the land, the resource locations and the correct units for the job is all paramount to victory. The games intelligent enemy AI will of course be trying to block you at every turn, leading to epic battles that are never measured in anything less than hours.

The best testament to the brilliance of this game is how, over the years, I constantly find myself coming back to it. Simply put, Total Annihilation is a blast to play and probably always will be.

 

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3 Comments

  1. When I was at uni a few of the computing guys cobbled a LAN together and would play this all day. Everybody would be too afraid to attack for fear of their base getting invaded by a third party. It was a total turtle fest.

    Reply
  1. Fodders Favourites | Fodders Gaming Blog

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