PC - Windows : Dark Reign 2 Details
Dark Reign 2 is a real-time strategy game with a 3-D graphics engine to die for, but the slightly generic gameplay unfortunately isn't as impressive as the visuals. It's not that the game does anything particularly wrong, but with innovative titles like Homeworld and Age of Empires 2 on the market it takes a lot to stand out in the real-time strategy genre.
||June 30, 2000
Gas Gauge 74
Dark Reign 2 offers two campaigns pitting the military-styled Jovian Detention Authority against the rebellious Sprawlers. Although the actual movement, combat, and production orders you are allowed to give are nothing special, a great amount of work went into the unit design. The Jovian units are obviously well heeled and rely on quality rather than quantity to get the job done. The Sprawlers are a motley bunch better suited for guerrilla tactics, and their campaign ultimately is more satisfying than the easier JDA campaign.
Practically everything in the game is rendered in stunning 3-D, and Dark Reign 2's graphics engine serves up the fidelity and detail one would expect from a first-person shooter like Unreal Tournament. With a fast processor and the right graphics card you'll be swirling the camera all over the game's luscious (and varied) environments, surveying the havoc of battle from any angle or altitude you desire. It took us about an hour to get comfortable with this sort of freedom (and to figure out that the preset camera angles are worthless), but now we can't imagine playing a real-time strategy game that doesn't let us smoothly transition from a bird's-eye overhead view to an individual soldier's ground-level view.
Dark Reign 2 is pretty to look at, but avid real-time strategy fans will find that the gameplay is shallow and slow paced, and that the missions are a bit too easy. These drawbacks work in favor of newcomers to the genre, who will discover that Dark Reign 2 offers a perfect introduction to real-time strategy games. --T. Byrl Baker
- Stunning, smooth, and detailed 3-D graphics
- Well-planned unit strengths and weaknesses demand strategy during production and combat
- Missions are large and complemented by movie cutscenes
- Shallow gameplay
- Experienced players will have an easy time winning
- Requires a 3-D accelerator card
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