Reply To: First impressions

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I finished the single player campaigns back when I was a student but haven’t been near this since. At the time, I remember being underwhelmed compared to Command & Conquer but I was expecting I’d appreciate it more going back. It’s not terrible but if anything I’m liking it less now than I did then.

The interface is really quite labour intensive and requires lots of micromanagement with units getting stuck, not using abilities automatically, not being able to stack builds, etc.. The opponent A.I. is frankly terrible. As far as I can see, the CPU never actually puts up new buildings once they are destroyed. This means for instance that in the later levels you can just go around clearing out the oceans and your base on another island has impunity from attack from there on out.

The Command and Conquer CPU enemies cheated like blazes rebuilding anywhere they liked but they offered more of a challenge than this. The whole level setup basically acknowledge how useless the AI is with a huge base with loads of units built in advance. If the CPU didn’t keep sending one or two units at a time and just attacked flat out at the start every level would be completely impossible.

This sort of gameplay can still be fun but it doesn’t do any favours to the pacing of the game. The start of a level offers some challenge in establishing a base and surviving the early attacks. Having got through these stages though, the levels drag on for ages when you are clearly in a winning position. In fact, I reckon that’s where I’ve probably spent most of my time, with the speed set to maximum trying to clear up units and buildings all over the map. There isn’t any strategy involved to this and it’s just a matter of patience.

I’m up to what I think is the last mission in the orc campaign now and it barely feels like the game has got going. The campaign has felt almost like a tutorial in all honesty. I’ve never tried it but I can only assume Warcraft 2 comes into it’s own as a multi-player game. It is no doubt a very different experience against a real opponent but I’m really not struck with it as a single player game so far.