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They are billions

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by sherbz, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

    Mar 27, 2009
    Well, after playing quite a bit of the campaign, my review for the whole of the game is:

    7 out of 10 - When its good, its very very good. But when its bad, its really rather lame. That about sums up TAB. When in early access, ill admit, i was fairly blown away. They absolutely nailed 2 things. The first was the economy - it was a really fun experience learning how to extract as much gold & resources from a variety of different randomised map sets. And it is about as perfect as it could possibly be. Certainly one of the best resource management games I have ever played - up there with the likes of Pharaoh and the Settlers. The second thing they nailed is the quite ingenious idea of flipping an RTS on its head. In a traditional RTS you have a number of different players with their bases and you set about building yours whilst trying to wipe the others out. In TAB there is only 1 player and essentially the game is a constant battle of risk and reward. The further you expand, the more land and resources you acquire. But the further you go from your base, the more dangerous it becomes, requiring more and more powerful weapons. This worked serenely well in what Numantian released in the EA version, which was survival mode. All tech and units were unlocked. And every week or so of in game time a horde of infected would assault your base. And as time went on the hordes would get progressively bigger and more deadly. And it was and is incredibly addictive. Fast forward to version 1.0 and the eagerly awaited campaign has arrived. And, for me at least, its a miss. Its not terrible. But i wouldnt really say its good. Acceptable or average are two of terms i would use. And in some ways this is a real disappointment as the EA version was so good - so it feels like the game fell off a cliff - when really all its done is fall down to relative mediocrity. A lot of the campaign feels half baked. IMO they should have done one of two things. They should have either:

    1 - Really gone to town on the hero aspect that they introduced. And built the entire campaign around them with a narrative that told a compelling story - sort of like what you get in Warcraft 3. Instead you get the hero, but they are not really any better than some of the regular units in game - have no special powers of note, no dialogue etc. I think they were sort of aiming for some of single mission types you used to get in classic RTSs like red alert with Tanya. But it doesnt really work. And the missions are more tedious than anything.

    2 - Introduce a compelling meta game. As the survival aspect of the game is the best feature, another option would have been to largely stick to that, but have some form of meta game that you could string together over a number of playthroughs. This should have been possible as you could have had factions of infected. Like an infected army composed largely of harpies - or spitters - or chubbies - or giants. And your goal is to reconquer the known world, but leave one faction too long and they start to take territory - attack your bases - whatever. But all we have are a series of generic missions with some very uninspiring mission objectives - like get 600 colonists - destroy a village of doom etc. Its almost mobile like. And pretty underwhelming.

    All in all, i still think its a good game, and definitely worth picking up. Particularly because it has steam workshop and some of the custom maps and campaigns are a glimpse of where the game could have gone if some wiser heads had been in charge. I dont really blame Numantian that much though. They never envisaged the success that the early access got, and i think their initial plans were largely stuck to, when really they might have considered revisiting their whole approach based largely on the success of the early access launch.

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