|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Akella||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Kalypso Media||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 13, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Its unfortunate you dont need to take advantage of all these features. The A.I. does some crazy things and rarely does anything to defend itself. It doesnt take advantage of cover or power-boosting regions and will even attack you when it knows full well you can overpower it.
The A.I. never seems to be able to keep its units together and as a result, youll encounter many pockets of smaller, weaker units throughout the world map. Its a great way to earn more resources, but its like shooting fish in a barrel. Its too easy, and the victories dont feel as though youve earned them. The battles become so inane and redundant, youll end up avoiding them so you can try to pick up the pace and get through more of the game. What will keep you plodding along is the storyline, if anything.
While the story is expertly crafted, the presentation is anything but, and is certainly not worthy of having the word expert attached to it in any form. The dialogue is amateurish. Its so overblown and corny in places, youll think it was translated by a five-year old. Maybe Stan Lees five-year old, but a five-year old nonetheless. The narration is stiff, flat, and wooden. One of those words may have sufficed, but its so bad all three needed to be applied to this description. For such a long game, there just isnt enough music. Its stretched to the point of distraction, and is so repetitive its best left off. The same goes for the sound effects, with every spell triggering the same sound. Not that amazing audio wouldve help the game at this point.
If youre absolutely incensed at the lack of challenge offered by the A.I., there is hope, but it is offered begrudgingly. The multi-player component allows you to play against other humans, taking turns of course, but not online and not through LAN but by using the same computer. Its called hot seat multi-player, because you have to give up your seat in front of the PC to accommodate the other players. It works, albeit painfully slowly, and may be the only thing that saves this game. I wonder why the developers gave this feature so little consideration. I guess its in keeping with the rest of the game.
CCC Senior Writer