|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Creative Assembly||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Instead of building various strategic installations such as resource depots, factories, harvesters, etc., players simply have to bounce from control point to control point, establishing energy nodes and portals. These points prove to be essential to success, as they are what allow you to summon new units. The game mostly revolves around capturing these points, and then protecting them with turret emplacements and shields, and expanding their functionality and efficiency with refineries.
All these pesky and disruptive control foibles make the game exceedingly wearisome. Unfortunately, the game's presentation isn't a whole lot better. As previously mentioned, the voice over work is poor. While the actors are obviously professionals, the voices used are so cliché and typecast it makes the characters completely unbelievable. Moreover, the barrage of repetitive, in-battle unit comments are grating! Graphically, the game looks sharp but doesn't hold up when put through its paces. The framerate is a constant issue and platoons glitch their way around the battlefield. Even through the frontline, third-person perspective, the action tends to be too small and chaotic to truly appreciate what's going on.
While the single-player campaign is entirely forgettable, the online and LAN co-op and multiplayer features do their best to extend the life of the title. Matching up with players is easy enough, though getting the maximum contingent of eight players is never really possible due to the lack of community. While I found playing with and against random players to be frustrating, I can see how many will find this to be the game's best facet. Playing in a party with a group of friends or even lining up a set of consoles and linking them together could be great fun. Unfortunately, players will still have to deal with the shoddy controls, making competitive and cooperative play less appealing than they otherwise could be.
While Stormrise was a noble effort by The Creative Assembly to develop an RTS from the ground up with an original control scheme, in the end it falls flat on its face. In fact, the controls prove to be the game's worst aspect, and the single-player campaign is additionally marred by a pedestrian storyline.
CCC Editor / News Director