|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Games Faction||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Games Faction||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 2, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Youcef Baouchi
Games Faction, a tiny, independent developer with a staff of three released their first major title, Project Aftermath. Their creation is a solid RTS title in the vein of other great games such as Warcraft, StarCraft, and Dawn of War. The game has an interesting plot with squad-based combat, and its based in a futuristic world in a far away galaxy. The game is fun, engaging, and enjoyable. Though it is not without its problems, the game is well worth checking out by any RTS fan.
The story is presented in a very stylish and colorful manner, in a comic book format. The plot is simple: an evil race, the New Order, roamed the galaxy and conquered everything, and while conquering other races, they took captives and spliced their genes to create hybrid soldiers. However, the Morphid decided to stop them. They built an army, liberated the galaxy, and destroyed their soldiers. The freed races joined the Morphid and some even worshiped them. After a long and brutal war, the Morphid prevailed. So, the New Orders high command gathered their best men and sent them to Damus (Morphids home world). They killed all the inhabitants and left the entire planet in ruins. When the resistance returned, they found their home world destroyed. Some stayed behind to repopulate the planet, while others headed for the stars to find the remaining packets of the New Order and destroy them.
Gameplay is founded on squad-based combat. The main objective of Project Aftermath is to command your troops to victory against the New Order. You can complete this task by eliminating all enemies, capturing obelisks, and rescuing hostages. You can command up to four squads with a maximum of five troopers with a hero leading each squad. The heroes become more powerful as they gain experience. There are four types of attacks: Physical, Energy, Biological, and Morphid Field. Energy attacks and armor are both color-coded to indicate their energy resistance. Red is Physical, blue is Energy-based, green is Biological, and yellow colored attacks are Morphid Field. Each attack is more powerful when used against the correct armor. For example, players who are wearing physical armor will take greater damage from energy-based attacks. If the attack and armor colors match, most of the attacks will be blocked. Melee weapons are available as well, and they give the units the ability to melee-boost, which allows them to move more quickly when attacking. Troopers may die during battle but will resurrect as soon as the hero resurrects. Before starting full missions, you will be able to choose your heroes armor, so players need to think carefully about what type of enemies they will be facing.
Project Aftermath is based on a point system called Goop aka Genetic Outfitting and Operational Plasma. Goop increases by killing enemies, collecting Goop pick-ups, and completing objectives. It decreases when field attacks are used or if you resurrect fallen heroes. If players are caught in the red, they will fail the mission, no experience will be gained, research points will not be awarded, and no missions will be unlocked. Gold, silver, or bronze medals are awarded if enough points are earned. Points can be used to boost a heros power; it affects health, speed, and field effects.
The controls are standard, and they work well for the most part. If players right-click an enemy, they can select how their heroes and squads attack. For example, you can choose a formation and what weapons to attack with. You can move the camera with the mouse or the WASD keys, rotate the camera by holding the scroll wheel while moving the mouse, and zoom the camera by using the scroll wheel. I was more comfortable using the keyboard. The mouse controls can be a bit difficult and frustrating, especially when rotating the camera; it was easier to rotate it using the keyboard. Unfortunately, you cannot modify the controls.