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Blows Everything Away

Game boxart A review of: War World by: Etali
Platform: PC  | Publisher: Third Wave Games
Date:| Rating: 9.0/10
When I was first told about this game, I was skeptical - a third person 'mech shooter by an unknown developer, and with the final game only being a shade over 100Mb?

The enthusiasm of the PR team made me curious though, so I installed it and reluctantly took a look.

Overview

Wow.

How wrong can you be? War World could easily rival Unreal for the position as the king of shooters. Its fast, slick, twitchy, and just downright fun.

The single player game is 100 levels of old-school blow everything up fun. The multi player at the moment allows for deathmatch and team deathmatch play, although they are tweaking and expanding that with each patch.

There are three 'mechs and a wide range of weapons to choose from - you can tweak your load-out for each mission, and there's something to suit every play-style, from ammo-happy 'spray the area and hope' miniguns to the more careful laser using snipers. You can also tweak the colour and appearance of your 'mech.

Performance

The graphics are nicely done with the areas looking realistic and interesting. There are a few minor glitches, such as shadows sometimes coming through buildings, but they are rare. The levels have been carefully constructed to allow players to use the terrain to their advantage during play, and there's a lot of variety in type and layout. They've managed to do that while leaving the levels looking interesting and fun to explore too. The sound is nothing special, just basic sound effects for the weapons and some forgettable background music, but I guarantee you will be having so much fun you won't be listening.

The game was tested on an AMD 64, with 1Gb RAM and a GeForce 6800 graphics card. It ran very smoothly in both off and online play, with a smooth framerate and quick load times. There were some cases where it was evident online that one player had a better connection, but again, they were very rare, and unlike many other shooters there were no cries of 'Lag!' in the chat window.

The Game

This is the first game in a long time that has made me paranoid. On a sliver of health, sneaking around a level desperately looking for some ammo for my lasers, I saw a shadow against a wall. Turning on my shield I duck behind a pillar and spin around, then look down at my radar. 'Darn, that was MY shadow'.

That sort of thing hasn't happened to me in ages.

I thought I was through with deathmatch style shooters, but this has brought the fun back into them. No sneaking, no one shot kills, just plain all-out missile, mortar, miniguns and laser warfare - oh, and mines. It's the kind of game that keeps you coming back for just one more frag. I can imagine some fun on Ventrillo or Teamspeak for clans that take War World up.

This game is ideal for all situations - the missions in single player mode are ideal for filling a few minutes when you have spare time, and if you have more time available then join a multi-player match or ten.

It is very easy to just pick up and play - if you have played any form of shooter before you will be off and running like a pro in seconds. There's nothing complicated to bog you down or slow your progression - its just you and your mouse versus the enemy. There are very few keys to learn - movement, shooting, shields and using your three equipment slots (where you can equip boosters, missiles, mortars or mines). As a left handed person I find it easy to use my right had for these (all within easy reach) and my left hand for the mouse. I've had right-handed friends complain that the default setup is not as comfortable for them, but you can change the keyboard layout easily so you should find something comfortable.

If you like a game with a plot, this may not be for you - there is a back story on the WarWorld.net web site, but the game itself does not emphasize it.

The AI in single player mode is suprisingly good - they dodge, they run away, they team up on you - the AI is some of the best I've seen in bots in a long time.

The people behind this game are ex-Rare developers, so its no suprise that War World is fun and addictive, but the polish and appearance of it is something that those big name AAA developers should take note of.

To summarize:

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 7/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Multiplayer: 9/10
Longevity: 8/10

Overall: 9/10

This game is available as a digital download from the WarWorld.net web site. Its currently only $24.95 - a small price to pay for many nights of Fragging.

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