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This is the plain girl that you introduce to your mother and she gives a pained smile about

Surely thats unfair.

Armada 2526
DEVELOPER Ntronium Games PUBLISHER Iceberg WEBSITE ntronium.com/ armada2526%20home.html ETA Out now PRICE 29.99

GalCiv is hard! says Dan Griliopoulos. Armada, says 2526

4X space sim on a galactic scale withan arbitrary futuristic date butlacking balance and depth. Minimum system requirements 2.4GHz Pentium 4, 1GB RAM (2GB Vista/7 ), and a 128MB graphics card. How it stacks sins of solar empire 91% galactic civilization 72% armada2526


f only theyd shot PC ZONE into space with Richard Garriott instead of this slow death of 1,000 budget cuts. With a string of conquests by our space-editor-pirates bleeding from the galactic rim straight to the supermassive black hole at the Milky Ways centre, the sun would never have set on the Zoners empire (because suns dont set in space.) Instead, here it is, the last space sim ever to grace these pages. *sob* Armada 2526 is a galactic space simulation in the mold of Galactic Civilizations and Masters of Orion (the original Armada 2525 was a precursor to Masters of Orion). You control an empire and must lead your people/ treemen/brainjellyfish across the galaxy to fulfil certain racial conditions and claim universal domination. The game comes with four scenarios, a random galaxy generator, a map designer, atutorial, aspace battle simulator, and hot-seat multiplayer. The main game structure is turnbased space exploration, where you explore, colonise planets, build facilities and research tech. There are 12 races to control and contest, each with their own goals, strengths and weaknesses, identical tech trees and units, and

appallingly animated low-res avatars. The maps arent huge, so you can get through a game in a few hours. When you encounter hostile enemy forces you drop into real-time combat. These battles arent huge or complex; theyre pokey predictable things where the control system is so abstruse and the time limit so stingy that its easier to auto resolve than beat up the pathetic enemy AI (no difficulty levels means youre stuck with it.) And if there are any of the super-cheap planet defences installed attackers might as well give up, the balance is completely off.

then my race of retarded chimp-gods sailed their banana-barges up the dread lords bums but while 2526 is faster and pared down, its less imaginative, easy to beat and badly balanced. Our first issue reviewed the RTSdefining Dune II, and weve covered such delights as Galactic Civilizations, Star Control 3 and FreeSpace 2 over the years, so its a pity we couldnt go out with a bang. *whimper* pcz

As a space 4X title, 2526 is almost acceptable. This is the plain girl that you introduce to your mother and she gives a pained smile about, because she knows your ex was much nicer/brainier/ hotter. That ex is GalCiv and the reason you left her was commitment. GalCiv is gorgeous, intelligent, strong, varied, and a great storyteller, but isnt half a timesink. This girl may blend in with the wallpaper a bit and have off-putting lonely hobbies like philately, but she doesnt need much attention. This isnt a bad 4X game. GalCiv II is so complex its best expressed most easily in space opera narratives And

Graphics Rough, simple, fugly Sound Annoying, repetitive Multiplayer Hot seat campaign multiplayer Interesting race design Fast campaign games Unattractive Repetitive and repetitive Shallow compared to GalCiv AI dumber than a dumbbell

4/8/10 3:21:46 pm



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