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AI War: Fleet Commander

Game Name: AI War: Fleet Commander
Developers: Arcen Games
Price: £12
Release Date: Out Now!

Review by Andy Yates

AI War Fleet Commander screenshotI've played quite a few space RTS and empire builder type games in my time, but AI War feels like itís on a different scale.

Simply put: Itís Huge!

Itís also quite complicated and tricky to get the hang of. I donít want to put anyone off trying this, but if itís unlikely youíll enjoy this unless youíre very much into the genre. If youíre into the genre itís likely that youíre already downloading the demo, so let me fill you in while you wait.

In each game you start off in your own system with a dock, command ship and the usual things youíd expect. Itís possible to get into a fight quite quickly by building a bunch of fighters and sending them through the nearest worm-hole to the next sector. Each sector is controlled by a computer AI (hence the name AI war) which needs to be eliminated and these get progressively more difficult as you would also expect.

Lets get to the fun facts. You can build literally hundreds and thousands of units in this game. The fleets you amass are undoubtedly impressive but you still need to advance with caution, itís not purely a numbers game! There are many different classes of fighters, capital ships, missiles and special ships that need to be utilised in order to be victorious.

We do get to my issues though now.

Ship movements in AI War are jerky, having no speed up or slow down. It really bugs me that they donít move smoothly but basically jump from one position to another without momentum being an issue. It made me feel quite detached from the game play when watching battles close up where the gfx quality was best.

The other issue I had was with controlling such vast numbers of ships. I know Iím not the best at these games, but I had some real difficulty with this. I often resorted to ďlasso selectingĒ everything and just moving them close to enemy units in the hope that theyíd come out on top.

I did enjoy missiles for some reason though. When coming up against a shielded enemy, for example, I would launch an EMP missile that would knock out most of the ships in the system (including my smaller ones!) At that point I would send in my capital ships which are unaffected by EMP and get the shield generator. It was quite StarWarsy in some ways!

There are so many different ship types and ways of going about playing the game. To prove this I recommend you visit the AI War WIKI where thereís a whole load of information about the game, itís units and tactics. It's almost impossible for me to cover everything here!

In some ways this reminds me very much of Total Annihilation, one of my all time favourite RTS games, but in space! Especially with the different construction ships and engineer bots that help build or repair everything. What it lacks for me is the emotional touch: there are too many units to care if they all get destroyed. There are no main characters or plots to keep me intrigued.

What there is however is one of the more epic tactical RTS games I think Iíve seen to date. If youíre an RTS nut this is not one to pass over!

Score: 75 out of 100

Final Words: RTS fantatics need only apply. But they're going to love it!

AI War can be trialed and bought via the Impulse client - click here to download

Or you can visit the Arcen Games site by clicking here

Alternatively you can read the other reviews on this site by clicking here!
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