Real-time strategies have been done. Some might suggest over done. But designers still persist in trying to out do Age of Empires. Cossacks: European Wars is due to hit the shelves of North America in March courtesy of Strategy First. The game is being developed GSC Game World and was published outside North America by CDV.
Cossacks captures a period of European history between the 17th and 18th centuries. Now because was developed in Europe and published by the same group that gave us Sudden Strike I have to wonder if it will be anymore historically accurate than Sudden Strike was. That’s not something we can answer until we see the final code.
Well Cossacks has 16 nations; including England, France, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain among others. Each nation has it’s own graphics set and unique military and economics. That’s quite the promise but all signs indicate that just might be the case.
As with another recent European import, battles will be epic in nature due to the fact that there can be up to 8000 units on screen at once. Controlling these units should be a wee bit easier than most die to the fact that you can use formations for your units. Keeping units in formation with like units should also allow some well-coordinated attacks from all units. The formations include column, rank or square. In order to use formations each group must have an officer, for discipline and a little drummer boy, to play that funky music!
The game is a looker! Buildings are intricate and lovely and have a sense of depth and heft. They accurately reflect the architecture of the era. Individual units each have their own look and attire. Due to their “ look” individual units are easy to differentiate in the heat of battle. Speaking of battle, the environment is rendered in 3D. Thus if you were to capture the heights and move in artillery you can reign down a murderous on the enemy, although because it is a hill it can take seemingly forever to move arty into place. Such are the demands of the real physics-modeling engine. Units can hide behind buildings and they can hide behind landscape structures. This gives the game a line-of-sight feel.
Other graphics not only look good but they feel right aswell. Rippling water and waves that pound the shore and when debris flies into the water they create tiny splashes.
Resources come in your favorite varieties: food, wood, gold, stone, iron and last but not least, coal. These resources can not be depleted. No more running out of resources and having to throw roc and snowballs at your enemy. The resources can only be harvested as fast as your peasants can move and more peasants will retrieve more resources. You can also lose control of the resources, or any building for that matter. An enemy simply needs to sidle up to a building to claim it for their own. So it’s always wise to guard buildings that might be a distance from your town.
Knowing how to play Age is a great advantage when playing Cossacks. Nothing strays too far from the acknowledged real-time gaming conventions. So jumping in and getting a feel for the game is easy enough for anyone. Something that seemed a little unusual was the speed of the game and specifically the speed of unit production. Units seem to appear much quicker than in Age but it’s easy enough to live with that.
The game will consist of 4 missions and a number of single and multi-player maps that might just about cover most of the battles that occurred in Europe during the time in question.
The bottom line here is if you want city management with complexity and depth and real-time battles on a epic scale look no further than European Wars: Cossacks.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CONTENT:
Date of publish: 20.02.2001
Author: R.A. Scott
Language of publish: english