Domination

Review

posted 4/27/2005 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
What’s impressive about Domination is how much game play there is. The box claims 200 hours of game play and when I first saw the number on the box I was a bit skeptical about that claim but after putting in close to 30 hours into the game and barely scratching the surface the claim seems pretty valid. Between the two single player campaigns, the assault scenarios, the career mode, and the world war mode, you’re looking at more game play than you can shake a stick at…and that’s just the single player side of the game.

The plot of the single player portion of the game is a bit bizarre as there are a lot of plot twists. Apparently, in the future, the army is made up of sexist generals and really hot women (ok, the first part may exist in the modern army). The plot is a little generic but the situations that the game puts you in as part of the single player make it worth suffering through the bad dialogue and script. You’ll want to play through the missions but I recommend skipping through the dialogue as you might just roll your eyes all the way back into your head.

The multiplayer portion of the game has three components. A hot seat mode where two gamers share the same computer, a LAN mode, and an Internet play mode through the Wargaming.net. The game comes with a four month subscription to the service and then you’ll pay $4.95 a month after that. Given the turn based nature of the game it’s easy to have a bunch of different games going at once.

There’s a nice menagerie of units for you to control in the game. You’ve got giant robots, tanks, scout cars, bombers, and aircraft carriers at your disposal. Each side has the same type of units with a few exceptions. The Phantom League does have two unique units (a heavy duty mech and a large battleship) which tip the balance in their favor a bit and I wish they had provided the Free Nations with at least one more powerful unit to even things out.

Graphically, Domination gets it done. I’ve already talked about the great environments but it bears talking about again given what a great job they did on them. They could have had just big boring battlefields with giant robots and tanks but they did a great job of adding cool waterfalls, nice vistas, and decent looking water. The units are also well designed and animated. The designers did a good job of giving the units a sense of scale. You just know that little scout vehicle isn’t going to last long against the big mech. There are also some cool lighting effects in the game. You’ll see terrain lighted by laser fire and missile exhaust. It’s a little thing but it really adds to the game as there’s nothing like seeing your enemies get lit when you take out one of the units next to them.
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