Fri, Oct 17, 2003 - Page 19 News List

PC Games

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Homeworld 2 (萬艦齊發2)

International distributor: Vivendi Universal

Local distributor: Interwise Multimedia Corp

Platform: English for PC

Release date: Already available

When Homeworld was first released in 1999, it was the first three-dimensional real-time strategy game in PC game history. It had amazing scenes and a breakthrough star war system that strongly influenced all real-time strategy games that followed. It was also chosen as the best game of the year by many game magazines and Web sites. After waiting over four years, consumers can finally purchase the second generation of the game this month.

The most impressive effect in Homeworld was the mega-scale conflict between the fleets. With Homeworld 2 a brand new three-dimensional engine has been developed. With the hardware acceleration, players get to enjoy more subtle space and spaceship images. Even more special, when a ship is damaged, all kinds of effects, such as the explosion of internal mechanical parts, are breathtaking, especially when a player leads hundreds of ships to make war with the computer or an opponent.

"The atmosphere surpasses what you can get from a movie," said Dell Yu (余如山), Interwise Vice President.

There are two opposing groups in Homeworld 2 and the ships in both camps can be roughly divided by function into a major production base, the Mother Ship, and four major attack forces -- Strike Craft, Corvette, Frigate and Capital. Each contains over 10 varieties. The four different attack forces counteract each other, and a player cannot pass a stage or make winning strategy or tactics with only one kind of ship, said Tang Ming-lun (唐明倫), a senior PC game player.

Empires: Dawn of the Modern World

Designer: Stainless Steel Studio

International distributor: Activision Inc

Local distributor: Unalis Technology

Platform: Chinese for PC

Release date: November

At the 2003 E3 exhibition one game was touted by players from many different countries -- Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.

This new game is set during the millenium between 950 and 1950 and makes use of an excellent three-dimensional graphics engine to bring to life historical battles and different countries' armies. It is the most anticipated AOK-like PC game product of the last quarter.

Hoping to emulate Microsoft's success with its AOK series, in which it won the hearts of Taiwanese players with simultaneous Chinese-version release, Stainless Steel Studio and Taiwan's Unalis have worked hard on the Chinese version of the game to ensure a simultaneous release in November.

"The game offers seven countries or groups for a player to choose from, and each possesses a different culture and technology. Each army is different. Even the appearances of the armies are designed according to their own cultures. Through different technology development, each army has complex strategy possibilities that make the game more challenging and fun," said Antonio Lu (呂維振), senior editor of the Gamebase Web site.

The timeline in the game can be divided into five periods: the medieval period, the exploration period, imperialist period, World War One and World War Two. Each period has its own battles and technologies, and also present the player with distinct international issues.

Compared with other renowned RTS games, while EA's Command & Conquer: Generals stresses the linear plot, and Sierra's War Craft III emphasizes battle speed, Empires focuses more on unit strategies and offers a player two conquering modes: one is a slower method, while the other involves rapid killing. A player can switch between the modes at will.

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