Our distant rhealm, Yavaun...
Our dangerous world, Yavaun...
Sweet, beautiful, and deadly.
What voice can sing it's praise?
What testimony can capture the grace of this, our mighty homeland!
Wise Yavaun, you teach your children well.
For conflict is the great teacher, and pain... the perfect educator.
How strong your minds...
How weak your bodies, that you must inslave the..
Eaggra, Yavaun's passionate builders.
Oh! Noble Obblinox!
You will take the first blows, meant for others.
In time, Obblinox turn against Tha'Roon,
and all Yavaun is at war...
Oh save my simple Shama'Li.
You, alone, do the spirit work.
Defending the weak, preserving the ancient sites.
You alone protect the old ways,
for you await my return...
The return of Naga-Rom.
This is the stunningly well-worded intro to a stunningly brilliant game. The name barely does it any justice, though it is appropriate.
The story, and the game, takes place on a distant and alien world called "Yavaun". Four seperate alien races are about to engage in a great war to end all wars, and only one side can acheive victory. The first race is a species of purple-skinned, long-headed serpents called the Tha'Roon. This race has been the dominant and ruling race of Yavaun for thousands of years, building their empire upon the loyalty of the Obblinox soldiers, and the forced labor of the Eaggra workers. The Obblinox are an honor-bound race of physically powerful warriors. These creatures are somewhat large with three elephant-like legs, and box-like heads with tiny eyes. For thousands of years, they've obeyed their Tha'Roon masters without second thought, but now that the Eaggra have revolted, the Obblinox begin to see deeper into the black hearts of their overlords, who have commanded them to quell the rebellion at all costs. The Eaggra are a race of plant-like creatures with tentacles for arms and legs and giant eye stalks. Though they don't mind, and are rather accustomed to, hard work and grueling labor, the Eaggra wish to be free. Free to build their own houses and settlements, free to raise their children and free to construct buildings of their own desire. But for thousands of years, they have been doing the exact opposite. Slaving to build luxurious homes and various vehicles for the Tha'Roon, and kept in check by the brutal Obblinox guards. They now seek freedom from their enslavers, and will kill all who stand in their way. The Shama'Li, the peaceful, fourth race of Yavaun, are a race similar to stereotypical aliens with large heads and seemingly jointless arms and legs. They beleive in the power of spirit, and have made it their goal to bring peace to all the races of Yavaun. They wish only to preserve the ancient ways, and help those in need, but they will soon find that, in a world at war, sometimes doing the right thing includes fighting. And now the Shama'Li must prepare for war. To defend their hallowed sites, and the peace of all of Yavaun.
As you can see, each race has it's own different storyline, and unique set of characters, but it doesn't end there! Each race also has different names for the various buildings they create, the weapons they weild, and what abilities their leaders posess. Also, there are special, powerful units that can be acheived by training various units to certain degrees. In every game, you control a small number of units, always included is the Clan Leader, if that specific unit dies, your game ends. You must protect the leader and destroy the enemy armies all at once. You do things like Researching new units, upgrades to enhance stats of each unit, and, of course, gathering resources to do it all! War Wind is a wonderfully complex game, and though some may complain, those of us who like the challenge will look no further.
1. The first thing that sticks out to me in this game is the variety of different units! Each race has it's own unique name for it's individual units, and each unit has it's own abilities, This is a great advantage, because it allows you to pick the race that suits your playing style. You can develop different strategies depending on what race you play. And not only to the races look and act different, they even sound different! Yes! Each race speaks it's own unique language. You just have to admire the work that went into this game.
2. Though the game and all it's features are complex, it all can be done with a simple point and click of the mouse! Everything you need to know is explained in the manual, and anything that's not mentioned is usually unimportant, or a surprise! It's a complex game that's easy to learn after just a few missions, and it's all in real-time! I myself am completely breathless at how complex, yet simple the interaction is!
3. Another thing that stuck out to me is the detailed and sometimes emotional plotlines. Each unique race has a different story and goal to acheive, and after each mission, you get to view a cinematic depending on wether you failed, or succeeded. The animations (for the cinematics) are in 3-D renderings, and are very impressive considering the time it was released.
4. There's something to be said about a game that features units that can be upgraded. Unlike WarCraft, Most of your units must start out as simple workers. As you gain resources, you must construct different buildings, where your workers can be trained into fighters, spellcasters, and scouts! Spells and advnaced units (Like higher-level warriors, or advanced workers) must sometimes be researched before they become available. Also, a new special feature specifically for this game, called Bio-Upgrades, can be researched. Depending on the type of Bio-Upgrades you've researched and posess, your units can upgrade different aspects of their stats. The Speed upgrade allows units to move faster over terrain, obviously, the Strength upgrade will increase the damage your units can do with their blows, and even allow some units to carry more items. (The max is two, some can only carry 1 before their strength upgrade.), Vision will allow a unit to see further into the fog of war around them, Stealth will increase a unit's ability to hide near the enemy, and the Resiliance upgrade will allow a unit to take more damage, though it does tend to slow the unit down again.
5. To wrap it all up, this game has a multiplayer option, that allows up to 8 players (Including a computer opponent) on a single map! Go head-to-head with your War Wind buddies in a power struggle to acheive your goals, while at the same time, stopping others from doing the same. You can participate in an all out war! Or other specific-goal games, like Rabbit, Seven vs the Computer, Team wars, Capture the flag, and others! Any strategy game should have a multiplayer option, is it any wonder that War Wind stands above the rest? With it's unique races and several different players allowed on one map, countless things could happen at any given time! It's a wonderfully unique and complex game that allows for any number of possibilities on the battlefeild.
1. One of the main complaints about this game is it's sheer difficulty in some parts. Some can get so hard that you play it more often than you breathe, and it gets repetitively annoying. But more experienced players will like it just fine. Personally, the only time I've encountered a difficult scenario was when I didn't have easy access to large amounts of resources... And sometimes, you are placed on a map lacking in forests or crystal, making it extremely difficult to build up an army to complete the scenario.
2. Sometimes, a unit will get stuck somewhere and won't do anything for a while (Most of the time, this happens around a courthouse, and your workers will just stand there until you sort out the mess yourself.), and other times, you'll tell a unit to go somewhere, and they'll decide to take a shortcut through the enemy base. So sometimes, it's necessary to map out an exact course... which can get tiring.
Plot: 10/10 Wonderful!
The plot had me captivated. I sometimes find it hard to beleive it isn't a novel yet...
Graphics: 9/10 Nice.
The graphics on the game aren't all too special. But they don't suck either. It's great, I just don't find myself cheering at it. What really caught my eye was the 3-D graphics in the cinematics in the intro and during missions... Those... were just awesome...
Gameplay: 10/10 Perfect!
It all happens in real time. And the game has so many complex features that are simple enough to learn. And if you don't know how to do something, you can refer to the manual. Most of the time, you can still win a battle without knowing any of the more complicated commands anyway.
Music: 8/10 Pretty good.
The music plays throughout the entire scenario. My only problem is that you have to change it yourself if you want another tune, but even that is easy to accomplish.
Sounds: 9/10 Suits the game.
The sounds are well done and always go well with whatever action is being performed. Also, each race has it's own language, and units can say any number of things depending on what you tell them to do.
Replay value: 10/10
There's so much to do! And so many different races to choose from, so many maps and creatures... There's no way you'll stop playing this game, even once you've beaten it!
This game can get annoyingly difficult in some parts. Apparantly, the game has set difficulty levels for each race. According to the manual, you'll want to start with a Tha'Roon campaign if you're new to the game.
There's hardly anything wrong with this game (Aside from the difficulty, which you'll get used to, anyway.). And the few things that are don't really take away from the overall positive side. I enjoy this game and play it whenever I can. If you're lucky enough to find it, get it. That's all I have to say.
[Edited on 3-9-2004 by FlareMan]