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Game Over Online ~ Hesperian Wars

GameOver Game Reviews - Hesperian Wars (c) Modern Games, Reviewed by - Prolix / Rebellion /

Game & Publisher Hesperian Wars (c) Modern Games
System Requirements P133, 32MB RAM
Overall Rating 52%
Date Published Friday, September 4th, 1998 at 09:54 PM


Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

Here's another Warcraft 2 clone to sink your teeth into, unfortunately its a few years to late..... Hesperian Wars is an overhead real time strategy game with a medieval theme to it. There is a big story, but as I played the game I felt that the story wasn't even intertwined with the game, so I ignored it. There are four different races to play as: Druids, Mages, Giants, and Pygmies. Each with different spells and units.

-Graphics: The graphics are extremely simplistic and really don't live up to today's standards. The character graphics are very blocky and lack realism, on the other hand the landscapes were cartoonish and are poorly done. One thing I did like about the graphics was the side bar, with a different piece of art for each character or race; I found this really helped the game atmosphere. In some cases the graphics are a step up from Warcraft 2, but in others a downgrade. This is the age of 3d graphic accelerators practically every game that comes out now has some support for a 3d card, unfortunately the makers of Hesperian Wars totally ignored 3d cards. If you're trying to make a clone of an old game at least show some effort buy including 3d-card support!

-Sound & Control: Hesperian Wars definately lacks good sound, there is no background music and the sound effects are just outright annoying. Most of the sound effects are cheesy and don't really help to add to the atmosphere of the game. The control is fine just like any other game of this genre. I really had no problem adapting to the control due to the handy dandy in game tutorials.

-Gameplay: I found the game play to be very tedious and boring, I played through each race's campaigns in less than 2 hours on medium level. Another drawback to this game is the AI; it's dumber than a rock, making the game frustrating at times. The missions are typically destroy someone and protect a guy. When you kill other races they leave behind gold and if you come upon a house or blacksmith you can upgrade your guys or buy new men. I thought this was kind of cool because it's not like a typical RTS game, where you must first build a base. One mission I was given the assignment of seizing a castle, cool I thought, but all I did was break down one wall and kill four guys and I had "sized the castle." A feature I did enjoy about this game was the ability to cast spells, different spells for each race was a nice touch too.

-Fun Factor: Oddly at first I was having fun with this game, but then as I played some more missions I got bored really fast, due to the lack of mission goal variety. After playing it for a few hours I really felt like I had enough of this game. There is just about zero replay value, other than multiplayer. Hesperian War's is just a few years to late in my opinion.

-Multiplayer: Hesperian Wars supports a variety of connection types including TCP/IP play. The game features normal multiplayer options, and lets up to 8 people play at a time. The multiplayer play was just like single player, BORING.

-Overall impression: This game has NO replay value, single play is one bore after another. One might think multiplayer would be a replay value, but good luck finding some other sucker to play it with! I can't recommend this game to anyone, because it is just no good and another one of those useless clones.

 

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Rating
46%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Hesperian Wars is yet another RTS style game to thrust itself into the overcrowded market already dominated by Starcraft, C&C, and Total Annihilation.

Here's a little synopsis of the plot.

After wonderful years of its great prosperity, the Hesperian Empire suddenly collapsed with the unexpected death of its emperor, there was no heir for the throne. The emperor's advisors unrightfully took power, causing great anger among the aristocracy which protested and soon formed their own government. Stunned by this development, the Smarts accepted the aristocrats' protests and invited them to negotiate and create a Common Board. During the night, the aristocrats and their companions were murdered. Battle soon broke out across the land as groups formed into armies. The ensuing battles became the Hesperian Wars.

Not a real unique or catchy plotline, but few RTS's have managed this. You get to choose from four races, Giants, Mages, Druids, or Pygmies. It says it has 40 different unit types but I think that actually means 10 for each race and then it's probably also figuring in the three upgrades you can do to each type because there really doesn't seem to be a lot of units.

HW has some serious flaws. It has a 2d sprite engine with poorly implemented shadowing effects. We are talking "graphically challenged" here since this game looks a lot like 96's game of the year Warcraft II except even WC2 had smoother graphics then this game. The console is nice and detailed though, menus are pretty enough to add a little to the game. There is at least one night mission which adds some placed lighting effects which aren't too bad, but they're from lampposts and the spot lighting still shows up if you destroy the lamp. It also has an irratating intro avi movie which you can't cancel out of and have to waste 20 seconds of your life to watch everytime you go to play it. The game also runs surprisingly slow for the results. This game took way too long for my P200 to load up to start out with and the menu animations tended to be choppy. I didn't really notice any performance problems on my PII 300.

I don't know what Modern Games was thinking when they did the sound. This has, by far, the most annoying sound effects I've heard in an RTS. Units acknowledge you with grunts no matter what race you are. I know there's supposed to be dialects in the game, since other than the Giants you get coherent briefings, so I can't really figure out why they don't talk back instead of the mindless grunting. There's also only one sound for each different type of unit, which gets real repetitive and makes the poor sounds even more annoying.

Hesperian Wars does something that's not real common by combining RTS with some roleplaying style aspects. Fields of Fire is one of the few others I can think of. This, I think, should be a way to make a hit game if someone actually put some effort into it. Characters can pick up items like potions and armor and use them to do various things throughout the game. It also has quite a few spells/special abilities that help give flavor to the game, though it's not enough to really give a great RPG feel. Unit advancement is done through the "garage" method. Spend some money, throw your guys in the shop and they come out upgraded. It works nicely enough compared to the "Development" ideas used in games like Warcraft and Starcraft.

It's fun enough for an RTS but with the poor audio and graphics, even semi-decent gameplay won't hold your attention for very long. It's just enough to beat out borderline dull, but it sure isn't close to exciting.

The multiplayer supports all the usual connection types. It has a VERY POOR interface for setting up multiplayer. No graphics or anything, it looks like you're in a windows database with your gray buttons and dropdown menus. It's not real fun either.

Overall, Hesperian Wars is not impressive enough to go out and buy it. It has some decent ideas but graphics and audio kill any desire to sit there for too long. I also have yet to figure out why they used the word "Hesperian" for a game that has nothing to do with the real historical time period.

Highs: Interesting attempt to make an RTS/RPG Lows: Incredibly annoying sound, subpar graphics, slow on older PCs

 

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Rating
46%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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