Some people would say real time strategy is dead and I would
tend to agree with that after the disappointment brought about by
TA: Kingdoms. A relatively new and unheard of gaming company,
JoWood, has taken it upon themselves to throw another real time
strategy game into the already saturated market: MayDay. After a
little research I discovered JoWood is based in Europe, so I figured
it might have some new ideas going for it, sadly I was wrong.
Mayday is set in the distant future. You control one of three
warring sides; United Continent Of America, Asian Federation or
the Southern Block. Sound pretty innovative so far huh? Before
every mission you have the option of doing researching new units,
receiving campaign information and viewing your espionage
monitor to see what spies have found for you. As for gameplay is
concerned it is more or less the same as every other real time
strategy game out there. So what is Mayday’s big twist? Most of
the time you will not start off with a typical base. You must capture
other buildings in order to add to your own. Talk about
innovation. Missions are the usual fare as well but at least but at
least they present some pretext for each one. For example, in
mission one you are told the Americans are blaming you for
something and you have to retaliate and take over their turf in
Jordan. In the end, it usually winds up being the standard 'find the
enemy and kick his ass' routine... simple enough. Units vary from
traditional ground infantry to various tanks and land speeders.
There are also a variety of air units made available as the war
shifts from the ground to the air.
By looking at the screenshots, I’m sure you all can tell Mayday
looks just like your average real time strategy game and you are
correct, it does. Mayday only supports software modes and
includes resolutions from 640x480 all the way to 1024x768. On my
450mhz machine Mayday ran rather flawlessly and I rarely noticed
slowdowns. As for special effects, there are none. Mayday is
reminiscent of Dune 2000 or WarCraft. Even the units lack detail
and don’t exactly offer any inspiration towards making me feel like
this is a real environment. The creation of new things like units is
done via menus in the upper left hand screen, with little pictures
depicting what each unit looks like. This method works well and
blends in seamlessly with the game. For anyone who can’t stand
playing a game with mediocre graphics, look elsewhere.
I have two major complaints about Mayday. First, the AI is
horrible. I have never seen such poorly done, stupid AI in my life.
My units were constantly getting stuck on rocks and on each other.
When I told them all to attack something; if one unit blocked
another, the blocked unit just would not move nor attack! Second,
there is NO in-game quit feature. What does that mean for people
who can’t complete a mission in one sitting? You have to quit the
game with ctrl-alt-delete! What kind of designers don’t even
include a quit option in the game?!? [Perhaps they thought they
had a game so good you’d never want to- Ed.]
Control is very basic and is just like every other RTS. The
mouse controls all of the action such as selecting units and telling
them what to do. The sound effects are some of the worst I’ve
ever heard by far. Some effects are so damn annoying I had to
turn my speakers off at times. The sound in Mayday is great if you
want a splitting headache.
As far as I can tell multiplayer only supports TCP/IP, but
then again there could be some other hidden protocols. As far as
multiplayer goes, it's average. That means there’s some lag but
not that much and the action is average as well.
If you haven't figured it out already, this game sucks. It's
simply another useless clone that was made to make money off a
dying genre. It strives for mediocrity and fails. It adds nothing to
an already cluttered genre. Mayday has poor graphics, piss poor
AI and horrible sound. The only reason to play it that I can
imagine is being trapped inside by the lack of exit option.