Game Over Online ~ Mayday

GameOver Game Reviews - Mayday (c) JoWood Productions, Reviewed by - Prolix

Game & Publisher Mayday (c) JoWood Productions
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 31%
Date Published Sunday, July 25th, 1999 at 11:44 AM

Divider Left By: Prolix Divider Right

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.


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