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Game Over Online ~ Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy

GameOver Game Reviews - Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy (c) 3DO, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher Uprising 2: Lead and Destroy (c) 3DO
System Requirements P166, 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 83%
Date Published Saturday, December 5th, 1998 at 10:34 AM

Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

The people at 3DO have brought back the original RTS/FPS genre buster with Uprising 2. Refining and enhancing an already proven title, they have once again tried to draw interest into this emerging genre cross.

The first Uprising, I found to be a unique and entertaining title. It created a whole new way of playing games. Why sit back and command troops from a top down view, when you can be right down in there, blasting away with your troops! This was the novel idea that brought us the original Uprising. Needless to say, Uprising was badly marketed by 3DO and only sold handfuls in the stores. It's a shame a game like Uprising sold as poorly as it did, since I found it to be a remarkable game. Sure, it had its setbacks and nuisances, but Uprising did start a new breed of gaming genres. The most notable followers of this genre would be Battlezone and Urban Assault.

Since this isn't a critique on the performance of the original, let's get down to business and discuss Uprising 2. The story has changed between episodes. The original was being a rebellion fighter against the Imperial leaders. With that war settled down and peace among people, it's time to turn back to fighting the Trich. Unknown to the majority of humanity, Earth had been at war with the Trich for centuries. Due to recent attacks and recently unclassified materials, humans scrambled to combat their longtime foes.

Visually speaking, this game is beautiful. I'm not exactly positive on how it compared with the 3Dfx original, since it never worked for me, but fortunately, it's quite satisfying now. The terrain is superior, with nicely detailed texturing. The skies quite possibly are the best sky textures in a game thus far. The units are relatively well done, although the infantry are still a bit blocky up close. The fires and explosions are nicely colored, but lack the flare most games have. I would have liked to see the debris a little less, i.e.: the building breaking up into five or six big chunks. Most of your usual 3Dfx eye candy is included and very well done, smoke trails, environmental lighting, fogging, and lens flares included. I've got to say the main menu (interface) is NOT a step up. I found it to be way too cluttered. When you refine in-game menus but then make that ugly main menu, it makes you stop and say, "why?" The software mode runs very smoothly, but the terrain textures are extremely pixilated and you lose most of the eye candy. Also I should mention, Uprising 2 is 3Dfx-only accelerated, so all of you with great D3D cards are going to get ripped off by 3DO on this one.

If you want some great sound and you have the speakers for it, Uprising 2 aims to please. It features Dolby Surround Sound for some fine symphonic acoustics. Although it doesn't support true 3D sound, Dolby does stereo justice and gives it some positional sound. The sounds are pretty much rehash from the original, the unit speech is different but not much of an improvement. Your commander comes over your radio from time to time to congratulate you or give instructions as to your mission objectives. The main menu, once again, is too noisy. They definitely spent too much time piddling with the main screen. The only other real nuisance is that the laser fire gets irritating after awhile. Since you're primarily going to be using a laser, I wish the sound effects for it were a little bit less annoying. It's not bad, but after fifteen minutes of heavy fighting, my speaker volume goes way down. The game features CD audio so if the on-CD music doesn't get your attention, I found sticking a little Tool in really livens up the atmosphere.

Not a whole lot has changed gameplay-wise since its predecessor. Uprising 2 removes the ability to divide up your power between weapons, armor, and speed. I don't know why they took that out, because it was a great feature. The weapon selection menu has been changed, to make it a little faster to change your secondary weapons. I didn't find it that much more useful than the old way. Gameplay still runs along about the same. You will primarily be claiming citadels and protecting them, while building up armies to go root out the enemies from their citadels. Power buildings will gather power to purchase additional buildings for army construction and defense. Uprising 2 adds a new troop, separating the original Uprising tank into light and heavy versions. It also replaces the KSAT technology with BMS, which sends nukes instead of the laser attack. Building defense turrets against them can defend against these nukes. The missions tend to be simplistic, usually "kill all opposing citadels", but sometimes you will receive covert operations, where you need to take out designated targets within a given time period. There's not a huge plot to follow, just a little background on each planet and your mission orders. The main enhancement is the ability to select units and give them minor orders. One of the major problems of the original, was when you blew up a building in the middle of nowhere with some infantry, there was little you could do with them afterwards. Uprising 2 gives you the ability to send them to attack or guard. It also adds the "auto" button. Depending on where you are and what you have selected, it will give you a hotkey for a usually useful selection instead of having to remember which button goes with what, you can use your "auto" key to do whatever the auto selection is set to. Something I noticed different in the sequel was the enemy's citadel strategy. In the original, the enemy would always repair it when I was attacking, and if it were destroyed, the enemy would immediately send a new citadel out. I don't see this anywhere near as much in Uprising 2. It doesn't seem quite as challenging when the enemy doesn't put forth much of a threat once you've taken out his citadel. The A.I will repair their citadel during combat, but it's not what it was in the original.

It's as entertaining as the original. I finally get to play it in 3Dfx and it looks great! It will primarily play out as a first-person tank shooter, but you can't play it well without plotting some strategy and building up forces. Sometimes, it may be a little bit too much of a rehash from the original, but like I stated before, it didn't sell really well, and so most people haven't experienced this genre yet. If you, like many, haven't played the original, it plays a lot like Battlezone did. The plot and cut-scenes aren't as detailed as Battlezone was, but there's a lot more "combat involved" now. It also comes with a full-blown level editor. This editor is far from the easiest thing to use, but due to the nature of the game, I understand why this is a complex tool. The editor is definitely not for the average player, but the high-end gamers should find it to be a great tool.

Uprising 2 features an eight-player multiplayer that features all the bells and whistles. It uses DirectPlay for easy access to Internet TCP/IP games. I played a few games across the LAN and it ran fine. I'm not sure how well it'd run for modem users, but the original ran fine across the modem. Not a shabby multiplayer, although I find single player more enjoyable.

In conclusion, Cyclone Studios has put together a nice remake of their original. Hopefully 3DO will market it a little better this time around, because the original deserved so much more then it received. Uprising 2 fares well against its predecessor, but has some shortcomings from the original. It is also a little more refined and enhanced, and has some great new features. I was not as impressed with this game as I was with the original, but it's still a decent title. People that missed the original should at least take this game for a test run, especially fans of Battlezone and Urban Assault.

Highs: Nicely done graphics, some good new options, and decent audio.
Lows: Ugly menus, some of the original's features are gone, no Direct3D acceleration, no 3D sound.


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