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  Preview: No Man's Land
On 10/06/03 by James 'Sweetjimmy' Long

Publisher: CDV Software GmbH
Developer: Related Designs
Genre: Real time Strategy
ESRB Rating: Pending
Release Date: 10-14-2003

Somewhere between Warcraft III and James Fenimore Cooper sits the upcoming PC game by the name of No Man�s Land (NML). It�s closely related to Warcraft III because it�s a 3D real-time strategy game. NML is also closely related to James Fenimore Cooper because it�s marked with fabricated American History. At first NML may strike you as a game with very standard mechanics but the more I played it, the more I liked it. You have to understand that I�m not the world�s biggest RTS fan. Resource management completely turns me off from games. Still, NML has quite a bit to offer including 6 unique playable races (each with their own strengths), heroes, experience-based combat, and upgradeable units.

The first thing that struck me about NML was its excellent presentation. The GUI looks good and the music is excellent. Voice acting, too, deserves high merit. The CGI movies are of good quality (but I wonder if using CGI is an artistic faux pas while depicting early American history?). The sound is identical to big-picture gunfighter/western music with a powerful brass section, driving percussion, and a lone accoustic guitar. The game offers both singleplayer and multiplayer capabilities. The singleplayer campaign allows you to play through history starting with Native American Indians and Spanish Conquistadors. As you progress, you�ll move through the American Revolution and beyond. In the multiplayer matches you are able to easily set up games with or without computer opponents. The maps you play on offer great chokepoints, hard-to-reach resources, and nice stylization.

As I said earlier, each race has certain strengths you can exploit during the game. The Navajo, for instance, only use Teepees for structures. Because of this, they can break camp very easily and move the entire base to a better spot when resources start to run out. Graphically speaking, NML is what I�d call �decent�. The 3D units are a tad blocky but necessarily so. When you have 100 units on your screen at once, those little blocky models will not break your computer, and that�s a good thing. Despite the blockiness, most of the units look fairly unique. When you get a large number of them together you may have difficulty picking particular units out of the bunch, though. The maps and background settings in NML are attractive enough to score passing grades. The camera system doesn�t have much flexibility but something is to be said for the excellent zoom levels NML allows.

Look forward to No Man�s Land in mid-October. If you happen to like RTS games, you probably don�t want to pass it up. If strategy titles aren�t your thing, I doubt NML will be the one to convince you otherwise.

:: no man\'s land :: :: no man\'s land :: :: no man\'s land ::
:: no man\'s land :: :: no man\'s land ::

#1 - Bulldog - 10/06/03 @ 12:26 AM EST
My god this expanded screen deal makes our 20-second trademarked content look short!
/ /
#2 - sweetjimmy - 10/06/03 @ 12:27 AM EST
no doubt. :0

might have to change the name to 17-second preview.
/ /
#3 - sweetjimmy - 10/06/03 @ 12:35 AM EST
oh yeah, and I just wanted to point out in Pic #5 that YES, that is a woman doing all the work building that fortress tower. :)

call me a pioneer for woman's sufferage.
#4 - Houdini - 10/06/03 @ 09:53 AM EST
am i the only pervert who thinks of lesbian porn when i read "No Mans Land"?
man, i need to stay out of the newgroups.
--and this site needs a QOTD.
/ looks okay but:
how many upgrades can a fighter have from early America?
/ very sharp arrowheads
heavy and sharp arrowheads
maize tipped arrow
a large cod strapped to a very long straight stick?
/ /
#5 - sweetjimmy - 10/06/03 @ 11:51 AM EST
arrows can be upgraded to fiery arrows for better structural damage. spears can be upgraded to Spears with R-type stickers to make them fly faster. Horses can have racing stripes added to enhance their manuverability.

and so on and so forth.
/ / / /
#6 - Houdini - 10/06/03 @ 12:28 PM EST
dont forget the papoose bomb..
a papoose stuffed with rotting animal carcasses, left on the doorstep of ones enemies.
when they go to take in the baby, they are rewarded with a vile stench. making the man of the house have to take a trip to the river to toss the bomb. leaving his shack unattended.

roll 2d8 for burgalry of grain.

ooh, this is sounding better and better.
your turn jimmy.
/ / /
#7 - sweetjimmy - 10/06/03 @ 12:42 PM EST
how do I follow that act? ;)
/ / /
#8 - nemarsde - 10/08/03 @ 08:17 AM EST
Still looks too much like Warcraft for comfort IMO.

I do think the idea of putting more educational content into computer games is excellent though. A computer game then becomes a valuable teaching aid.
#9 - nemarsde - 10/08/03 @ 08:19 AM EST
PS: This review's even better than your last one, sweetjimmy. Gives us more of the essentials with more efficient prose. Thanks.

PPS: Can't seem to edit my own comments, even though I'm logged in...
#10 - sweetjimmy - 10/08/03 @ 09:31 AM EST
thanks. I'm having the same problem off and on, nemarsde.

as far as educational content goes, NML gets the ideas right, but the facts ar/
for instance: the navajos as one point threaten to take the scalps of the conquisedors... yet it was the french that taught the native americans to scalp (if I'm not mistaken)
#11 - Houdini - 10/08/03 @ 09:35 AM EST
hey now, I'm a fantastic writer.. how can i get in on reviewing games? i have the time to do so.. the attitude to do it.. and i would cover all the bases. hrmm..

/ maybe i can just freelance.

i didnt realize you wrote the review jimmy, neat stuff. :)
#12 - sweetjimmy - 10/08/03 @ 10:44 AM EST
yeah, but I was kidding about the R-type stickers. :D

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