playstation homepage   Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review
PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews

A.P.I Review: Warzone 2100
Developer: Pumpkin Studios OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Eidos 1 Player
Game Type: Strategy Memory Card
Review Date: June 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

The Collapse came fast and hard. Following a technical error in the satellite defence system nuclear warheads were fired at Washington, Beijing and Moscow. Minutes later ground based sites fired in response to the launch. Millions died as nuclear firestorms wiped out the world's cities. Billions more died as plagues and epidemics swept away what remained of civilization.

Less than a million people survived the Collapse. Earth broke into hundreds of small scavenger bands battling each other for the remnants of the former civilization. Only a few had the vision to attempt to rebuild a new world from the ashes. What they didn't know was the entity responsible for the Collapse was out there waiting for them....

Warzone: 2100 is a real time action and strategy game set on Earth in the 21st Century. The goal of the game is to rebuild North America and reclaim lost technologies.

It features fast arcade action coupled with strategic planning. Combat is fast and graphically exciting. Research and develop new vehicles to explore abandoned areas, repair damaged equipment, gather resources, and destroy opposing units. Battle to seize key areas, but be sure to protect your commanders as their destruction could set you back enormously.

Sound & Vision

I often find that the quality of the opening movie offers a fair indication of the in-game graphics... but that doesn't mean to say that all CG intros of high standard indicate a five-star title. Oh no, sometimes the reverse! You see it all depends on the genre. We all know that the Playstation has a limited memory capacity and the correct system of programming would be to max out the in-game visuals and then use what is left for the opening scenes. Of course many games require barely ¼ of the available memory and a copy of the Titanic movie could almost be squeezed within the disc space. Remember how Command & Conquer Retaliation had less FMV footage than Red Alert? This saving allowed the in-game graphics to be of a higher resolution while the speed of the units was raised slightly.

The intro to Warzone 2100 doesn't exactly stir any inner emotions... it demonstrates the Collapse in a fairly basic manner and only just serves the purpose... which is fine for a war time strategy game such as this. Thankfully all of that spare memory has been put to good use.

For lovers of this genre I say this... Imagine Command & Conquer being played over a massive 3D terrain with trenches and mountains that can actually be used to your advantage... Imagine being able to rotate the camera 360° around your entire base to allow a full perspective during construction, or even 90° so that you can peek around corners and spot that well hidden turret... Imagine being in control of up to 40 vehicles, and cyborgs, waging war on a similar number of foes with barely noticeable slowdown... or the whole game not grinding to a halt when a stupid enemy vehicle blocks the entrance to their base...... Imagine completing a level and all of the previous time and effort constructing the perfect base is not in vain as each new mission continues from your original camp... Imagine no longer because Warzone 2100 includes all of these features.

Generally the graphics are excellent with each type of building easily distinguishable from another. Within a short period of time you will have constructed a secure working base that contains working power plants, factory producing cyborgs and units, research facilities and oil derricks that constantly pump up and down. It's all safely surrounded by concrete walls, gun turrets, tank traps and bunkers. Furthermore it can be viewed from any desired angle by rotating the camera position by using the shoulder buttons, or joysticks, on the control pad.

I wish I could say the same about the vehicles. The most annoying problem I experienced when playing Warzone 2100 was determining which was my Bunker-Buster Cobra and which was my Mortar Viper Half-track. You see, almost every vehicle looks identical... unless you have access to a rather large magnifying glass. In fairness you can click the cursor over each vehicle for a summary of it's type, structure, damage sustained and kill record, but when you have only 30 minutes to complete a mission you usually end up just gathering together a mismatched selection of units which results in unnecessary casualties. Shame!

Once the fighting begins the effects are very similar to C&C games. Machinegun bullets tear up the ground and spark as they hit enemy tanks. Cannon shells fly through the air and explode. Flame-throwers set alight areas of the terrain and burn buildings. Rockets and missiles scream overhead. While taking a hit sees your vehicle give off a constant cloud of smoke until repairs are carried out.


Even though I am somewhat of a C&C veteran (still my favorite Link-up game by a long, long way) I had best warn you that learning to play Warzone 2100 takes time and patience. I'll bet that many gamers give up long before the hour or so's practice that I would recommend before charging into a mission. I'll also bet than most gamers will probably stutter through the first four or five missions and then restart to gain a better advantage. You see, the main difference between this and C&C is that once you've laid your bed, you must lie in it! Meaning? Should you throw together a disorganized base in the very first level then you'll have to work from it for the entire group of missions in that campaign. The most important point to make about the gameplay is should you decide to stick with it then I guarantee you'll become totally hooked (occasionally you may want to throw the disc in the nearest fast flowing river, but then most strategy games have their sticking points).

Not wanting to get too technical I'll briefly explain the in's and out's. The 32 missions are divided into three campaigns over varied 3D terrain. There is also a Practice level to help you get started. Most missions are against the clock but some of the earlier scenarios allow you sufficient time to prepare for the long onslaught.

The control system may seem confusing at first but soon becomes second nature. The directional pad moves the cursor across the screen. Combining with the action button allows groups of units to be gathered and moved together. I hate to keep mentioning C&C but those who are familiar with the grouping method of play will have an immediate advantage. If not... don't worry you'll soon pick it up.

Okay... Step One: At the start of a mission you will be issued with your instructions which must be carried out completely to end the level.

Step Two: Select an open area of terrain (preferably with mountain cover) and begin to construct your base. Don't forget that your camp will remain for the entire campaign so think before you begin building. First to go up is the Command Centre and then a Derrick is used to extract oil from pools. Power generators turn oil into power. Power is used to produce new units, build structures and conduct research.

Step Three: Once the base is established it's time to investigate the terrain. The entire area is blacked out until your troops begin moving. This action gradually removes the shroud. Highlight a group of units and then set their orders. This may involve holding ground, returning fire or even heading back to base for repairs when heavy damage is sustained. It is imperative that you keep your units alive as they gain experience with each kill, making them more accurate and less likely to die in future levels. Once your objective is complete the game may be saved onto a memory card. The next mission begins where the last ended. Same buildings, same units, same damage. So remember to repair structures and vehicles before a mission ends. When a new mission begins more terrain from the original map is accessible. Sometimes a mission may take place on another sector therefore a massive transport craft becomes available to ship units back and forth.

I could go on forever abut the depth of Warzone 2100 but I'm sure you have got the idea by now. However if you decide to check it out then be sure to give it time!

GRAPHICS: 18/20 I bet you all thought that Warzone 2100 was another wrestling game. Well it's not... it's a damn fine strategy wargame in a similar mould to the Command & Conquer series.

On the down side there is occasional slowdown when things get really hectic, there is no link-up mode (boo!) and no skirmish mode... but hey... it's all in glorious 3D.

There are 32 long and enduring missions. Some will be over within half an hour while many could take up to three hours. I'll bet the majority of gamers won't get through them all within 90 hours of gaming. Now that's value for money!
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 19/20


    GAMES        Get your PSX games HERE!