Yeah, I know that that ship isn't doing much rising. Unfortunately while playing this game, I saw this screen a lot, and similar ones as well. This game is very hard, yet very easy at the same time. Basically if you have the patience to inch forward in a level, destroying one or two things every five minutes or so, thus taking hours to complete a mission, then this game is for you.
As far as I'm concerned, that stuff is fun at first... but gets very tedious after a while. Enemies are constantly respawning, until you destroy their resource gathering equipment. You can't destroy the resource gathering equipment, until you destroy the turrets guarding it, which only target air vehicles. But you need an air vehicle to transport your tank to the resources. But then there's the hovercraft, but you should only use that when there are no enemy helicopters in the area, because they will tear a little hovercraft up. There are many more elements to this cycle. I will not bore you with them.
I bought Hostile Waters for $12, brand new at Software Etc. I was kind of surprised a game less than a year old could be that cheap. And one that got good reviews at that! I was interested in it for a long time. It seemed like a break from normal computer gaming. And you know what? It is! This could easily be implemented on a console, a la Playstation 2.
The graphics engine reminds me of Nuclear Strike, on the original Playstation. While the screenshots look outstanding, the actual 3D effects are very bland. Everything has sort of a flat look to it. The best way to describe it, is by comparing it to another game, such as Unreal Tournament or Aliens vs Predator. In those games, as you look from side to side, you will notice that objects are actually stretched as they get closer to the side. Make sense? Good. In Hostile Waters, it doesn't do that. It's 'flat'. As though you are looking through a window. I'm not saying this is a bad thing... It's just different.
The story is surprisingly original. It's not good to the point where you can't wait to see what happens next, but it is refeshingly new. Basically the world is at peace. There are some bad guys on some islands that want to take over the world. Huh? You heard that before? No, no. Let me finish... So Earth's last hope against these guys is to resurrect a ship that was last used, and sunk during some war in the mid 2000's. This ship has the capabilities of creating anything, assuming it has the plans for it. That doesn't sound very original as I read over what I've typed.... Hmmm...
Well, anyway the story unfolds perfectly with the gameplay. I don't think there is a mission I've played where no new objectives were added, or changed. It transgresses into some biological creation hoobajoob that I could barely understand. Basically in the later missions, when things explode (like buildings, helicopters), instead of fire, it's with blood.
Despite the bad things I've said about this game (I'm so pessimistic), I must say it is a very good game, worthy of my seal of approval. There are so many elements to it, along with so many ways to use them, that I have no choice but to like it. The only thing keeping me down is the high level of difficulty, which like I said, is not really difficult, just time-taking.
First off you have your battleship, the Antaeus. Everytime you start a mission you need to figure out what things you are going to need.. (Helicopters? Tanks? Hovercrafts? Etc?), as well as who is going to use which. You have a number of people to choose from to pilot these vehicles. Some better than others, each with their strengths and weaknesses in each vehicle. Another thing (relating to the story) is that the people you choose, aren't really people. Well, they were, but their style of fighting was recorded on a chip. And you have to figure out which chip to put in what vehicle. They gain experience with more kills. I found myself taking over each vehicle one by one, because I couldn't stand the tactics they use. They kept getting killed. Maybe that's why it takes me so long. In addition to that, there are also the standard weapon configurations, and how much armor to use.
Past that, the gameplay is pretty much the same. The missions are, however, very varied. Such as in the sniper mission, where you have to find laser gun technology, sample it, and use it to kill a helicopter pilot before he takes off with a scientist. That was kind of fun. There are some missions that make you think as well. Such as, on one, there are three buildings that need to be destroyed. None of your vehicle's weapons can touch them, but you can call up to two Artillery-like attacks from Antaeus. But that leaves one building... Well, turns out (SPOILER!!) after I read in the forums, you have to build a helicopter to lift one of the fuel trucks parked where you first start out, and then set it on top of one of those buildings, and then shoot the fuel to blow the building up( -END SPOILER!!!). There are a few more like that, you have to think, and remember EVERYTHING you learned in the beginning tutorial.
On the surface, Antaeus is a simple game. But when you learn to use all the things that are at your disposal, it quickly becomes the most complex action game you'll ever see.
I still have yet to beat it, and I probably never will. It's hard to dedicate a few hours to a game, when you know that that's exactly how long you'll need to complete a mission. Thankfully there is an in game save that works pretty well. You can give commands to all of the vehicles, save the game, and then when you load, everything is EXACTLY as you left off, missles flying at you and all.
The sound is kind of quiet throughout. There's no music, save for the opening title screen and maybe the map. The pilots talk to each other, and they taunt their targets. What they say is rarely boring. This is the only game where I have heard f!ck. The heli pilot, Ransom especially. Such a potty mouth. "F!ck you!"... "Got the f!cker" ... "I can't take much more of this shi!" Fortunately for the kiddies it can be turned off....
Well, anyway... For 12 bucks this game is a steal. I know no one who has even heard of it, except the guy at the register at Software Etc. Who told me to come back and tell him how it is. I'll just give him the URL to my homepage.
You have to be real close to things to hear a good explosion. The machine guns are very subdued. The only thing that really stands out is the dialogue between the pilots.
Overall, an enjoyable experience. It's probably a lot better when played through a second time, seeing as how it took me a while to figure out the best way to do things.. And I still probably haven't got it good.
It uses the WASD configuration for flying around as a default. This earns a plus from me. In addition to that, there are all kinds of hotkeys and shortcuts made to be used for everything, so there's about three ways to do whatever you want.
For this type of a game (Strategy/Action) there is little room for improvement. Basically you'll like it, or you wont. There is nothing that I could say about it, that would make it better. The cutscenes, however, could use a little pizazz.... But that's not really part of the 'GAME'.