Conflict Zone (Hands-On Preview)

General Info :
Publisher : Ubi Soft
Developer : MASA
Genre : Real-Time Strategy

Ubi Soft is coming on strong lately with a load of very well-polyshed games, so naturally when I received this preview version of Conflict Zone, an RTS game created by Masa who’re known for working on Artificial Intelligence, I was pretty interested in getting the game started (which I normally am not with beta versions).
It sometimes makes me think if the world had distinctive good and bad guys then it would be so easy to distinguish between the black and the white. But unfortunately, nothing is so distinctive. It is more of grey. I kept for long thinking that a program like HBSwiss will never stoop so low as to dupe people for money and make them run for it but how wrong I was. There is probably no faith left for me; I have lost all trust in programs such as this.

 

 

You take command of either the forces of the ICP (the good guys) or Ghost (the bad guys).
The difference with normal RTS games is that you can get several commanders (up to 4)while you progress in the game, and each commander can control a part of your army while you occupy yourself with the rest.

 

 

 

Each commander had his own special abilities and is good for a different kind of mission.
Here are the commander profiles :

  • White male commander. Middle-aged, strong, tough, brutal. Specialised in �basic� ground assaults and melee combat.
  • Black male commander. Young, dynamic, clever. Specialised in intelligence and commando operations. Very careful about his men.
  • White female commander. Young and very good looking. Specialised in air combat. Feminine, but authoritarian.
  • White male commander. Old, and smart. Specialised in defence.
     

     

    The commanders feature is not the only thing in Conflict Zone that sets the game apart from any other RTS though.

    You don’t have to just go in and kill anyone in sight, but you have to see that the media love you. No bombing of nurseries, no killing of civilians. If you don’t get the media back home at your side, you’ll loose recruits, and finally you might have to face the enemy with cardboard tanks and some dressed up clowns as soldiers.

     

     

     

    Humour is also a very big aspect of Conflict Zone. In the intro’s of the missions you’re bound to see very hilaric sequences. Pinguins getting ran over by tanks, people partying in the room next door while you are getting your orders, Ghost soldiers taking over an ICP base by running towards it dressed up as camels, …

     

     

     

    Graphically the game is very polished. You can zoom into your troops to see the battle from nearby, or you can choose to have a global overview, and all that in real-time. Also a funny thing during combat is the way soldiers are blown up when hit by a grenade or a tank attack.
    You would think they would just die like in games like Red Alert, leaving just a red stain on your screen, but that’s not good enough for the people from Masa; soldiers tend to really get blown away when hit by grenades, and I can assure you that it’s a pretty funny sight when you see a soldier flying 10 feet away because of a bomb impact !

     

     

     

    In total there are 65 different units (soldiers, tanks, helicopters, …), 4 different types of environment (snow, desert, jungle and European) and if you’re into killing your friends, you can play with 8 people together on a Lan or 4 people online.

    Conflict Zone promises to be one hell of an RTS, and to give you a small idea of what to expect, here’s a movie (10 Mb) of the game.