Talon Soft’s Tribal Rage (http://www.talonsoft.com) is the next new real time strategy game. This one takes place in post-apocalyptic 2030, where 6 tribes fight for control. They are the Enforcers, Bikers, Amazons, Cyborgs, Death Cultists and Trailer Trash.
Each tribe has their own unique advantages and disadvantages. The characteristics of each tribe are what contribute to the game’s overall charm. To wit:
Enforcer tribes are the only law enforcement in post-apocalyptic America. They are really just mercenaries for hire who wield some very sophisticated weapons including Laser pistols and disintegrator rifles. Some of their advantages are an almost invincible, short use, shield and an auto heal pack.
Biker tribes rule the roads and have some of the best vehicle chaises to work with when designing new weapons platforms. Some of their advantages are a neural enhancer that can increase a warrior’s movement and firing rate for a time and the ability to bribe anyone into joining them.
Amazon tribes are the future of the feminist movement for the next century. These though and gorgeous women are armed with compound and crossbows and ride around on their pet Triceratops. Some of their advantages are that designated amazon units can steal women from other tribes and the ghostwalk amulet allows other amazons to slip by the enemy and hit them from behind.
Cyborg tribes are the remains of the soldiers who allowed their bodies to be modified by science. These guys are tough and heavily armored, but they loose out on any good special advantages other than extra armor.
Death Cultist tribes are out to finish off what the apocalypse started. And they have the weapons to do it, including flame-throwers, toxic gas and grenade launchers. Some of their advantages are a stealth shield as will as neutron bombs and nuclear mines. Ouch!
Trailer Trash tribes are the beer drinking, shotgun packing good old boys. They are not all that tough, but they can produce a lot more equipment, because their costs are the lowest in the game. Some of their advantages are a really fun exploding pig and incendiary grenades.
My personal favorite of the six playable tribes is the Amazons. I just really liked the idea of using old technology like crossbows and compound bows and riding beasts into battle mixed with pickup trucks and satellite up link technology. One interesting point about playing the Amazons it that the game does not address how you heal or repair animals like the Triceratops. You can not heal them at the hospital like warriors, and you can not repair them at the supply depot. The only way you can heal them is to equip a warrior with a first aid kit and heal them using that.
My favorite aspect of the game is that there is only one resource to deal with. The only thing you need to collect is ore. No more worrying about gold, trees, rock and food or even if you have built enough farms to support your people like you had to do in Microsoft’s Age of Empires.. Just keep the ore coming and you can buy all the buildings, vehicles, and warriors you will ever need.
Another unique feature of Tribal Rage is the ability to create your own units from scratch. You can mix and match a variety of weapon systems and delivery platforms to create a customized army of your choice. Whether you prefer elephantine armor units or massive infantry troops, the army is yours to design.
The artificial Intelligence (AI) of the game is pretty good. Most of the time, when you send a truck or warrior to a specific point they end up where you want them. Sometimes they get snagged on an odd piece of terrain, but that happens sparingly thank God. And when the scenario requires it, all rival tribes attack with some good strategies. You can tell Talon Soft has spent a lot of time designing war games, cause even though this is a comical one, it has the heart of a real strategy epic.
My least favorite aspect of the game is that once again, just like in WarCraft II, from Blizzard, there can be one unit or building hiding out in a corner of the map and you have to go out and find it before you can win a mission. At least this time the people at Talon Soft were kind enough to add a time limit, for better or for worse.
In conclusion I would like to thank the people at Talon Soft for making the game that broke my addiction to Origin’s Ultima Online. I enjoyed Tribal Rage so much that it was actually very hard to stop playing long enough to write this review.