Cyclone Studios blows standard hybrid-game idea away

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Hybrid games usually don’t work. A game company comes up with an idea in which two different genres are combined into one game. It might be an ambitious concept, but the execution almost always falls short.

Cyclone Studios decided to take a shot at this trend. They thought "What if we took the first person action of Quake 2 and combined it with the strategic elements of Red Alert?" and came up with their latest release, Uprising. In turn, not only is it an innovative idea, but it’s also a pretty enjoyable combat simulator.

Rather than showing the action in the overhead perspective that war strategy games are famous for, Uprising puts you right in the heat of the battle. More specifically, it puts you in the controls of the Wraith tank. The Wraith is a powerful force, but it alone cannot win the battle. Base stations called Citadels must be constructed to support the wraith. And in order to create a Citadel, the Wraith must located a "claim square" and summon a citadel, which doesn’t just appear like other war games, but is dropped from a transport craft.

Citadels can also be equipped with up to three different structures, such as power plants (to harness the necessary power credits), troop and armor facilities, AAV (air support) and bomber launch pads, and the "finger of God" KSAT satellite relays. Bases can also build turrets and SAM sites to defend the Citadel structure from outside attack, but not from KSAT blasts.

Once factories are built, the Wraith can search out for enemy Citadels and summon the new weapons to attack them. Troops are best used for building destruction, tanks provide artillery support for the troops, AAVs provide air support, and bombers wreak havoc on buildings. Fortunately, troops can be summoned right at the battlefield, instead of having to move them from the factory to the enemy base, and be subject to ambush along the way.

In going towards a 3D mode, Cyclone Studios decided to add 3Dfx support to their engine, and it shows. The battlefield is presented in high detail, and runs well on a high end Pentium or Pentium II. Lower systems will be subjected to some slowdown during heated battles, but that is only at extreme moments.

There is also a fair amount of fog that obstructs view when you want to get a KSAT bead on a Citadel tower.

Also, I have noticed some crashes during gameplay. When I tried to summon my first Citadel tower, my computer was dumped back to Windows 95. It’s usually a good idea to save your game before each mission in case this event happens. Hopefully, a patch will soon come out soon to remedy this problem, as it will make this game even more enjoyable.

In the meantime, the occasional crash and high-end system requirements aside, Uprising provides a breath of fresh air, superior first person action and enticing strategic elements

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