There is turmoil and chaos in the Middle East again. Sound familiar? No, I’m not watching CNN; I am playing JoWood Productions’ World War 3: Black Gold. World War 3 is a real time military strategy game in which you will control three different military powers. Using ‘real-world’ modern day weaponry, you will take command of the United States army, the Russian army, and the Iraqi army.
World War 3 is similar to most real-time strategy games. There are goals that must be achieved in order to succeed and move on to the next mission, and you must build supply depots and research new technologies in order to construct units to help you in your mission.
You can build anything from a light armored humvee, to cobra helicopters, to patriot missile systems. In order to build these units, you need to acquire money. You accumulate money by building oil derricks on designated spots on the battlefield to pump the precious ‘black gold.’
Like all real time strategy games, there are a million controls to World War 3. The controls are similar to those of other RTS games. There are twenty different ways to zoom in and out, however, unlike most RTS games; I could not find a way to scroll across the battlefield quickly using the mouse.
The graphics overall are pretty nice. The cinematic sequences set up the proceeding missions well. The graphics in game play are good depending on what view you are using. You can play the game using a high aerial view down to a view that is a third person ground view. The graphics for the buildings and weaponry are fantastic up close, but, there is no way that you could play the game with that view.
Playing World War 3 is easy to figure out plus, there are tutorials for using each of the three different armies. I did have trouble finishing one of the tutorials though. In fact, I think it was the very first tutorial. The tutorial wanted me to build some electric generators, which I promptly did. However, I did not place the generators exactly where the game wanted me to. Even though everything had power, the game kept telling me to build these generators. I was just about ready to throw the computer out the window and never play another game ever again when I realized that I did not place the generators in the exact spot.
All three armies used slightly different weaponry, and each army has one special characteristic. The Iraqis have the ability to camouflage their vehicles, the Russians use more chemical weapons, and I think the US just has more overall firepower.
Different weapons have different ranges. For example, the paladin is a heavy artillery gun that is supposed to ‘see’ the enemy from 25 clicks away. However, more times than not, the game would not let the paladin see the enemy until they were right on top of them, and considering that the paladin is slow and not good for close combat situations, the paladins get shot to hell.
Acquiring new technologies can seem to take forever sometimes, even when you have the resources to do so.
This may sound slightly ridiculous, but, playing as the Iraqis was a bit creepy. Your first mission is to sneak across the United States border in a stolen car where you will "pay retribution to the imperialist infidels" and soon you and your brothers "stand before Allah and be celebrated as martyrs." The second mission involves deploying a nuclear weapon inside the United States. Yea, creepy. Given the events of the recent past, it just hit a little too close to the real thing to not be taken aback. I mean, I can just see Osama sitting in his cave playing this on his laptop.
All in all, World War 3 does not bring anything fresh to real time strategy gaming. The graphics and audio are good. The playing of the game was smooth and easy to grasp. The missions are challenging, but not really that exciting, and for that reason I give World War 3: Black Gold 3 out of 5 Gin gems.