Roadwar 2000 is a post-apocalyptic
tactical game set in what is left of the United States and whose gameplay is primarily based on vehicular combat. The player is in charge of a group of individuals armed with various vehicles and must manage their resources and dictate their actions in a bid to survive and discover the cure to a terrible plague sweeping the nation.
After successfully building and maintaining a strong force, the player may eventually be approached by what is left of the US Government to find six scientists that may hold the final pieces of the cure needed to stop the bio-engineered plague still infecting the nation.
On March 29, 1999, the first cases of an extremely virulent plague are reported in Washington DC. According a journal chronicling the plague, the virus is extremely debilitating with death as the end result.
On May 7th, it has spread across the nation. But the cause has been discovered: a bacterium that has three different growth stages. The first stage is a pupal stage, much like a caterpillar. The second stage does damage to the neurological system of the human body. The third stage, which occurs two months later, results in death.
By May 27th, it is discovered that the plague had been spread by fanaticists using fake passports and was an intentional attack on the United States.
On June 8th, one of the fanatics has been captured and is willing to talk. Scientists working for their sect had developed the genetically engineered bacteria, injected one hundred volunteers, and then sent them into the United States. Nearly 82% of the country has already been infected. But the most revealing piece of information was that the sect had also developed a cure. Of course, the fanatic wasn't willing to share any other information concerning it.
By June 13th, the country has begun to descend into anarchy. Most of the leadership including the President and Congress are laid up in hospitals if they are still alive. Meanwhile, the task force assigned to find a cure feverishly attempt to continue their work.
On July 7th, one of the Secretaries of the United States calls the bunker warning them that things are slipping from their control faster than expected. The scientists claim that they are close to a breakthrough.
The scientific team are given vitamin pellets to supplement their own food supplies on July 8th as the Secretary tells them of the plans to relocate them to secure locations.
The bombs fell on July 20th hitting strategic cities. With most of the United States' defenses already damaged by the crippling plague, there was nothing to stop them. But not all of the weapons had gone off, leaving certain cities with an unexploded nuclear device sitting at their heart. People flee the irradiated zones. Those strong enough to enforce their own rule take control of certain areas within these devastated ruins.
Many of the gangs secure their power through the use of politicians that they find to work for them, doctors that can heal the sick (if not cure the plague), and a drill officer that can train their men.
On August 2nd, the invaders arrive by landing on the coasts or by moving through Mexico. Inoculated against the plague, they make progress. With most of the nation's infrastructure shattered, little word makes it back to the main bunker where the research continues, although word reaches them from one of the eight scientists sent out that a breakthrough is very close.
On August 21st, it is discovered that the radiation from the bombs has mutated the bacterium, causing intense rage and uncontrolled violence within the infected now dubbed the "mutants". With its mutation, the serum used by the invaders to protect themselves fails and their own ranks are infected by this new strain. A new vaccine is available, but the cure requires the price of having to heal everyone in a group at once or risk reinfection, further depleting the scarce resources.
By October 6th, travel has become all but impossible. By November 20th, supplies begin to dwindle at the main bunker. A plan is initiated to find help by picking one of the gang leaders to aid them in bringing the scientists back.
By December 25th, the journal's author writes his final entry. Now only the player can save what is left of the United States in a bid for survival.
On starting the game, the player is randomly placed in one of the cities left somewhat intact within the United States. Most of the game places the player in the management role of their gang; allocating resources, managing their manpower, and gathering recruits to build up their cause. The game is turn based with each representing one hour.
Experience improves the effectiveness of your gang members, although there are no levels. Combat can also expand the number of vehicles that the player can have at their disposal. Cities can be looted once their defenders have been defeated and supplies are almost always in demand, especially fuel.
The game is viewed from a top-down perspective allowing the player to view such things as roads, obstacles, and potential destinations (such as cities) and natural landmarks such as lakes, rivers, and mountains. Most of the controls are handled via hotkey commands and movement is also keyboard controlled. The game also uses a series of random encounters.
Many large cities are held by powerful gangs with their own small armies and many of these must be taken by the player in order to initiate the main quest in the game: recovering the scientists that have the cure to the disease.