Defcon is a small time indie RTS based on the 1983 film WarGames starring a young Matthew Broderick & Ally Sheedy. You may have watched film at a young age and drooled over the prospect of annihilating the US cities. The game takes the idea and implements it into this fun little RTS. The game is the third of four games developed by British company Introversion Software so all facts considered they haven’t done too badly. The game is available on PC-CD, Steam and will be available on Nintendo DS in some time.
As previously mentioned the game is an RTS that is primarily focused on multiplayer Gameplay. One problem with this is matches are very long as you have to go through different stages of DEFCON and it takes a huge amount of time to complete a match. Which means it is often difficult to find an opponent willing to play a whole match. In this case you can play with the games AI system. The AI is quite good but a common complaint that players have is that the AI is not very strategical it usually only aims for large cities and it does this immediately after Defcon 1 when you allowed to launch Nukes. Like many RTS’ there is the inclusion of the “fog of war” Such can be revealed by Radar on land or on units. There are many different ways t defeat your opponent firstly by destroying their naval fleets to deny them use of their Short range nuclear bombers and also to sink their nuclear capable submarines. Of course you can launch nuclear strikes from Silo’s. These can be aimed at your enemy’s cities, silo’s, airfields and radar. Multiplayer modes include Survival (The normal death match type game), Speedmode (Where Defcon games time period decreases), Officemode (A great mode for playing at work or at school the game will minimize at the click of a button) and lastly Diplomacy Mode (Some would say that this is the most realistic mode as all of you start as allies but you will have opportunities to declare war.). For average gamers Speedmode is the most appealing game. Unless you are willing to play a 20mins+ game.
Graphics & Sound
The graphics are pretty retro looking as it is completely on a 2-d game engine. It’s not that special but for some reason I just seems right. Just like reliving that 80’s film we all love. Considering it doesn’t follow the isometric view like a lot of RTS’s I offers some thing new to the table. As far as the sound is concerned there is not much to tell as it is very minimalistic although who can blame Introversion as with a small amount of staff and equipment. The only noise you hear is the occasional Sonar or Siren. However part of me thinks that this makes the game more eerie. This brings me on to a major point. All you see in the game is a map overview which in turn makes the game feel completely innocent it doesn’t feel like you’re harming anyone. I know that this area might be a little grey if it actually showed you pictures of the nuke obliterating a city, but given that all the game gives you is the number of people dead after a flash of light it shows the solemn side to war. Showing that the people responsible for harsh actions are not aware of the destruction they are causing which if you think about it is quite scary.
So should you buy this game? To be honest I’m not sure but by all means try out the demo that is available on steam. It’s all a matter of preference and if you are willing to fork out 6 quid for a game that to be honest can be awfully boring. It just doesn’t feel like enough is happening to be fully engrossed in the action sure its fun for a while but its novelty does wear off. Its not nearly as exciting as playing a Scorp-spam game of C&C. If you play this game you have to be REALLY bored. Whats my score? Well I’d give it a 4.5/10 or 45% Not an average game but if you can’t waste a few minutes nuking the Innocent I’m all for it!
"MMM... I like Nuked Food!" Arnold Schwarzenegger