Ground Control is a game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Sierra On-Line in the year 2000. It is set in the 25th century after World War 3 which is also known as the "16 minute War" wiped out almost all human life. The game is set on the planet of Krig 7-B where the Crayven Corporation and the Order of the New Dawn fight for control. The game is split into two seperate campaigns, the first campaign was played from the perspective of Major Sarah Parker a commander of the Crayven Corporation forces, the second campaign is played from the perspective of Deacon Jarred Stone in his attempts to drive the Crayven forces from the planet.
Ground Control is currently a free download on File Planet.
Ground Control contains no base building or resource management. Units are given to the player periodically throughout the campaign, these units must be protected and maintained. Units are divided into several classes, Tanks, Infantry, Support and Aerodyne. Each class can switch between several different unit types, for example the support class can switch between artillery, anti air and missile configurations. Players must carefully choose units based upon the needs of the mission. Heavy tanks are vastly reduced in mobility and in timed missions they may prove to be a liability.
After these choices are made the units are all dropped into battle in large dropships that can carry up to 4 squads. Squads consist of a group of individuals, all moving, firing and using their special weapons simultaneously. The terrain of the battlefield makes a huge difference to how units perform. Units on high ground are much harder to see and hit to units on lower ground, and units in shadows are harder to see allowing very effective ambushes. Friendly fire can harm your own units so managing units formation and preventing artillery from destroying your own units are important factors. Two gameplay elements that a Company of Heroes player will be familiar with are suppression and tank weak points. Infantry fires inaccurately when under fire and tanks take more damage if hit in the side or rear armor.
Units from both factions are fairly similar with both sides containing fairly similar units, however the Crayven Corporation units are tougher, using traditional weapons and vehicles and the Order of the New Dawn using a hover propulsion system, sacrificing armor for increased speed and mobility.
Squads are rewarded with experience throughout the campaign, including medals awarded for each squad's combat performance, giving improved abilities. Any losses taken by a squad are replenished at the end of a mission; however, if the whole squad is wiped out, it will be removed and replaced with a new inexperienced squad in easier difficulty levels but simply removed in harder difficulties.
Expansion Pack and Sequel
Later, an expansion pack for Ground Control was released called Dark Conspiracy, it introduced the Phoenix Mercenaries. A rag tag group of outcasts abandoned by the Crayven and the Order, forced to scavenge leftover parts. True to their name, the Phoenix Mercenaries use many fire or plasma-based weaponry including their Pyro-Dyne flame tank.
In 2004 a sequel to Ground Control was released under the name Ground Control II: Operation Exodus. It did away with the persistent units and squads and instead uses an acquisition points system, similar to that used in World in Conflict. Ground Control II is set over 300 years after the events of the original game and includes the Viron Nomads, Terran Empire and Northern Star Alliance as three separate warring factions.
The game is available at gog.com.
Minimum system requirements
- Windows XP or Windows Vista
- 1.8 GHz Processor
- 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
- 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended)
- 4GB HDD