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  • Z Steam Revival

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    Steam recently re-released the Bitmap Brothers classic real time strategy game Z on to steam for the meagre price of £3.99. For nostalgic purposes I couldn't help but delve right back into the classic RTS I played 18 years ago and see how it measured up.

    For those of you who never got to enjoy playing the top down RTS back in the day, you play as the red robots lead by commander Zod, a cigar smoking badass roaming from planet to planet fighting the blue robots. What makes it different from traditional RTS' of its generation is that there is no construction and resource gathering, the buildings are already set-out on the map, the role of the game is to capture these objective points, dominate the enemy and ultimately destroy their fortress.

    The gameplay differs to traditional RTS' of its generation mainly due to certain features such as the drivers of vehicles being able to take fire causing the vehicle to become unmanned and captured by your infantry. Destructible environments are also a nice feature, be it blasting your way through a series of mountains or strategically destroying a bridge or vehicle factory in an effort to counter the enemy.

    I personally favour this style of RTS over other titles of the time such as, Command and Conquer, and later Age of Empires where you simply amass an army of powerful units and attack the enemy. Z innovates slightly and becomes more of a thinking man's RTS with its diverse range of units and strategic approach. Together with the increasingly challenging AI the game makes for some fast paced relentless strategic gameplay.

    The games Steam re-release has been mildly criticized by fans of the game as being a quick copy/paste of the original game while lacking certain features that the original had and still asking £3.99. Although I can understand these views I'm simply thrilled that an old classic has been revived and hope that it gets the due care and attention it deserves.
    Last edited by Boa; 13-07-14, 16:43.

    • JackRabbit
      #1
      JackRabbit commented
      Editing a comment
      I've heard that the control system is borked and suffers very blatently from "poor touchscreen port" syndrome. Love of Bitmap brothers aside (and I so hope Xenon 2 megablast gets a remake (so long as they keep the music not looking at any remake in particular speedball 2)) is this actually a good game in its own right?

    • Boa
      #2
      Boa commented
      Editing a comment
      Considering they're updating it often and it will likely get multiplayer option at some point along with fixes to the controls, I think it's in better care in Steams hands, since there's a vastly superior community to be had there.. although you can play the game for free I believe, they call it the Zod Engine, I found the controls to be just as outdated and clunky there though.

      The gameplay is solid for what it is, I played it a lot back in the day. I purchased it recently and played it for a couple of hours with the intention of going back to it, especially if they add multiplayer. It's definitely a good game despite shortcomings such as the controls and graphically it looks horribly outdated, maybe one for picking up in the sales if you're still skeptic, or you could simply try it for free using the Zod Engine.
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