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DZNUTZ
04-30-2002, 12:36 PM
Ah Chess, a game of wits, patience, and strategy. It’s also a game that most Console gamers wouldn’t touch even with the Xbox’s nine-foot controller cord. Actually, the thought of any turn-based strategy game is usually enough to make a video gamer run to the nearest DOA3 kiosk. So just how does The Collective, the people bringing us Buffy next June, think their going to convince Xbox gamers to try their TBS Wrath later this year? By merging it with Virtual-on style combat of course!


The Game- Wrath is all about driving vast hoards of fantasy monsters across a battlefield, and then taking them into Arena style combat to tear your opponents apart on a more personal level. The game basically goes like this:

Players choose one of four different armies each consisting of twelve different species. Each player then maneuvers their army across an enormous hexagonal-grid battlefield toward the opposing player. The real fun starts however, when two monsters meet on the battlefield: Wrath goes from Heroes of Might and Magic to Zone of the Enders, and what monsters they are!

These guys are something out of JRR Tolkien’s worst nightmare! Giant Arc Demons, Jet Black Pegasi, and Armored Centaurs all look amazing, and quite ****ed off.

This game screams multiplayer and The Collective has certainly answered the call. Up to four-players can duke it out at a time - and yes there will be an extensive online feature. The Collective is trying to put two magnets of the same poll together, and it just might work!




The Control- Players view the main battlefield from an overhead shifting camera perspective. With each turn you'll be able to move all of your monsters a certain distance - depending on the terrain and their own personal stats. Wrath is a lot like chess in that you'll have to strategize as to which monster competes.

The battlefields, which can be randomly generated, are made up of many different types of terrain including grasslands, volcanic, aquatic etc. The terrain can affect how your monster moves and fights. Once two units meet however, you take direct control of the monster as they duke it out with a variety of magic and melee attacks, the loser of the battle is obviously removed from the game board. Close combat is, as already stated, extremely fast paced and intense.

Based off the same fighting engine used for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each monster has long and short ranged attacks - along with magical powers that can do everything from unleashing earthquakes to summoning elementals. While amazing on paper, both the strategy and combat engines will have to be extremely well tuned in order to make sure that the game is fair in these two radically different game play modes.




The Look- The battlefields are literally out of this world! The game takes place on giant floating islands in deep space. While colorful and intriguing, the Overworld battlefields look relatively generic and sparse - wait 'til you get into combat mode, as the arenas of carnage are absolutely amazing! While small, they feature many interactive environments and tons of obstacles, some destructible and some not.

Wrath’s biggest eye-grabber however has to be its stunning monster models. Whatever The Collective’s concept artists are smoking I’d sure wish they’d share some, as these guys are just unbelievable!

Featuring realistic skin textures, armor plating, and leathery wings, the monsters of Wrath are sure to have you pining for the chance to get into close combat again, especially since the Overworld models are naturally a lot smaller and less detailed.


The Sound- Like everything else in this game, its two separate themes slapped together in a strangely appeasing way. The Overworld theme songs are appropriately epic and laid back, accenting the strategic plans that will be playing through your tiny skulls.

Once you enter the Arenas you’ll be blasted with a variety of fast paced heavy metal and rock that will definitely help you get into an axe-chopping mood. Sound effects are far from finalized at this point but expect an appropriate assortment of grunts, roars, screams and howls for all those lovely monsters. The Collective sure hit the bulls-eye when it came to Wrath’s look; let’s just hope the sound is upto the task.


The Outlook- Haven’t you been paying attention? This game is set to combine two very unlikely genres into a seamless package that could be one of Xbox Live’s most addictive games.

Fighting games are loved for being fast paced but they're always a short lived thrill, while strategy games are loved for giving us brainy boys a chance, yet they usually take too long...

So we get a game that lasts for a good time - with fast-paced combat and plenty of strategy. As long as The Collective nails the balance points between the four armies, any serious Xbox gamer will definitely be feeling the WRATH of Xbox this fall!

XBOX365 Says
Another stunning looking game comes to Xbox! Monsters, strategy, action and plenty of audio excitement is sure to get you're Xbox screaming for more
http://www.xbox365.com/news/zcomment.cgi?article=EpkpEFpFVFmrsNCQWV

l Maximus l
04-30-2002, 12:39 PM
Wow...this is great news for people who love the Strategy genre! Good find, DZNUTZ!

Hugh_Jass
04-30-2002, 01:18 PM
It sounds interesting. As always, I take previews with a grain of salt.