Summary: Late last year, Anno 2070 tried to explore the post-apocalyptic setting of an Earth flooded by drastically risen sea levels, where Kevin Costner would have to drink his own filtered pee. If you just wanted a new Anno game with shinier graphics and a new, futuristic setting, it offered a fun way to dabble in a rather depressing dualistic future in which you tried to out-build hippies and evil industrialists.
Summary: I’ve had a lot of fun with Oil Rush. The graphics look gorgeous and really show what Unigine Corp can do. The gameplay is deceptively simple and very satisfying. The story, dialogue and cutscenes on the other hand are absolutely abysmal. They were boring and poorly delivered distractions from an otherwise great game. For the asking price of $19.99, I am willing to overlook these shortcomings and focus on the real strengths.
Excerpt: I'm not a big fan of Tower Defence. There are some variations that I truly enjoy, but the baseline idea just seems rather boring to me. So, along comes Oil Rush, claiming to be a mix of traditional RTS and Tower Defence (which is, of course, a subset of real-time strategy), and I can't help but feel a little conflicted.
Excerpt: What makes this game so compelling isn't the plot (which is fairly stereotypical) or even the environment (which is quite beautiful despite the post-apocalyptic setting). It's the careful balance between a remarkably simple interface and complex strategy. Unlike other examples of this genre, you don't need to consider eight million factors when planning a move, or gather fifty kinds of resources, or examine ninety different stats.
Conclusion: Overall, Oil Rush is a mixed experience. The gameplay is somewhat limiting, with a control scheme that is overly simplified and lacks the features of a full RTS game. The voice acting is weak, and there were a few technical problems that interrupted gameplay. However, there is a silver lining to be found in the style of graphics and fun multiplayer experience.
Conclusion: The occasional reset of the graphics settings and empty multiplayer server lists may deter some potential buyers, but all in all this game is a healthy mix of the two genres and plays surprisingly well as such. Despite my many grievances, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. The annoying voices faded into the background as I struggled to pump forces into a platform being over-run, and the duplicity of fighting in the frozen north while the polar caps are supposedly...
Pros: Beautiful environments. Challenging levels. Available for Linux.
Cons: Occasional graphics reset. Bad voice acting. Empty server lists.
Excerpt: Oil Rush is a game that has two things really going for it. Firstly, it’s just about the best thing to ever be loosely based around Kevin Costner’s massive failure Waterworld, and secondly, it’s a showcase for the powerful new Unigine graphics engine, of which we will no doubt be seeing more in the future.
Excerpt: Waterworld is a different take on post-apocalyptic life, one where the breakdown of civilization doesn't lead to desolate wastes but instead results in a watery grave. Gaming has largely ignored this sort of apocalypse, but Oil Rush brings such a world to life in a real-time strategy/tower-defense blend. And while it's nice to see a game venture somewhere so distinct, the end result isn't all that different from Kevin Costner's flop.
Pros: Interesting blend of real-time strategy and tower defense, Art design creates an engrossing setting, Plenty of variety in multiplayer maps
Cons: Uneven strategic gameplay, Some boring missions, One dreadful escort scenario
This one goes there and that one goes there in Oil Rush
30 January 2012
Excerpt: While you’re playing Oil Rush, a naval themed RTS, you can press the “F” key and the camera will supposedly fly around and show you cool stuff. This isn’t a unique feature — Petroglyph’s RTSs do the action camera particularly well — but it gets at the heart of the main problem with Oil Rush. Namely, that you might as well watch ships, because there’s not much else to do.