Red Dragon is a real-time strategy game that allows the player to wage war on a massive scale; it’s unlike anything ever seen in an RTS game. Red Dragon provides a remarkable single-player campaign and an even better multiplayer experience. The game is not a sequel or an expansion; it plays as a standalone game.
Red Dragon includes four different single-player campaigns that range from easy to extremely hard. The four unique campaigns have you going from South Korea to China, and from the United Kingdom to the USSR. Each campaign has its own storyline and unique twists, but the most noticeable change has been made to the single-player campaign. Previous releases of Wargames never had the single-player campaign that’s available in this release.
The gameplay is divided into two components – tactical and the real-time strategy portion. Before you can wage war on your opponent, you must first plan out your course of attack. This is accomplished by strategically placing your units on the Tactical Overview map. While on this map, you can purchase additional units by using what are called Democracy Points. Before combat can be initiated, you are taken to the Conflict Tactical map, which allows you to assess your units’ morale and value against your opponent’s. Having low morale can result in losing a battle, so it’s important to keep your units’ morale high during the course of the game.
Your units are at risk of losing a significant amount of morale if you happen to lose a battle. Even winning a battle can reduce your unit’s morale, but the bonuses you gain at the end will offset this deduction. Command Points are another deciding factor in how well your units will perform during combat. These points are like HP (Health Points), and each time you lose a unit, your Command Points will decrease. Once your Command Points reach zero, you will lose the battle. The more points you have, the longer your units can survive during combat.
Stronger units unlock as you progress through the campaign. However, some units are not equal in their abilities, and they must be ‘Field Tested’ to understand their abilities and how they will perform during combat. The more you use a particular unit, the more experience it will gain, and the more useful it will be on the battlefield. For example, rookie units can become trained units, and then transition into hardened units, making them more efficient on the battlefield. They are also more difficult to defeat on the battlefield.
The player is required to create an online account when first launching Red Dragon. This profile keeps track of your wins, losses and achievements. This feature is absolutely brilliant, as it levels up the more you play. It’s a great way to brag about your wins and to show off your statistics.
Red Dragon doesn’t require the player to have prior knowledge of the previous games to play. A full-length tutorial walks you through all the basic controls and in-game mechanics. The gameplay does have a slight learning curve, but it becomes easier after playing a few games.
While some RTS games require the player to annihilate their opponent (i.e. think Command and Conquer), this is not the case with Red Dragon. Since players have what are called Commander Points, these are deducted when a unit is destroyed. Once a player’s Commander Points reach zero, they will instantly lose the game, regardless of how many units they may have left on the battlefield. This unconventional gameplay feature is rather refreshing, eliminating the long, drawn out battles of previous RTS games.
Aside from the single-player campaign, Red Dragon also includes a brutally competitive online multiplayer feature where up to twenty players can participate. These battles are not only exhilarating, but they’re intense from start to finish.
While playing, you can control the camera and zoom in on the action. You can also play the game from a strategic viewpoint by placing the camera above the battlefield for a birds eye view. Red Dragon controls much like other real-time strategy games, requiring you to click and drag boxes around specific units to initiate commands. Like other RTS games, Red Dragon requires the player to hold key locations, while also defeating their enemy during combat.
The only feature that Red Dragon is lacking is an automatic ‘killcam’ that places the player in the action as the destruction happens in real-time. It is possible to do this manually, but you have to adjust the camera before issuing any attack orders. So while it is possible to view the destruction on the battlefield, the lack of a killcam can make the experience feel a bit disjointed.
You cannot go wrong with Red Dragon. It comes with a killer campaign that will keep you playing for hours, and this isn’t taking the online multiplayer feature into account. There is one major feature that Red Dragon offers that other RTS games don’t - a live lobby where players can talk smack to each other before and after a battle.
This sets up the perfect atmosphere for gamers; it simply can’t be rivaled. It’s also a melding pot for the player to befriend and then form alliances with other players. Regardless of how well you play or how good you may be, you will never have problems connecting with like-minded players that share your points of view. This alone makes Red Dragon a pleasurable experience, as you meet new, long-time Steam friends.
And if you are not looking for an online experience, Red Dragon offers a brilliant single-player campaign that will make even the most hardcore of strategy fans feel right at home. If you have been itching to cause some destruction and mayhem, then look no further than Eugen Systems’ Wargame: Red Dragon; destruction awaits.
James ‘Daripp3r’ Pittaro
Platform: PC (Also Available for Mac)
PC System Requirements
OS: WINDOWS XP SP3/WINDOWS VISTA SP2/WINDOWS 7/WINDOWS 8
Processor: AMD/INTEL DUAL-CORE 2.5 GHZ
Memory: 2048 MB RAM
Graphics: 256 MB 100% DIRECTX 9 AND SHADERS 3.0 COMPATIBLE ATI RADEON X1800 GTO/NVIDIA GEFORCE 7600 GT/INTEL HD 3000 OR HIGHER
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 20 GB available space
Sound Card: DIRECTX 9 COMPATIBLE
Additional Notes: INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED FOR ONLINE GAMING
Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Focus Home Entertainment
ESRB: T (Teen)
|Photorealistic backgrounds and 3D models.|
|Realistic sounds of war.|
|Intense gameplay that will keep you at the edge of your seat.|
|Wargame: Red Dragon is one of the best real-time strategy games available today.|