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» Desert Conflict Detailed Review


This beautifully crafted map from Waraddict carries over all the talent he gained in Final Alert, while expertly making use of the new features available in World Builder. You would think Waraddict had been using WB for months to create this - but this is merely the beginning of hopefully a long career.

Introducing the map are the credits, scrolling onscreen just like you see in the missions. From there, you really do believe you have begun a mission - satellite images snap on the screen, just like a briefing, while information is delivered to you across the bottom. It really adds an atmospheric, involving touch to the map, making it more than just somewhere to fight and instead somewhere to play.

The bio-research facility is shown, heavily guarded by the elite UN troops, and hints are given as to what you can do with it"¦the player who is awake in these few seconds will certainly have the early edge.

As soon as you can actually begin to play, the immense detail strikes you - every inch of terrain has been painstakingly edited and crafted to look as convincing as possible, and the detailed city provides plenty of opportunities for garrisoning while not being too tightly packed to make pathfinding even harder. Three routes lead to the base - one main area, another one slightly further away and one sneaky back door that I won't reveal here"¦just keep your eyes open!

A river intersects the middle, with two bridges connecting each player. Near the bridges are the two bio-research facilities, so you must ensure you make a sturdy defense at both bridges to not only protect your base; but the bio-research facility too. The Rangers and Humvee must be dealt with before you can take over the facility, so make sure you can handle their elite-status before trying to claim it.

There are some very unique features hidden too...mainly the river. I won't spoil the surprise, but I will give you a hint: the river doesn't stay still. One minute, you'll be fine - the next; well, better hope EA made some units aquatic! Beware"¦

The AI has received careful attention as well, so this can be played in Skirmish if you so wish. The numerous programmed routes require your vigilance at all times, but obviously, play a Brutal for a challenge. The layout doesn't reach symmetrical status, it differs throughout, but the key points are in roughly the same place to ensure balanced play. Don't worry about seeing double, though...VM, you especially :p

~ Ash

Head over here for Waraddict's "Desert Combat".

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