OXCGN’s Stormrise Review
Only One Shall Rise….Just Not This One!
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos:- CE (C0mmunity Editor)
Another month and another RTS hits the consoles, this time it’s Stormrise from The Creative Assembly (the team behind Total War). This one is an RTS game based in the future where humanity pretty much tried to control Global Warming but in typical fashion it all went wrong.
Centuries later and the humans that were left outside during the disaster left to die evolved into a mutant race known as The Sai and the humans in the cryogenic underground facilities known as The Echelon have awoken to reclaim Earth and rebuild it as it once was.
• Stormrise Trailer:
It’s not as informative as you would hope it to be, but it does the job it sets out to do and gets you ready for the future events of the game.
The initial cutscene, however, gives you the impression that this game is a shooter.
It’s like the devs themselves were confused as to what game they were actually making or got a bit too “happy-happy joy-joy, as the game has a 1st- person view in parts of the game which gives the gamers the impression that it is shooter”. Strange yes, confusing yes, a good idea no sir.
After the intro you are then given a tutorial level which only explains half the controls available to you in the game. This complicated approach is the impression you carry with you throughout the whole game, and it’s something that gamers aren’t generally patient with, especially in a genre such as RTS (Real Time Strategy).
Stormrise feels as if simplicity and accessibility were not serious factors given priority, as control-wise and even in its gameplay the game ends up feeling confusing.
If you’ve played Halo Wars from the now closed Ensemble Studios you know that with only a bit of time and effort and trial and error the game is rewarding . It’s primarily because it was simple and fun. Stormrise just doesn’t match that.
There are some things that Stormrise does do exceptionally well though. The 3rd person view, which gives you that immersive frontline battle feel and allows you to experience the action close up, is well done, even if it looks like trying to be a shooter.
It’s pretty much like a quick jump to different squads anywhere on the battlefield.
This comes in handy when trying to manage heaps of different squads around the terrain and when orchestrating multiple attacks, but because of the strange glitches within the game this feature is also sometimes ineffective.
Too many times during battle did I have groups and groups of Enforcers (standard troops) run to an objective or area infested with Sai only to have them wiped out in literally a matter of seconds thus rendering the Whip Select feature useless in the heat of battle.
These massacres aren’t all that adversely affect the gameplay.
Multiple times the Sai would stand in front of my squad like sitting ducks letting themselves be killed or the Infiltrators (snipers with jetpacks allowing them to traverse buildings and storage containers easily) would warp on top of crates whilst trying to get to a way point.
Certain nodes should allow you to upgrade them into “Warps” or “Portals” to create more units but the option isn’t given to do so. There are some squads of units which sort of jump/warp forward whilst running and sometimes when my squads of Enforcers were running past enemies they somehow magically managed to kill them without even firing any shots.
With a game that seems to have so much promise it is really hard to look past these faults and appreciate it for what it is because these happen every moment of the game.
The voice acting is mildly solid and cheesy at the same tim and provides some sort of comical relief as it’s pretty much your stereotypical character types you see in every other game: comedy relief guy, serious to the point guy, smart know-it-all woman and so on.
Bunch that with average graphics that look good from afar but are far from attractive on closer examination, a mediocre storyline, glitches every few moments as described, and a mixture of techno-heavy-metal or ” End of Days ” orchestral music and Stormrise is a game that just doesn’t feel ‘right’.
The game is like that weird guy in school who is always changing his image to try and fit with the crowd: one day he is all Heavy Metal, the next he’s Techno Raver and then the next he’s all Mellow Man.
In the end it’s just too all over the place.
It does offer a skirmish mode as well as online multiplayer if you’re looking for something with post play through mileage, but they are what I would call ” enter if you dare zones ” because they are riddled with the exact same issues that plague the Single Player campaign.
In the end Stormrise is a game that could have been another great RTS console game to enjoy but instead it feels too unpolished and the premise and great ideas have gone to waste. This is one game that I truly feel would be best played on the PC as this control scheme just doesn’t work on the console apart from the “Whip Select”.
©2009 Arthur Kotsopoulos:- CE (C0mmunity Editor)
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | Creative Assembly, Global Warming, RTS stormrise, SAI, Sega, sega stormrise, Stormrise review, Stormrise reviews, the creative assembly, The Echelon, the sai, total war