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Planet War Preview

Sara Lau
Sep 19,2011  02:09 by

Planet War got everything: solid sci-fi back story, amazing visual effects and various spaceships; so is advertised on the loading interface which appropriately displays all that is mentioned. Yet whether this star-war-inspired strategy web MMO will grant a ten-point gaming experience with what it boasts is a question that can be answered only after hands-on trial.

After several minutes’ loading, the unveiled gaming world presents exquisite graphics whose military metallic style does justice to the sci-fi setting to usher in a futuristic epoch for star warfare. But the entire interface is a little bit crowded that almost half of it is filled up by rows of varied icons, buttons and billboards and the other half will have been covered by overlapping dialogue boxes once the tutorial quests start to pop up.

The lead-in quests in the initial are overwhelming to beginners: the whole interface impresses on players as if the machine in charge of color-coded warnings is out of control, with more than one icons flickering in red to signal messages. Clicking on them, one dialogue box rolls out to overlap with another, all loaded with long strings of text to describe the quest. Blind click on the red will lead one through the preparatory phase, which revolves production of three types of resource, construction of scaled shipyards and building-up of assorted fleets.

During tutorial there are quests concerning dispatch fleets to fend off invading pirate troops; and the combat turns out to be a disappoint, for players as captains in effect have little virtual control of the fleets. All that is required is to click the button of Dispatch, watch bullets ejected out of every ship from both sides on the battlefield, and then click the button of Return: a battle is done (the following is ten to one a popping-up interface, asking you to repair the damage done to your ships; and again simple click will do). To top it off, all those gorgeously devised war machines are as impressive in the screen shot as they are inconspicuous in the battle ground, for they are minimized in the war zone to a series of nondescript objects, bearing no feature to differ frigates from flagships.

In contrast to the lack of control over combat, the strategy part is polished, giving full play to captains’ leadership. To win a war, one needs to take into consideration various factors, ranging from the distance to travel (fuel will be cost), to the power of the enemy fleets, and to the choice of chief commanders. Right timing and strategy make it possible for outnumbered troop to finally triumph, which reflects exactly the attractiveness of the game.

In the final analysis, Planet War is doing good in its gameplay and graphics, but relatively short of innovation and originality. It is more like a building game in the vast Galaxy, even the game interface itself are messed up by the annoying pop-up widgets.

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