Planetary Annihilation will make you excited about RTS games again
As a reformed gamer, I spend a significant amount of time taking a quick look at games and decided I’m over it. But then I came across a new take on an old genre I used to consider my stomping ground: Planetary Annihilation by Uber Entertainment. One quick video clip and a website later, I’m sold by the Kickstarter page; my hope is that you will be, too.
The gameplay itself reminds me a bit of Little Big Planet, with its blocky units and small world feel. The similarities end there, though, as this game is about utterly destroying your opponents and ruling the galaxy with an iron fist. Without a demo or anything to try we have only the site to go by, but let’s run through what it looks like on paper.
The model can scale from conflict on a single planet upwards to massively scaled solar system-wide war encompassing 40 players. Planetary Annihilation uses an asynchronous client/server relationship (turn-taking) instead of the slower synchronous model of earlier RTS (Real Time Strategy) games where the slowest PC involved dictated the speed of play.
To me, the gameplay itself being slow is generally forgivable as long as the interface is slick and easy, without a huge learning curve to impede play and get me endlessly owned by 13-year-old kids for two weeks until I get the trick of it (I’m looking at you, Starcraft). Uber says it designed Planetary Annihilation to allow you to micromanage as much as you choose, with a windowed approach to controlling units and managing resources. I’d have to see it to believe it, since I always run into issues micromanaging units in endgame in large RTS titles like Shogun: Total War (I’m old, okay? Don’t judge me!) because there are just too many on the map.
The Uber team seems comfortable saying that it’s easy as pie to manage armies that span the galaxy, so I’ll take their word for it for now; its members include people who worked on games like Command & Conquer and Morrowind—titles particularly dear to my heart.
Swing over to the main website or take a look at the Kickstarter page for more—and pitch in if you can so someday I can face you across a span of worlds and pitch my wit, determination, and bloodthirsty tendencies against your own.