Reviewed: September 21, 2002
Released: September 10, 2002
Earth 2150: Lost Souls is the third and final episode of the epic real-time strategy saga, Earth 2150. In the third part of this trilogy of a war-beaten planet earth, a few of each race have remained behind to duke it out for one last conflict.
It is the 7th of December, 2150 and the Earth is quickly coming to an end. An ongoing feud between the Eurasian Dynasty and the United Civilized States has left the planet in disarray – people are hungry, resources are scarce and agricultural production has stopped. But the situation is getting even worse. A series of nuclear explosions near Antarctica have altered the Earth’s orbit around the sun, making glaciers melt and the seas rise to threatening levels and the catastrophe has been worsened by meteorite showers that have buried whole parts of the planet. Thanks to a group of scientists from the Lunar Corporation, a long forgotten colony on the Moon, many people have managed to escape the terror and make their way to the nearby safety of Mars, but an unlucky few – the Lost Souls – have been left behind. And now they are seeking revenge.
This is your basic real time strategy, nothing really new to this one. Basically all you have to do is build, research, mine and then go to war. . There is however, quite a bunch that you have to go through when performing these tasks.
There is a lot you have to build in this game. Depending on what scenario you are in, some buildings can be avoided. If you are in a mining situation, prepare to build a lot. Just getting revenue coming in is quite a burden.
For example, to get a mining operation set up, you first have to find your resources (glowing diamonds on the ground), build a mine over that spot, build a refinery and then you have to start producing your mining vehicles. The only real draw back to this situation is when you are playing the computer in a multiplayer situation. If you are not fast, the computer will very quickly produce twice as much as you, in the early stages.
If you’re into researching technologies, then this is the game for you. There is a lot of stuff you can research, especially in the multiplayer mode. Everything can be upgraded somehow, whether it is armor, weapons, speed or just the ability to build more units. It is pretty easy to get researching started Once you have built your research facility, hit the F2 button to pull up your research screen and click the ones you want. The game will then prioritize which technologies you want researched in the order you clicked on them.
Building units and buildings is a fairly easy task too. You just have to know your Earth 2150 jargon (took me a while) and know which units can produce what. Also, keep an eye on your cash!
Combat in Earth 2150 is point and click for the most part. There are a couple unique features in this game thought. One feature I do want to point out is the ability to script what you want your squads to do. Besides the ten listed, you can go as far as recording your unit’s movement and orders and then use that as the script. Another feature is the headlights of your unit’s vehicles. Turning the headlights off will give you the advantage of surprise on your unsuspecting opponents. It does have its disadvantages though. You will loose a majority of your line of site and your vehicles will move slower as well.
The graphics are par for this course in this one. At first glance, they appear to be very two-dimensional. In the heat of the battle, you can see turrets spinning around and nice explosions. If you want to get to details, you have to zoom in up close.
Zooming was a problem I had while playing; I couldn’t zoom out enough to get a good look at the area. The cut scene movies are done really well, but if you choose to restart your missions, be prepared to watch the full thing over and over again!
The sound in Lost Souls tends to be quite repetitive. Its pretty good, but you’re the comments your units make gets so old after two or three missions. The speech also varies depending on what side you choose to play.
The sound track is awesome, but the repetitiveness kills it. Its got a cold, Russian military feel to it. There is even some electric guitar thrown into the mix (great job guys!!!). Zuxxez also did a good job with the voice acting for the cutscene.
There is a lot to do in Lost Soul as mentioned in the almighty multiplayer. On top of that, you have the story line for each of the three organizations. If you enjoy RTS, you can be playing this game for quite some time.
The multiplayer mode is where Lost Souls shines; there is just so much you can do. First off, there are a whole bunch of different scenarios from destroying all structures with weapons to tech wars. There are also over a dozen maps for you to choose from. If you don’t like the pre-generated maps, you can go to the editor and attempt to create your own.
The most unique feature of the multiplayer mode was the way in which you can acquire your income. You can either get resource through mining or you can set how much money you want to have coming in. For example, you can start a game with 5,000 credits and have 2,000 come in every five minutes. This method works well if you just want to blow the crap out of things!
Multiplayer can get a bit sluggish at sometimes. Even with the best PC and the fastest connections, it can still be slow at times.
Lost Souls is your average real time strategy game. It doesn’t bring anything really new or exciting to this genre of gaming. If your into these futuristic strategy games, this would defiantly be the next title for you to pick up after you have gotten tired of Command and Conquer.