We dive headlong into Maelstrom
PUBLISHER: Codemasters DEVELOPER: KD Vision GENRE: Real-Time Strategy RELEASE DATE: October 2006PICTURE THIS: AN RTS COMBINING THE
unique terraforming mechanics—and game engine—from 2004’s freaky-deaky RTS Perimeter (but with a story that actually makes sense) and three divergent factions (eerily) akin to StarCraft’s Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg. As great as that mixture does sound, we have to call out
the upcoming Maelstrom’s lack of forward movement: We’ve seen it all before. Don’t believe us?
Let’s run down the roster.
While the Remnant embraces hardcore guerrilla warfare, Maelstrom’s other human side—the Ascension (Protoss in StarCraft terms)—models itself on modern-day CEO-controlled megacorporations. Expect some high-tech stuff from this side, to the tune of clone armies and the RTS equivalent of Transformers. Ever wanted to control a tank that turns into a giant robot? The Ascension’s got you covered…so long as you’re down with the idea of rebuilding the
world in a fascist, squeaky-clean image. Oh, and dispensing with anyone who doesn’t think that’s such a hot idea.
Maelstrom’s first human faction (and Terran stand-in) serves as the best entry point into the
game’s setting. The Remnant features all the trappings of your typical U.S. military-guy RTS
team—with a postapocalyptic edge. Led by ex–U.S. Navy SEAL James Buchanan, they tear out
of the base armed with pseudofuturistic weaponry, tactical nukes, artillery, and all the heavily
armored vehicles you expect from America’s armed forces.
This aquatic alien race doesn’t care about bending humanity to its will but rather wiping us all out and turning Earth into Waterworld. Instead of focusing on heavy-duty units like vehicles, the organic-based Hai-Genti flood the map with aquatic nukes that terraform the target area and generally ruin everyone else’s day. Fortunately, the humans muster a few defenses against the Hai-Genti’s flooding tactics: The Remnant may upgrade its units with flotation devices, and the Ascension possesses the technology to freeze water. Zerg, anyone?