Stalin vs. Martians PC
Published by: Mezmer Games
Developed by: N-Game Studios
Fortunately, most of the games we review here at Deaf Gamers are at least fairly decent but every so often we have the misfortune of playing a game that's pretty dire. Stalin vs. Martians is one of these exceptions and it's a game that has very little going for it. The game is set in 1942 and the idea is that Martians have attacked the USSR, setting up their base in Siberia. Stalin has asked that you take command of the troops and deal with the problem. In theory it's not a bad idea for a game but any potential the game might have had hasn't been realised.
Stalin vs. Martians is supposed to be an RTS but it lacks virtually all of the features you've come to expect from an RTS game over the last dozen years or so. There are no advanced controls to allow you to organise your troops on the battlefield and for the most part your only option is to move your units (which include tanks, infantry etc.) around en masse and attack the enemy with all guns blazing hoping for the best. You'll earn cash for defeating the aliens, with which you can purchase reinforcements and power-ups too, some of which will restore your units to full health which is something you're going to need seeing as you can't make any tactical choices. Mission objectives aren't always as clear as they should be and to make matters worse the level design is poor. When you add in poor enemy AI, which seems incapable of using any kind of tactics, you have a game that's going to struggle to please even the most forgiving RTS enthusiast.
It's all too clear that the developers haven't taken things seriously with Stalin vs. Martians. There are no multiplayer options meaning that once you're done with the game's single campaign, you're finished. Having just one campaign is bad enough but when the campaign doesn't really have a storyline to speak of, it makes a bad thing even worse and even more pointless. There isn't even a skirmish mode on offer here. Those looking forward to playing as the Martians can forget it too, as there's no opportunity to do so. No tutorial was included but in fairness there's not a whole lot you can do in the game so maybe a tutorial isn't required.
The game's presentation isn't going to win any awards. Graphically the game is basic by today's standards and could easily pass for a game from the twentieth century. Glitches and clipping issues further compound the game's ugliness. To make matters worse there are no options to increase the screen resolution or alter any graphical settings which seems unforgiveable in this day and age. To make matters worse, the frame rate doesn't even manage to remain smooth on systems which are far in excess of what this game requires. The game isn't a bad experience for deaf gamers as mission briefings are given in text. Objectives are in text too and can be recalled if needed. Of course the objectives aren't always clear so in some cases their value is questionable. There are no subtitles for the comments the units make but in some respects this is a blessing in disguise as the comments are repetitive and annoying.
It's impossible to exaggerate just how poor Stalin vs. Martians is. It's currently available for £6.99 on GamersGate.com and even at that price it's poor value for money. Poor AI, a lack of tactical options, performance issues and an absence of graphical configuration options are just some of the problems the game has. To make matters worse there's not a lot of content here just one campaign with a collection of missions that haven't been well thought out at all. In short the game's a stinker then and one that will have the dubious honour of being the worst RTS we've seen to date.