Developed by GSC Game World
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Released - Out Now
Price : £29.99
fair to say that we were impressed with Cossacks - European
Wars when we reviewed it. For too long RTS gamers had been confined
to games that offered small scale battles. What should have looked like
war often looked like a playground scrap with a few hundred units on offer
at most. Cossacks gave us the big picture. It looked like a Cecil B. DeMille
production with the thousands of units that were on offer. Miraculously
Cossacks ran very well on even a modest PC setup, which was impressive
to say the least, as other developers had often claimed that the small
population caps in their games were to reduce the strain on the PC. What's
even more impressive is that Cossacks was a pure joy to play and the campaigns,
in particular were very enjoyable. Of course the icing on the cake was
that it was completely deaf gamer friendly.
expansion packs later and with Cossacks 2 in the pipeline you would be
forgiven for thinking that GSC haven't had time to take a small break,
let alone come up with an entirely new game based on the Cossacks winning
formula, but that's exactly what they have done. American Conquest focuses
on the struggle for the American continent between 1492 to 1813. The exploits
of Columbus and Pizarro and the War of Independence are all here and superbly
presented for you to enjoy. Unbelievably you can now have upto 16,000
units in any game (twice the amount that was capable in Cossacks). This
is absolutely mind blowing. I have never played a game where this number
of units are involved but I have taken part where several thousand are
involved and that alone is a sight to behold. I thinks it's fair to say
that you can wage war in the style and on the scale that you want to with
are twelve different nations and tribes on offer in American Conquest.
The nations include the Sioux, Delaware, Huron, Iroquois League, Pueblos,
Aztecs, Spanish, British, French and the USA (which should probably be
called the Americans). The Campaigns focus on Columbus' Voyages, Pizarro's
Raid, The Seven Years war (you can play either the British or French),
The War of Independence (you can play either the British or Americans)
and Tecumseh's Rebellion (you can play either the Americans or Native
Americans). As you can see the game is rather thorough in it's coverage
of the American conquest.
thing I must comment on with the campaigns is that the objectives have
a lot of variety about them. Whether it's simply having to stay alive
for 15 minutes or having to help gather resources, the campaign scenarios
never feel like they are repeating themselves, which keeps you interested.
More often than not RTS campaigns are usually dry affairs that simply
feel like you're going through the motions but GSC got it right with Cossacks
and I'm pleased to say they've got it right with American Conquest.
In addition to the campaigns there are 9 scenarios and a random map generator
that allows you to take part in a single player skirmish game. On the
multiplayer side of the game there is the option to play Deathmatch, historical
battles and compete in a championship system called War for America. In
all honesty I haven't played enough of the multiplayer game to be able
to fully comment on it but suffice to say that what I've seen is very
isn't a tutorial as such with American Conquest. GSC have gone for a more
subtle approach this time around and the Columbus' Voyages campaign can
be considered a tutorial in that it throws up advice as you come across
new situations for the first time. Initially I was a bit worried that
I couldn't find a tutorial but I'm pleased to say that after completing
the Columbus' Voyages campaign, I felt comfortable with the game's basic
there are a lot of additions to the gameplay since Cossacks was released,
in fact there are too many to mention here, a couple of features stand
out. You can now send your units into buildings to increase your defensive
capabilities. It's also possible to capture enemy buildings and fire from
them too. Shooting units can now also perform 'Cold Steel' attacks, that
is to say, they can switch to their swords when the enemy is at close
range. You can disable this option as an order if you so wish. Perhaps
the most significant addition to the gameplay is the morale factor. Your
units can become frightened and flee from battle. You can check on the
status of their morale either by pressing the 'U' key or pressing the
TAB key to activate the floating text messages that appear from the units
when they begin to get frightened. Units can fear mobs, fire, battles,
horses and even famine. This encourages you to look after your units,
perhaps more so than in many other RTS games.
the game looks very impressive. The game features 3D terrain but the units
and most of the games details are 2D. Like Cossacks, each nation has it's
own unique units and architecture and not some base models that all nations
share like in some RTS games that we could mention. One feature that has
been added this time around is map scaling. By pressing the L key, the
map will zoom out and allow you a bird's eye view of the battle ground.
This is especially useful when conducting large scale offensive manoeuvres.
While some might have expected the whole game to be in 3D it's worth noting
that many of the 3D RTS games over the last few years have had significant
performance problems and don't offer the level of detail that is seen
in American Conquest. It may have been a brave decision to keep the game
as a 2D one, but I for one think the developers made the right choice.
Conquest is absolutely superb for deaf gamers. All the good points that
we mentioned about Cossacks are exactly true for American Conquest. All
information is displayed in text, most information is text only. Messages
can be recalled as can objectives etc. The floating text that shows the
units morale is wonderful. The messages use static text in click-off dialogue
boxes. The game pauses when these appear so you can take your time to
read the messages. The manual is not as good as the one that was provided
with Cossacks. Due to the limitations of the new DVD style packaging there
obviously isn't the space for the superb effort that came with Cossacks.
That's not to say that the manual is poor. It is actually quite good.
The tech trees, unit and nation guides can be found on the CD in Adobe
Acrobat .pdf format.
Conquest, like Cossacks, is a true classic. GSC really know how to create
the epic atmosphere that is sadly missing from other RTS games. Whilst
it isn't perfect though, it is fair to say American Conquest is a cracker
with little to fault it. One niggle with the game is that the paused message
shouldn't remain on the screen when you pause the game because it obstructs
your view when making decisions, but that is a very minor niggle. American
Conquest is a superb effort and whilst it isn't a direct sequel to Cossacks,
I think it's fair to say that GSC have done themselves proud with this
Game Rating: 9.5/10
drawer RTS gameplay with epic action that even Cecil B. DeMille would
have been proud to direct. It's already looking like the RTS of 2003.
Absolutely beautiful for deaf gamers.