& Hell ...live and let die!
Developed by Madcat/eigelb
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Released - Out Now
Price : £29.99
battle between good and evil is an eternal one but until now it's
never been modelled so blatantly in a RTS. Heaven & Hell ...live
and let die! In Heaven & Hell the choice is simple you either
play as a good god or as an evil one. Whichever you choose though
it's going to be fun as you get to unleash plagues, perform miracles
and do what it takes to earn yourself as many believers as possible.
Make no mistake about it this is a RTS with a difference.
game is all about having as many believers are possible. The game
map is made up of a series of towns with their own distinctive inhabitants.
The goal of the game is to convert all the towns to your belief.
You can't directly control the inhabitants of a land though so you're
going to need some help. In order to gain believers you'll need
to enlist the help of a handful of key characters who can win over
the people for you. Your first step is to appoint a prophet who
can converse and with your help convert the inhabitants. Throughout
the game you'll be able to appoint a Baptisbon, Camelbon, Construct
O' Bon, Beat-up O'Bon, Antibon, Clandibon and Boss-O'Bon if you're
a good god and Baptismael, Camelmael, Beat-up-mael, Constructmael,
Antimael, Clandimael, Bossmael if you decide to be an evil god.
All these characters are essential in helping you convert and maintain
your influence over the inhabitants.
order to convert an inhabitant you need to earn their loyalty. Each
inhabitant, and town, has a loyalty rating. The loyalty rating is
shown by a gauge over the inhabitants head (by default it isn't
showing but holding down the ctrl button will display the gauge
or pressing the Tab button will toggle the gauge on and off). Each
gauge has two thresholds. Passing the threshold to the left indicates
the inhabitant could become a follower of the evil god whilst passing
the threshold on the right means the inhabitant is on the way to
becoming a follower of the good god. Once the threshold has been
passed (that is to say once they have been impressed, by a good
Baptisbon or evil Baptismael sufficiently) all that needs to be
done is for them to listen to a sermon to fully become a disciple
of the appropriate faith. It doesn't stop there though because once
an inhabitant is converted they can pass the threshold again and
become an extremist which means they will attack rival prophets.
game has a tutorial, two campaigns, a skirmish mode for single-player
and a multiplayer mode. Initially you'll only have access to the
Good campaign but once you've completed it the Evil campaign will
become available. If there was any hint of the game having an old
testament biblical flavour to it, it is increased somewhat by the
campaign scenario titles such as 'The Ten Commandments'
and 'Exodus from the Desert'. Your prophet in the first
scenario even goes to a mountain top to collect the commandments.
Generally speaking though the gameplay has nothing to do with the
bible. The skirmish games, in single-player and multiplayer modes,
can be played on a collection of maps that have preset conditions
or you can play on random maps. These random maps allow you to set
the terrain, the number of towns, the starting capital and the victory
conditions. There are four victory conditions; Create Boss O'Bon
(or Bossmael), have more believers, have more mana and End of the
World. Time limits can also be set and can range from 5 minutes
to 2 hours.
key resource to fuel all the actions you can carry out is mana.
Miracles and any use of the Hand of Power is going to require mana
so it's important to set up a large and constant supply. If the
mana dries up you're probably going to lose the game. Having believers
will automatically earn you mana. However as you earn more believers
you're going to want increased amounts of mana available to you
so it's probably best to convert some of the inhabitants' homes
to mana producing factories to bring in larger amounts.
this has to be one of the brightest looking RTS games of all time.
The building and characters are all colourful and give the game
a very pleasant look. The miracles and plagues look brilliant and
it's a sight to behold when you have the one Baptisbon performing
a Rainbow miracle and a rival Baptismael unleashing a fire demon
or a plague of locusts in the same town. The inhabitants have a
cartoonish look about them which really suits the mood of the game.
The appearance of the inhabitant's homes and town changes depending
on which god they follow. The trees and plants don't swing in the
breeze like in some other games but nevertheless they look good.
Heaven & Hell is fine for deaf gamers. The tutorials (and instructional
messages in the campaigns) are delivered in text and speech. The
text is placed onto blue dialogue boxes so it's always very easy
to read. You have to click on the dialogue boxes for the tutorial
to continue so you can read the messages in your own time. Mission
objectives can be recalled at any time so you'll never forget what
you have to do. Not all the comments that come from your prophets
are subtitled but this doesn't affect the gameplay in any way.
most refreshing about Heaven & Hell is that it's very different
from most RTS games you'll have played before. The action doesn't
seem as hectic as some of the usual RTS games and it would be fair
to say the game is a change of pace from most RTS games out there.
Above all though Heaven & Hell is fun and a title that most
gamers should appreciate.
Game Rating: 8.2/10
& Hell is a refreshingly different RTS that is above all fun.
It might not be as hectic as the more usual RTS games but nevertheless
there is a lot of enjoyment to be had as either a single-player
or multiplayer game.
All important information is shown in text that you can read at
your leisure. There are some omissions such as the unit comments
but above all this is an enjoyable experience.