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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: June 18, 1997
Enemy Nations is Windward Studios’ entry into the highly competitive real-time strategy game market. The story in Enemy Nations centers around a race for control of a planet — the last uninhabited planet in existence. As a result, all 12 of the alien races involved (including the humans) are desperate to be the first to gain control of this invaluable piece of property. Your task is to lead the race of your choice to victory by establishing a colony, effectively managing your resources, expanding your control, and eliminating your opposition.
While the humans are solid, balanced players, each of the other races in Enemy Nations have strengths and weaknesses. Thus, the game can be different every time by playing different races and different numbers of opponents. The Crimtona are aggressive fighters, but are weak in other areas. On the other hand, the Byarian are skilled in running all parts of an economy, but make lousy warriors. If you find one level too easy with one or two races, try playing it with a race with a different set of strengths.
Numerous other factors can effect the way the game is played. The number of computer opponents you can choose to play is dictated by the speed of your computer’s processor (my recommended limit was 6). In addition, the four difficulty levels are also further enhanced by the speed of your processor. The faster the processor, the tougher the opponents as the difficulty level goes up. There are three world sizes, which also have an impact on how the game is played. Lots of races on a small planet makes for one gigantic war. One last factor is the amount of civilians and the military that races begin with. You can choose to start with full or minimal amounts of each, which determines whether everyone starts from scratch or with fairly substantial support.
After landing your rocket ship, which serves as your base for the rest of the game, you will need to gather natural resources. Much like Warcraft 2, you will need to focus on food and lumber to start. Other resources, like oil, coal, and iron become more important after you get your colony started. Stockpiling a healthy balance of each major resource (food, oil, lumber, coal, iron) will allow you to expand the infrastructure of your colony. Trucks will help move materials to the locations where they are needed and can take surplus resources to your space ship where they can be stored until needed.
Six kinds of structures can be built in Enemy Nations. Each serves a different purpose in helping your colony become more profitable and powerful. There is a hierarchy of structures, and more fundamental buildings must be constructed before larger and more complex ones can be. Each resource has a basic structure to mine it. Then, resources like coal and oil can be sent to more advanced structures (i.e., refineries) to be turned into useable materials like steel and gas. Power plants help run all of your buildings. Apartments provide living space for your colonists and factories allow you to produce all sorts of units. Building a network of roads is important to allow all of your units to move about more quickly.
There are 19 units which can be built at various stages in the game. Researching technology allows you to construct more powerful and deadly tank and artillery units and infantry. Also, research enables existing units to perform more efficiently. For example, by researching fire control your units will have a better chance of hitting enemy units in combat. In longer, larger scenarios, the race with the most advanced technology will win out because of superior fire power and ability.
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