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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: July 30, 1998
The Bloodfox Clan is comprised of fierce warriors with a “kill or be killed” attitude and a hierarchy that is based on placing the toughest guy at the top of the food chain. The Hammerhawk Clan is a more cooperative and social one, where everyone is pretty much treated as an equal and all members work together for a common goal. Obviously these two polar opposites can’t peacefully coexist on the same planet and it’s up to you to lead one of them to victory. Extreme Tactics puts you in charge of gathering resources, designing and building weapons, and out-witting your opponent to claim ultimate victory.
The basic principles in the game will be largely familiar to most strategy gamers. Two resources, coolar crystals and calibrium, are required for construction and are really no different than, say, metal and power or any other resources you’ve seen in previous games. Your main vehicle is a mobile command center (MCC), which is used to construct everything in the game, serves as the processing point for resources, and is a pretty good fighting machine as well. It draws power from coolar crystals when it is placed directly over a source, but miners must collect calibrium and bring it to the MCC so that it can be used to construct vehicles. In addition to using various amount of coolar and calibrium, each unit also takes a certain amount of time to build.
Your tech levels increase as the missions progress, which allows you to design and build more sophisticated vehicles. You can custom design vehicles using one of five default chassis types that are provided for each clan. You can alter the chassis, armor, weapons, and special abilities like stealth and detection. You can also build transport craft and special units like miners, repair vehicles, and pods, which can be used to take over control of enemy vehicles. Each vehicle comes with hardpoints, where you can place weapons like lasers, flame throwers, laser-guided missiles, and more. Certain shields are effective when defending against different weapon types. For example, force shields are effective in protecting a vehicle against plasma rockets and particle beams.
The vehicles for the two clans are largely mirror images of one another, the main difference being that Hammerhawks use more flying vehicles while the Bloodfox clan tends to stick with ground-based units. Other than that, each of the clans has a chassis that is similar in function to the enemy and the same type of technology is used for weapons, armor, and so on. Both sides use the same special units, like scavengers to recycle destroyed vehicles and pods to take over control of enemy units. There are some different types of transports for each clan, which can move over different types of terrain.
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