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Review by: Jonathan Houghton
Published: March 29, 2001
Revenge is a normally a wonderful thing — being the topic of choice in many of our society’s greatest epics. Seeking justice when God or the cosmos refuses to grant it has been the motive behind many of the great heroes and villains. As this classic principle is presented in Mission: Humanity, EON Digital’s newest entry into the world of real-time strategy, it sets the background for an epic conflict spanning the length of many solar systems.
The storyline of Mission: Humanity draws from numerous sources: Earth has been horribly ravaged in an attack by technologically advanced aliens; humanity is on the brink of extermination with only a sparse few settlements remaining. One small band of rebel warriors manages to steal some of the most advanced technology possessed by these aliens, and adapt it for the benefit of mankind. Using their own weapons of war against these invaders, Earth is finally freed from the threat of total annihilation. Faced with the bleak prospect of an arduous life rebuilding a shattered planet, the small collection of humans still left alive opt to seek out and destroy their oppressors. Using the knowledge gained from analyzing the alien technology, one colonial starship is constructed, and mankind sets off on a quest of vengeance to wipe out the aliens and do to them exactly what they did to us.
Your job is to assume command of the assault force sent against the alien species. Using a combination of soldiery and brutal tactics, you will make every infested planet tremble under the might of your onslaught. To effect your victory you will move your colony ship onto the surface of a succession of planets constructing bases on each one with the intent of purging your enemies. Lest players think that humanity is the only playable side, you can also choose to side with the bellicose aliens, trying desperately to finish humanity off once and for all before they attack your homeworld. Despite the minor case of role reversal, this story is primarily about the humans and their struggle to survive despite the odds.
The colony ship is initially the center of your base; without it you cannot inhabit new planets. When you see your ship hovering over the surface of a planet you can order it to occupy any location before setting up shop. After you set your ship down and establish a nexus, you can begin the most fundamental aspect of real-time strategy titles: gathering resources.
Mission: Humanity uses four resources which come in the form of iron, carbon, titanium and something called extract. To construct any units or structures you will need ample supplies of all four resources which requires construction of a mine on top of natural deposits. What separates Mission: Humanity from other real-time strategy titles is the fact that each mine extracts all four elements and must be placed not atop a specific landscape formation, but rather over small areas where your sensors detect these resources en masse. When you find a deposit, odds are that there will be several areas with various concentrations of minerals. One area may be extremely rich in titanium, but lack any traces of carbon. This necessitates a careful watch by players to ensure that enough mines are distributed between the larger deposits. These four traditional components give way unto two resources that are not quite as well known, while not being completely unheard of.
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