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Review by: Brian Pipa
The two hottest gaming genres right now are 3D/Action and Real-time/Strategy. Combine these two and what do you get? You get Muzzle Velocity, a new title from Digi4fun that combines strategy war-gaming with the ability to jump into a 3D view where you can control the action through the eyes of any tank, vehicle, or soldier on the frontline.
The war is WW II. You command your choice of U.S, British, or German forces. Soldiers, tanks, APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers), artillery, and ATGs (Anti-Tank Guns) are just a few of the many weapons at your disposal. The game is played mainly in the “satellite view” where you can place your units, give them orders, and oversee the entire battle. You can choose your rank in the missions in order to determine what level of control you have. Higher rank means more control!
Muzzle Velocity, at first glance, is your basic strategy/wargame. The game gives you the option of playing a campaign mission or a career. The campaign missions include ten increasingly difficult tutorial missions that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to finish and games can be saved at any time. The career mode starts you out as a private and allows you to work your way up the ranks.
Muzzle Velocity jumps ahead of the wargaming pack by adding the first-person perspective. You’re able to control almost any of your forces in a 3D environment. The 3D engine is not cutting-edge – which is to say it’s not in the same ballpark as Quake or Duke Nukem 3D. It compares more to a 3D engine somewhere between Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM. This is not to say that the 3D views are terrible, on the contrary, they are fun, they just have some quirks. At any time you can switch to controlling another unit in the current skirmish. There are some nice touches like the buildings collapsing, and there are even cows in some of the fields. (Yes, you can shoot them – I tried it!) However, the buildings show no damage until they collapse and the cow just disappears when you shoot it a few times. The enemy soldiers actually bleed and die, so that the dead bodies litter the battlefield around you. The true horror of war.
While the manual is a bit sparse, giving lots of real-life examples and photos, the help system in Muzzle Velocity is EXCELLENT. At ANY time during the game, press F1 and you will get context sensitive help detailing all aspects of war, strategy, the interface, keyboard commands and more. Kudos go to Digi4fun for the excellent online help. (Although it could have used a decent spell-checker.)
If you’re looking for a good 3D shooter, Muzzle Velocity isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for a decent wargame with the added ability to provide 3D views and control of the action, Muzzle Velocity may be what you need. Make sure you try out the demo before you commit to anything. Now let’s get into some details…
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