Here’s a game that puts you in a role of a violent peacekeeper, who is trying to bring stability into countries that have seen fundamental changes in the regime. It’s no secret that the game was inspired by the collapse of different socialist regimes and even by a bloody civil war, which you are trying to prevent (by killing, destroying, etc. different military installations and forces).
When you run the Ashes file, you will see quite an impressive intro, explaining the desperate situation various countries are in. This intro is graphically very well done and sets your hopes really high (only to disappoint you later on). The sound of the intro isn’t bad and it will at some point go on your nerves, but with a purpose. You’ll hear some imitations of sirens and an uneasy soundtrack. But like I said, it will go on your nerves.
After that the game begins. You see a map of the countries that are in this desperate state and you need to start your mission in a border province. You choose it. Different function keys (F2-F10) will show you different information and you can also click on the icons at the bottom of the map, to see the terrain (but nothing impressive). With different number keys (1-9) you will get some additional mission information and will also get to certain menus or perform actions (like parachute out of the airplane). You will move with the help of both the keyboard and the mouse/joystick (whichever you selected). But you will need the input device and the keyboard (<- slower/reverse; -> faster/forward).
And now the mission starts. You’ll get some chunky 3D wannabe view and the controls will go by so fast, you’ll hardly be able to move around! You’ll need a combination of keys and either mouse or joystick (whichever you chose) to move around and shoot the enemies. There’s a little radar screen at the bottom, but that’s not really helpful. The targets will be either airborne or on land and you need to destroy them in order to pacify the province (and the clock is ticking). It’s really hard to get the hang of the controls. If you crash or parachute out of the airplane you may select some other destructive device (like a tank), but the controls are still the same. The only difference is that you’ll be more vulnerable to the air attacks. There are some stationary structures you’ll have to destroy and you first need to get to them (which isn’t always easy).
Simply put, this game offers a lot of action (mostly in the FPS style), but the commands are so bad you’ll hardly be able to cope with them and that’s not a good recommendation. If you, however, manage to get a hold of them, the game will start to be playable (but still not worth wild).
The graphics are passable for the year of it’s creation (although in the bottom half of the scale), the sounds are average and the gameplay is downright criminal!
The game deserves nothing more then a 2, although the intro will have you fooled into thinking you started a great game!
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