No Man's Land - PC - Preview
As it turns out “no man’s land” seems to be everyman’s land. Well, at least there seem to be a lot of people there fighting for it and it’s resources.
CDV and Related Designs are working toward the August release of No Man’s Land: Fight for Your Rights, a real-time civilization game for the PC that incorporates 300 years of American history.
The game begins with the Navajo fending off Spanish invaders, defending their gold mines, and building their civilizations then progresses down the tracks of history to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.
GameZone was invited along to have a look at the preview build of the game, so took up musket and ventured forth into the American frontier.
In many ways, No Man’s Land is typical of the genre. You have a set mission to accomplish, though the game tries to distinguish itself by playing off a continuous background story that purports to feature story twists as well as an array of heroes and villains. The game model also tries to immerse players into the timeline through use of native languages, but somewhere along the way, this game tends to trade on stereotypes, both of races/nations and the genre.
Depending on what side you choose to play as, certain game elements can be a boon or bane to your civilization. Take the railroad for example. For the settlers, this is something that must be pushed through, but if you play the side of the Indians, this is something that must be stopped at all costs.
The game features six nations that players can control – Spaniards, Woodland Indians, Prairie Indians, the British, Patriots and Settlers. There are elite units for most of the nations, as well as counter upgrades which can be launched to affect your enemies – like that all-time favorite, the plague, which slows down enemy resource production.
Other game features include three campaigns with 30 missions, six multiplayer modes (which feature some of the stock forms such as deathmatch), particle effects, detailed landscapes, the fog-of-war effect, 40 voice actors and a rich soundtrack with more than a hour of music individualized for each nation,
With all that going for it, one would think that No Man’s Land would offer a unique look and game style, but that is hardly the case. The game has an interface typical of the civ genre, which is not bad as players familiar with the game style, can jump right into the action and play with little regard to the tutorials or manual. The style of the game is also typical. Drag-grouping, movement and attacking are all simple tasks to perform. In short, this game does not move too far away from the stock control elements.
The overall look of the game is solid, but fails to live up to the standards of other top civ genre games, such as Age of Mythology. While the game does have a range of vocal characterizations, and adds typical battle sounds, the real audio star is the musical score created at Dynamedion sound studion (Mainz, Germany). It is rich, vibrant and varied.
No Man’s Land is not the first to tread the waters of American history. While it does have some solid ideas and concepts, this is a game that is – overall – fails to entreat with new or exciting elements. The gameplay is typical and, and the graphics, while solid, are hardly breathtaking or unique to the genre. The game also seems mislabeled. With so many fighting for it, it hardly seems as though the environments in this game fall under the auspices of the ‘no man’s land’ label.
No Man’s Land: Fight for Your Rights! is a grand theme rendered typical in execution.