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Game Review – Defcon: Everybody Dies by jimmycanuck
October 23, 2006, 8:53 pm
Filed under: gaming, reviews

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Chances are, if you grew up in the 1980’s, you saw WarGames. What’s more is that, no matter how cool the movie was, you wanted to be David Lightman – just so you could to play with Joshua, just so you could play Global Thermonuclear War. Well now, thanks to Introversion, you can do just that. And it’s just as awesome as you always thought it would be.

Defcon: Everybody Dies is a brilliant throwback to a Cold War world. The game design keeps things very simple. You take control of a territory, place all of your airfields, naval groups, radar station and missile silo’s, and wait as the timer ticks down to Defcon 1 when all hell breaks loose. As easy as this sounds, it would be rather difficult to manage without a good tutorial. Luckily, this game has you covered there too.

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Being somewhat of an indie title, a lot of the features that you might expect to find in a strategy game are missing. There’s no campaign mode, no content being unveiled as the game goes on – hell, there’s not even really a single player mode – but when thought about in the context of the game, a lot of this makes sense. After all, what campaign mode can you have when everybody dies? There’s no second mission to go to when there’s nobody left from the first.

That being said, even with the game’s overall focus on multiplayer, a single player game can easily be assembled. All you have to do is start a game and change all of the other players to CPU controlled before a real player jumps in. Unfortunately you may find yourself doing this more often than not, as playing against other live players can really slow things down – not due to lag, but design. The Achilles Heel of Defcon lies in the ability to manipulate time. When playing single player, this is great – you can slow things down to a halt to place all of your troops and buildings, and speed things up to get to Defcon 1 lickety split. In multiplayer, things only go as fast as the slowest person’s settings – so when you want to go go go, you might be waiting a long while.

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Frustration with multiplayer aside, I have a hard time finding anything bad to say about this game. In addition to the solid yet simple gameplay, both the stark visuals and somber music create one of the best sensory experiences in gaming. The combination of the two can easily help to make the argument for games to be considered an art form rather than a past time for 26 year old man-child’s such as myself.

At the budget price this title is available for, you’re practically stealing it. Defcon: Everybody Dies is, so far, my pick for hidden gem of 2006. If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favour and download the demo from their official site.

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5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I definatly agree that this is a really cool game. Its pretty eerie and the gameplay is tons of fun. Theres a tad bit of a learning curve as i discovered when i tried to play without the tutorial, so take my advice: tutorials are made for a reason, this one is definatly nessesary

Comment by dtg

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Comment by Rusty




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