A Command & Conquer clone that was much less successful than it deserved, Z is as notable for being the only real-time strategy game from action game masters at Bitmap Brothers as being a very innovative title-- and very funny to boot. |
Z was advertised as "the first game in the combat strategy genre to feature an advanced artificial intelligence system that reacts to the player's moves in real-time, not to a pre-set mission strategy". This means that the computer supposedly actually responds to the player's moves and changes its strategy accordingly. In reality, unfortunately, the game's AI is not that advanced, and often even makes silly mistakes. The game also contains some bugs, although none of which is game-stopping.
What sets Z apart from other C&C clones, though, is the great sense of humor that adds a lot of personality to the game. Featuring an army of crude cyborg soldiers, led by the order-barking Commander Zod, Z puts players on the front lines of a futuristic battle with an army of undisciplined, beer drinking robots with attitudes. You will dodge earth-shattering explosions, complete with shrapnel and flying debris, and forge through 20 levels of gameplay on five deadly planets while capturing the arms, factories and radar installations of your enemies.
Z includes a good number of multiplayer options, including serial or modem link, or with up to four players using the network-play feature. The single-player campaign is excellent, and features a lot of hilarious cutscenes and voices (unfortunately missing from this CD-rip version). Although the robots do not have distinct personalities as the mercenaries in Jagged Alliance do, they nevertheless are well-caricatured and always funny to watch in action. Overall, if you enjoy Cannon Fodder 2 or want a not-so-serious version of Command & Conquer, Z is a must-have. The game may not be the best real-time strategy game on the market, or the most challenging in terms of AI, but it's got more than enough personality and charm to keep you entertained. Recommended!
Note: Bitmap Brothers has informed us that, due to licensing arrangements, we cannot offer the game for download at present. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Reviewed by: Underdogs