SOFTWARE REVIEW

Communications Report:
The War in Heaven

   



Score:
6/10 - [Star Flare]
5/10 - [Wickware]

Company of Origin:
ValuSoft

Category:
Christian/First Person Shooter

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98, Pentium or faster, 16 MB ram, 120MB HD, CD-Rom drive, Direct X compatible sound card

Test System:

[Star Flare]
Hewlett Packard 6470Z, Pentium II 400 MHz. processor with 100 MHz. system bus, 96 MB syncdram memory, 12.7 GB hard drive, 32X CD-Rom, 8MB Rage Pro Turbo graphics, Premium Polk audio stereo
[Wickware]
GX-450xl running Windows 98, 256 RAM, Creative Sound Blaster 64CPCI with Boston Acoustic Digital Media Theatre, STB Velocity 4400 with RIVA TNT chip, 32 Mb RAM, 6X24 DVD-ROM

Graphics and Sound:

[Star Flare]
The graphics in The War In Heaven were decent, although it leaves much to be desired. The scenery was excellent, walking around looking through the clouds, buildings,streams, and fountains. The main problem with the graphics was the way the polygons were handled on the characters. Each character looked like a cube instead of a real human or creature. The weapons actually had more detail to them than the actual characters did and that is sad.

Each time you get to a Bible reading, it really is interesting and the sound really comes alive. The music played while hacking and slashing is very peaceful and soothing, kinda contrasting to the type of play, if you ask me. However, the music changes to more of a death march when you come in contact with a creature.

[Wickware]
Compared to many other 3D-action games out there, this game is very humdrum. There are a lot of games out there that are much better and there are lots of games out there that are a lot worse. About the only thing that is not blocky about the graphics is the sky. Depending on the path you take, the Divine Angel Path or the Fallen Angel path, your enemies all look the same for the most part with only a few variations. The music is very electronic and not very memorable.

Gameplay:

[Star Flare]
Gameplay in The War In Heaven was just outright BAD!! I started off with only a trusty sword and the clothes on my back. Eventually I acquired a sling, spear, armor, boots, shield, great sword, helmet, and life. It seemed to me that every level was pretty much the same boring creatures and the same boring weapons. Armor was only acquired at the end of each level instead of during game play, and my armor rating went up with each item acquired. Weapons could be found throughout the levels. At the beginning of each level, a verse from the Bible is recited to you. There are also podiums with Bibles on them, scattered about. When the Bible is clicked, an actual Bible verse is recited to the player, which I thought was pretty awesome. I thought this was a great Biblical teaching tool, but in order for kids to really get into it, some work will need to be done to improve the gameplay. Crosses are also found throughout the levels and are used as power-ups to give the player full life. I played as an angel and also as a fallen angel, with the only basic difference being who your enemies are. Angels battle fallen angels and vice versa. The weapons were the same for both characters.
[Wickware]
Have you ever played one of those games that all you do is walk around and kill things? This game does not vary from this theme. If you choose the Divine Angel path, you walk along the halls and gardens of Heaven with a sword in your hand, whacking at the angels that have chosen the fallen path. At various places there are new weapons to pick up and body armor to put on. One weapon is a rock sling, but it is not very accurate, or at least I wasn't very accurate. If you choose the fallen angel path, you walk around the catacombs of Hell whacking at the angels on the divine path with your clawed stick. I do have a couple of questions. If I choose the divine path and become a good angel, why do I kill the bad angels? If I were in Heaven, wouldn't the bad angels be in hell? If I choose the fallen path and play the bad angel in Hell, why are there good angels to fight? Must not be very good angels if they are in hell, eh?

Difficulty:

[Star Flare]
This game is a cinch. You can walk through the different levels with no problem. I made it to the 5th level in 30 minutes. There's not alot of variety in the weapons department. Basically, all you do is kill and listen to recitals from the Bible. That's about it.
[Wickware]
Not much difficulty to this game. Like I said, you walk around, whack at things until you kill all your enemies, find all the stuff to pick up, and hope you stumble on the end of the level. A drawback is that there is not joystick control, you use a combination of your mouse and keyboard. Takes a little getting used to for people like me who prefer a joystick.

Game Mechanics:

[Star Flare]
The controls are fairly simple. You use the keyboard in conjunction with the mouse. Your mouse buttons control the left and right arm and rolling the mouse allows you to look up, down and in all directions. The keypad is used to motion forward or to the side and in all directions. You do have the Save option with the escape key.
[Wickware]
As a Christian, I opened the box to this game with anticipation and excitement only to be disappointed with a game that delivers little. In this day and age, our expectations of video games are so high. We are increasingly expecting more and more realism. I applaud the makers of 'The War in Heaven' on trying to teach that our choices have eternal consequences. I applaud them on their attempt to give Christians an alternative to video games that are getting more and more violent and graphic. I am afraid though that in this day and age of higher expectations, this game will be lost in the shuffle. I do encourage the makers of the game to continue to work at it, so that in the future, they will bring us a game that will teach us the eternal truths, in an entertaining way. A good start would be a story line. Have characters that interact with each other, have objectives to follow, conflicts to overcome. These are the things that make a good game. And also remember what Christ said, those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.

Reviews By:

-Star Flare, GameVortex Communications
-Wickware, GameVortex Communications