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Defcon: Nuke 'em All

Company: Introversion

From the minds at Introversion Software that brought you Darwinia and Uplink comes their third title, Defcon. This is an online multiplayer simulation of nuclear war. And, as advertised on the cover, "Everybody dies". Choose sides, make alliances and break treaties with friends as you prepare for an all out nuclear showdown. I love their tagline from the site that reads, "It's Global Thermonuclear War, and nobody wins. But maybe - just maybe - you can lose the least." Just like Darwinia, this title will be available for download through the Steam system.

In Defcon, as expected from their previous titles, the graphics are beautiful but simple polygon representations of ships, aircraft and bases. The look and feel is what you would expect to look at while watching over a large command hub hidden in a deep bunker someplace 13 stories under a mountain. For those of you who remember a much younger Matthew Broderick in the movie War Games, then you will appreciate the look and feel that much more. Though they obviously have no direct ties to the old movie franchise, I couldn't help being taken back to my youth when I first saw the movie and thought, "I would like to play that game."

The music is as dark and foreboding as the game's ghostly premise. You constantly here the pings and whirs of computer equipment as you are disconnected from the action happening on your command screen. You also have this nice, dark soundtrack (again, very 80's) playing as the thermonuclear detonation flashes on your screen.

Though I was limited to gameplay videos in this early look at Defcon, Intel says that you move through several periods of time marked by movement up, or rather down, the Defcon chart. The Defense Defcon chart starts at 5 with peace breaking out, and moving up to 1 when it is time to take off the gloves and release mass, instantaneous genocide via nuclear war. As each of the periods hearken an elevated sense of preparedness, you amass weapons and delivery vehicles. You ready your first strike scenarios based on enemies and even allies who will, at some point, become your foe. Use all of your cold war tactics to get the other guy to reveal his hand. Put your pieces into position and prepare, because war is coming.

Introversion has brought us two great games in the past, and what we get from this first look at the third is that they are just getting warmed up. Though not available yet, you can soon download the demo from their Defcon site and from Steam as well. I look forward to not only playing in games world wide via the Internet, but also locally as a company-wide deathmatch played over the LAN. I am eagerly waiting for Introversion to push the button and launch the title, as I will have more for you when the bomb drops.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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