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Massive Assault: Global Domination Strategy

Score: 95%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Trisynergy
Developer: Company Not in System
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

It's always a refreshing surprise when a game you've never heard of comes out of left field and proves to be a very entertaining gaming experience. Massive Assault: Global Domination Strategy, a turn-based strategy game by Wargaming.net, proves to be just that.

To start off with, the game's visuals are just top notch. The terrain and water look fantastic. The vehicles look great, are easy to recognize, and are easy to tell apart. The weapon effects and explosions are excellent. A battlefield that was once quiet and still while you were thinking about your strategy suddenly comes alive in missile fire and explosions as you begin making attacks. The interface is equally impressive. It's very easy to make the interface for a strategy game cumbersome and hard to use. However, Massive Assault's interface is clean, streamlined, and just plain old perfect. Aside from when I was riding the usual learning curve, I was never confused by what I saw onscreen.

The true test of a game's music comes down to one simple fact. Does the player leave it on or turn it off? Well I can tell you now; I never turned the music off in Massive Assault. Now, to be fair, I'm usually pretty forgiving of music and almost never actually go turn it off, but the fact that a strategy game has good music is something worth mentioning. There's not even a whole lot of variety. There are only about 2-3 songs, but what they had fit the game perfectly. The sound effects mostly consist of things moving, firing, and exploding, and it's all gravy.


Simplicity is the heart of why Massive Assault is so much fun. It's true that Massive Assault is a turn-based strategy game, but the gameplay is focused almost solely on combat. There is no resource gathering/management, no city building, and no technology tree to climb. Massive Assault is about buying armies to destroy other armies. While comparisons to chess are usually pretty thin, it's accurate to say that Massive Assault is, in many ways, an advanced form of chess.

Lemme see if I can summarize the gameplay for you. At its core, it's about combat. The map is, technically, hex-based, though you'll never notice hexes. You have an army of tanks, mobile rocket launchers, mechs, etc. Every unit has four battle statistics: armor, movement, attack, and range. A map has several bases on it. Every base you have under your control nets you cash each turn to buy more units. The only real twist is that you start off with several bases under your control called secret allies. The thing is, the enemy doesn't know they are under your control. You can reveal secret allies at the most opportune times to get the drop on the enemy. Of course the enemy has secret allies too; so you have to stay on your toes.


How does the old adage go, 'easy to learn, hard to master'? That explains Massive Assault to a tea. The game gives you plenty of tutorial missions and scenarios to hone your combat strategy, but there's always another layer to it that you haven't thought of yet. It's in this way that Massive Assault is very much like chess. For me the most difficult part was always deciding which units to buy with the money I had. This isn't Starcraft or Civilization, you can't just buy a butt load of the 'best' units and win. You're going to need to think long and hard about which units you decide to send out.

Game Mechanics:

The only real problems with the game are in the mechanics department. For example, the game has no cohesive or progressive 1-player game. Despite the fact that they give you this long winded back-story (evil underground government alliance leads to war with democratic alliance, which escalates onto a bunch of colony planets) when you first start the game, the 1-player game is really just a series of scenario missions that doesn't advance a plot.

Another pitfall is that the game puts you in the role of the Free Nation's 90 percent of the time. There are only two or three times when it let's you play as the Phantom League. This is really just a superficial change as both sides are basically the same, but still. The load times can be aggravating as well. There is noticeable load time whenever the computer has a turn. It starts off small, but as the battles and maps escalate in size, it can become very long.

I do have something positive to say on the mechanics front, though. The game includes a rewind and undo button so that if you notice a mistake while you're moving and attacking units during your turn, you can go back and fix them.

A few superficial problems aside, Massive Assault is pure gaming gold. Unless you're someone who just hates to think, I recommend it for just about anyone.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Minimum System Requirements:

Win98/2000/ME/XP, 256 MB RAM, 600 MHz CPU x86 compatible, 8x CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, 32MB Directx 8.1 compatible video card, 650MB HDD Free Space, TCP/IP connection for Internet play

Test System:

Win98, 448 MB RAM, 700 MHz Pentium III, Geforce 4 MX 420

Windows Everquest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath Sony PlayStation 2 Maximo vs. Army of Zin

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated