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Invictus: The Shadow of Olympus

Score: 50%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Quicksilver
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

If not for this game's nice cutscene presentation, inspired soundtrack, and above-average voice talents, Invictus may very well qualify as one of the most boring RTS games of all time. Overall, the graphics in this one aren't very impressive, with fuzzy Voxel characters marching across gritty environments being the main eye candy showcase. Ugh. However, the splendid orchestral music and realistic sound effects provide an effective air of Romanesque warfare -- but this is truly the game's only attractive feature.


Here's how the game works: through a complex system of clicking your left mouse button a lot, you guide a custom team of mythological characters and enlisted warriors through the lands to settle a bet between Athena and Poseidon. Exciting, huh? Well, at first the concept of battling trolls and bears with Hercules and Icarus seems pretty fun, but after playing just one or two missions, you'll already be bored out of your mind. The missions aren't very involved, the enemies don't seem menacing at all, and the plot's hardly engrossing from the get-go. I've certainly seen better gameplay in my day.


Invictus has four difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Suicidal. Needless to say, the game's damn near impossible on Suicidal, and pretty much a pushover on Easy mode. Even the most hardened RTSers will have a tough time completing the later missions on Medium and Hard, primarily due to the unclear directions and odd time restrictions given to players on most levels. The awkward battle formations and controls don't exactly make the game any easier, either.

Game Mechanics:

One of the few interesting features of the game is the way the map works. Using your keyboard, you can tilt, rotate, and zoom in/out on the 3D terrain in order to get a better view of your surroundings. Even with anti-aliasing turned on, though, everything looks pretty ugly once you zoom in a little.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to check out the multi-player side of Invictus as there were never any active Invictus servers on MPlayer when I connected (this usually isn't a good sign). From what I've seen, though, I can't imagine it being much more enjoyable than the single-player experience. To be honest, in the world of recent real-time strategy games, this one just simply ain't a gift from the gods.

-Ben Monkey, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ben Lewis

Minimum System Requirements:

266, 64 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, 300 MB HD space, Windows 95/98, DirectX certified video and sound card

Test System:

Pentium II 350, 128 MB RAM, 52X CD-ROM drive, Windows 98 Second Edition, Viper 770 Ultra (32 MB Riva TNT2 Ultra video card), SoundBlaster Live! Platinum sound card

Windows Halflife: Game of the Year Edition Windows Quake III Arena

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated