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Genesis Rising

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer: Metamorf Studios
Media: CD/3
Players: 1 - 12
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

So what do you do with a giant spaceship that is out for blood? You feed it. In Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade you find yourself at the helm of the ultimate biological weapon. Command an entire fleet of ships that are grown and not built. Lead the way to the center of the universe in search of glory and possibly your lost father.

The graphics are breathtaking. There are some spectacular views as you orbit the camera around your ship to inspect your surroundings. The cut scenes are very well done and the character animations show that a fair deal of work went into their creation. There were a few shadow issues when I was playing, but nothing too big.

There is ample voice acting throughout the game. Of course, there is the standard fare of sounders that confirm orders and convey warnings. I felt that there was some disconnect in the character voice acting when it came to the interactive portions of conversation. Everything would become almost robotic and choppy to the flow of the conversation.


In Genesis Rising, you are Iconah. You command a fleet of biological space crafts called Organids on a mission to find the Universal Heart. The Universal Heart is not just the last bit of unknown and uncharted space in the universe; it is an idea, a religion. The religion is based on a martyr who rose up in a time of war and united every human. He was the savior. The Universal Heart is where the very beginnings of the universe started with the rhythm of its first beats, and where it is said the savior drew his strength. You lead the way for humanity as it embarks to further its Manifest Destiny and claim all of the universe as its own. Through the story, you also quest to find your father who was also lost in search of the Universal Heart.

There are a ton of tutorials available to you. Then they go one more step and actually have a mini-tutorial at the beginning of the single player campaign. By the time you actually get around to playing the game, you are well versed in all of the mechanics involved.

The single most important resource in the entire game is blood. And, if you want to split hairs, the second is DNA. Actually, it is one and the same. You get life and DNA from the blood. Blood is the fuel that drives your ships, builds more ships and fuels your research. The DNA is analyzed and used to create more weapons and ships. Whenever you assign new DNA to your ship, you can watch it grow and morph. The gene lab is a well done and simple interface that allows you to modify your ships with stolen, traded and or otherwise gained genes. You can even morph your ships in battle if you have resources and help boost your odds in a close fight.

This game is played just like any other RTS with regards to movement. Only, since you're in space, you don't have that pesky terrain to deal with. Moving your ships around will help you get a position on your enemy and dodge some large weapons fire.


You can get in over your head fast in Genesis Rising. If you go in underpowered or find your self surrounded, you can quickly find yourself becoming the next entree being served up for dinner. You can be overwhelmed by many enemies at once, so you really don't have time to just sit back and watch the fights happen. You must be an active participant in the battle, or you will be wondering what happened as the blood is drained from you. Make sure that you take the time to go through the battle tutorial. With a lot of ships buzzing around, space can get small fast, so make sure you learn to position your ships. If the 3D landscapes become too much, you can toggle on the grid, bringing your spacial focus back on a nice 2D plane.

Game Mechanics:

I really liked the way Genesis Rising handled most of their UI. I really did have a huge problem at first distinguishing all of the different ship types by sight. The on-screen ship menu helped, but with many ships engaged in battle, it could become very confusing very quickly. I would also like to see a little more positional awareness from ships in close proximity. I know this problem plagues many RTS' when troops or units start circling one another to get into a position they can both occupy. I thought that the freedom of space, and thus fewer obstacles, would have helped this issue out, but alas sometimes a confused ship would spin around for a while until it was comfortable, like a dog looking for a place to lie down.

I would like to have seen a few more battles online, but the few I tried proved that this could be a very good LAN game to get you and your friends into. I almost forgot that I had a huge problem with there being no galactic garlic or universal holy water. Just kidding. It would have been interesting to have a dietary restraint to some ships and resistance to others. Oh well, I will look for that in the next edition.`

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

Minimum System Requirements:

System: Pentium 4 1.5 GHz or equivalent, RAM: 512 MB, Video Memory: 128 MB, Hard Drive Space: 2500 MB

Test System:

Windows XP Pro, 3.2 GHz P4HT CPU, 2 GB Ram, 512 PCIE 16 ATI X1600XT

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