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checksix
01-01-2011, 10:03 PM
5 minutes of gameplay, 60 second review:

I'll cut to the chase. You're not getting much here. There is no tutorial, just a block of help text with some icons that explain the very basic aspects to the game. There is a simple turn-based component where you can level up your main leader to provide some perks. The combat is RTS style, but really amounts to nothing more than running around trying to shoot things while not agro'ing too many enemies at once. That's it as far as strategy goes.

There is only a light amount of resource management, and the combat system is basically non-existent (horses and munitions). There are no voice actors so that makes things very bland for a civil war themed game. Maybe they should have watched a Ken Burns documentary first to figure out why the civil war was so fascinating. Victories have a weak feel because, well, nothing really happens but a stats summary.

Overall, this plays like a game developer's first title - think "what I did in college" quality.

There are some steam achievements, but the game play is bad enough I probably won't bother chasing them down.

There is a lot more bad, and not much more good -- hopefully the above gives you enough of a rough idea of the game.

beefers
01-02-2011, 10:24 AM
....This is akin to reviewing Star Wars after watching the opening text sequence scroll through......

Comrade Kemosab
01-02-2011, 07:47 PM
....This is akin to reviewing Star Wars after watching the opening text sequence scroll through......

Since you are attacking his review without defending the game I am just going to assume that the game is not worth the money...

beefers
01-02-2011, 11:33 PM
Since you are attacking his review without defending the game I am just going to assume that the game is not worth the money...

Posted some comments in the "Test" thread, meaning to make a full impressions post but I have yet to find the time. The game does require you to more or less teach yourself how to beat it, but its worth the investment in my opinion.

checksix
01-05-2011, 12:55 AM
....This is akin to reviewing Star Wars after watching the opening text sequence scroll through......

No, it's like doing a review of Star Wars after watching the first five minutes. And you know what - I'd love to do that review because the first five minutes of Star Wars is pretty cool (especially for 1977).

I was trying to give people an idea as to the mechanics of the game as well as the sophistication and presentation. I've been gaming for about 20 years. While I am no expert, I'm no noob either. I simply bought the game to do a quick review so that someone else could make a slightly more informed decision about it.

I would LOVE for someone to explain to me how later in the game there are cut scenes, voice acting, a compelling story, historically accurate battles, etc. The American Civil War is one of the most fascinating and interesting wars in the history of mankind. It was filled with human drama, suspense, treachery, terror, and pain. Over a million men were killed or wounded. It was one of the first wars to be waged on an industrial scale with ironclad ships, an early attack submarine, trains, machine guns, high-powered explosives, etc. The game designers could have tapped a wealth of information to design a very fascinating and compelling title.

I'm not trying to say the developers didn't want to build an amazing Civil War title. It is clear they simply either didn't know how or didn't have the resources.

The trailer does a good job showing everything this game does:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBtq4g17-Xg

I recommend looking in to "Cossacks: Back To War" while we wait for the definitive Civil War title. Although it is a different time period, it is very well implemented. The 2d sprites let you spawn armies of thousands without causing your CPU fan to spin faster. It is very reasonably priced as well.

Aelhis
01-05-2011, 02:37 PM
WEll.
First I'm sorry checksix. But I kinda disagree on some of the points you are complainning about the game.
1st - Check out the game price tag and the game size - It's not a Eletronic Arts title full of movies actors and stuff. It comes from a small developer company self published also. You don't see a lot of that in today games.
2nd - Like I said above for the price tag on the game( Mostly saying on the promotion) It brings up a enjoyable STRATEGY perspective. I'm not saying it's the ultimate Civil War game or anything. But it does it's job very good and that is being a strategy game.
3rd - Well like you said it doesn't explain much about game mechanics. But I'm sorry I don't find it as a con. Most of today games pretty much feeds you everything and mainly do everything for you and pretty much takes out all the enjoyemt of the game. This one on the contrary is like old games. You pretty much have to learn things out and as that brings out a lot of joy when you see some of your plans worked out.

Well that pretty much sums up a lil of a review about the game.

If you are into strategy titles, especially some tactical that requires you to think a lot ahead on your actions, this is a pretty good game for it's PRICE. I'm not compelling anyone to buying it just saying my opinion.

NOTE TO WINDOWS 7 USERS - go to your C:\XXX\Steam\steamapps\common\mosby's confederacy directory and right click on the MosbysConfederacy.exe and go into proprieties. There go in Compatibility and check out "Deactivate Visual Themes" and "Deactivate desktop composition" (I actually don't know if those are the actual names because my windows is in portuguese so I just did a translation. Just to be safe from bottom to top is the second and third options).
That will fix the starting out problem some people suffer. Note that will work out on most old games on windows7.

Kindly Regards,
Ael

beefers
01-05-2011, 03:20 PM
20 years of gaming and you are hung up on presentation? What games exactly did you grow up on? I don't mean to be insulting with this, I am honestly curious. We are all entitled to our opinions. I also have roughly 20 years experience gaming and if anything my experiences have led me away from flashy cut scenes and animations, while yours seems to have led you towards.

No, this is not a AAA title, nor does it pretend to be. It is honest effort by a relatively small group of people who in my opinion have done an excellent job of creating a stimulating experience. This game has sucked me into its little world much more then say Assassins Creed, Halo or any other recent blockbusters and to me that is what gaming is about. It is about thinking from a different perspective, figuring out what it means to learn and applying those lessons to learning in the realm of reality. Which is something that modern games have forgotten as they head the way of Hollywood.

To those of you on the fence, I highly recommend this game. It is a great little piece of strategic/tactical gaming. If you are looking for all the bells and whistles that come with being a major publisher then look somewhere else. If you are looking for something slightly deeper then give it a go. To clarify, when I say deep I mean the overall arc of decisions you have to make over the course of the game is deep. By no means is the visual experience deep, by no means is the micro experience deep, but the macro experience is deep.

Besides, its cheap. Live a little, try something new, and above all don't hesitate to support the small guys.

checksix
01-12-2011, 01:13 AM
Considering beefer's positive reviews about the game I decided to play more of this title. I now feel I am in a more informed position about the game.

You play Colonel John Singleton Mosby, a confederate cavalry battalion commander in the American Civil War. The real John "Gray Ghost" Mosby was an interesting fellow. Unfortunately the game only gives you one single paragraph of text for a back story. As I've previously stated, there is little historical information about the Civil War in the game. Such information would have been a welcome addition, even if it were only text based.

The game is a turn-based strategy game with RTS-like combat scenarios. You start in the map view showing various town centers where your soldiers are based. If you have available reputation points you can increase various aspects of these towns to make them more effective. Depending on which missions are available on the map (shown at random) you can select capturing supplies, horses, large combat missions, or "historical" combat. During each turn you can choose one of 31 skills to increase John's stats. John leads his forces in every battle scenario.

Combat options in this title are limited. You can issue commands to five soldiers at once and depending on skills can have a total of 20 soldiers on the field. You can choose from two non-default move modes: stealth and 'charge attack.' You can select from three main weapon modes: rifles, pistols, melee. Your soldiers will level up and gain rank automatically upon particularly successful missions.

The gameplay involves choosing a combat mission, choosing which soldiers you will take along from one of several nearby town centers, and optionally assigning horses. Once in the map you can assign a maximum of five soldiers to a group which makes command much easier as box drawing often yields strange results. You then simply walk around the map, aggro enemies, and attempt to kill them or get them to surrender. Once the soldiers in an area are clear you can capture any supplies, horses, or commanders that might be available to complete the mission. As long as aggro is kept in check the combat is quite easy.

While this is a very simple title there is a dearth of Civil War games on the market. Unfortunately this game doesn't take advantage of that benefit by providing a deeper story line based on the real John Mosby. In my opinion that was a major missed opportunity. Matt Zimmitti was the lead designer at Titled Mill for this title. Mosby's Confederacy was Matt's second title released under his direction, and his first non-franchised title. His other release was the SimCity Societies: Destinations expansion, which received lackluster reviews. Matt left Titled Mill soon after Mosby's Confederacy was released.

I can't help but wonder what this game could have been with better combat controls, some combat variety, and a stronger storyline based on the real John Mosby's life. If you are interested in purchasing this title I recommend you read the game manual to get a full sense of the depth (or lack thereof). It is available at the official site here:

http://www.tiltedmill.com/mosbys_confederacy/

beefers
01-12-2011, 10:28 AM
I would say this is a pretty fair assessment of the core mechanics of the game.

I would also like to second the missed opportunity bit, this game could have added a lot more information about Mosby himself and the war in general. Which would have allowed it to move from beyond just the mindset of Mosby but also into the realm of his actual efforts during the war.

Perhaps I really am as gameplay immune as many of my friends have suggested, but I would like to add that I really enjoy this game. To me its about playing out the different choices. What happens if I focus on raising town support over the entire county and building a well balanced and mobile force. What happens if I focus on 3-5 centrally oriented towns and build a elite squad of rangers and cavalry? What happens if I focus on using Mosby as a rifle squad leader as opposed to a hit and run pistol wielding assasin?

Taking a step back I have to agree with the core gameplay mechanics being lacking, but for the price of the game I still recommend it to anyone on the fence. You aren't getting a robust set of mechanics to play with, you are however getting a robust set of decisions/strategies to play out.

Winter Rain
02-02-2011, 07:57 PM
You aren't getting a robust set of mechanics to play with, you are however getting a robust set of decisions/strategies to play out.
This. The decisions you're faced with, especially with regard to how you develop the settlements in the Shenandoah Valley and how you invest in the skills of Mosby himself have a strong effect on how the game ultimately plays out. The problem is, the game doesn't give you the most tangible feedback about those choices, and it takes some experience (see also: multiple play-throughs) to fully appreciate those nuances. I think that, because of this lack of easily recognizable impact of player choices and the time investment required to appreciate the finer points of the strategies employed, a lot of people will walk away from the game.