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More Reviews

Borrowing heavily from Blizzard's StarCraft, can Outlive outdo the classic RTS?
By - Nate "Lokust" Timperley

To Boldly Go Where Other Developers Have Gone Before

Every so often a real-time strategy game comes along that shakes the foundation of the genre. It may offer eye-popping graphics and clean, crisp sounds. It may knock your socks off with innovative gameplay. It might have an engaging storyline that compels you to play long into the wee hours of the morning. But let's be clear.

Outlive is not that game.

While not bringing anything earthshakingly new to the genre, what Brazilian developer Continuum Entertainment has done is build upon existing real-time strategy standards to bring us a fast, frantically-paced RTS that any StarCraft fan could appreciate. I mention StarCraft in particular, because Outlive appears to be heavily influenced, both in style and in gameplay, by Blizzard's strategic masterpiece.

Those Darn Robots Again!

Outlive's "epic" storyline portrays the bitter struggle between two forces: the Humans and the Robots. Many years into the future the Outlive project is started to try to find natural resources elsewhere in the solar system. The probes sent throughout the system end up finding only one other suitable source: Titan. Unfortunately, Titan isn't capable of supporting human life, and thus starts the race to see who can come up with a viable solution to colonize Titan.

As soon as you sit down to take a look at Outlive, you'll immediately notice how much it looks like StarCraft. It has the same isometric viewpoint, and a very similar artistic style for units and structures.

One faction begins work with genetic manipulation, attempting to "build a better human," while their rivals intended to settle the situation by using giant robots implanted with artificial intelligence. Inevitably, big problems start cropping up in both projects, ending up with a race of escaped genetic mutants, and a madman in control of a vast robotic army bent on global domination.

The story plays out quite fluidly over three campaigns, which I highly recommend playing in order, both to watch the plot develop and to avoid falling prey to a very steep learning curve. The human campaign takes you through the battle against the robot hordes, and the robot campaign carries you through the rebuilding of a massive army and the conquering of their enemies. Last, a final campaign places you in charge of a rebel force trying to eliminate their mechanized oppressors

Graphics & Sounds

As soon as you sit down to take a look at Outlive, you'll immediately notice how much it looks like StarCraft. It has the same isometric viewpoint, and a very similar artistic style for units and structures. The one area where it surpasses StarCraft is that instead of being trapped at 640x480 resolution, you have the option of raising it up to 1024x768. The unit artwork is decent, and it is easy to tell your various tanks, mechs, and aircraft apart at a glance. It's nothing show-stopping, but it certainly does get the job done.

The sounds, however, are another story altogether. The sounds that your units make when you order them about sound very "low budget." Many of the sounds on the robot side are reasonable enough, if difficult to understand at times, but after hearing your builder unit yell "Whaddya want me to do?" for the 400th time, you're ready to start ordering your tanks to start firing on it just to shut it up. Fortunately, Outlive has an excellent soundtrack. I found myself genuinely impressed by a lot of the game's music, and I just ended up cranking up the music to drown out the unit sounds.

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