Land Air Sea Warfare HD [rating: 4.5/5]
It’s been a challenging month. And I seem to be spending a lot of my time hiding from things. I had successfully hidden from the launch of Civilization V, after an unfortunate experience with Civ III that almost ruined my life, and lost me my various jobs at the time!
If you are a Real Time Strategy fan you’ll be familiar with the Civilization series, and probably games like Command & Conquer & Age of Empires. Land Air Sea Warfare, which I’ll refer to as LASW from now on (to save time writing the review so I can go play it again sooner) is actually cut from a similar cloth to the Command & Conquer series. In fact it’s reminiscent of the last version of those that I played called Command & Conquer : Tiberian Wars. It’s all about RTS combat on a big map, with big weapons and powerful laser missile and bullet spitting craft. Plain and simple!
Except LASW is polished, and seriously addictive, in the way that Civilization is, and Age of Empires were. Which is why I find myself drawing parallels between LASW, Command & Conquer and those more orthodox classics as well.
For those of you that are familiar with RTS titles, the way to play will be immediately obvious. And for those that aren’t it’s fairly easy to pick up. Especially with all the nice touch, scroll popup help notes in the game. You start by establishing a base, securing that area, and then setting up power sources, and defensive measures around that complex. After that you are in a race to build more, better and bigger aircraft, vehicles and ships and subs. The ultimate aim is to dominate the map and defeat all your AI opponents by taking their territory away.
LASW boasts 34 different units, including 7 different mega units, which each require their own resource that must be mined. There are 25 different buildings, which range from disabling opponent’s satellites, energy shields for units to hide behind, walls to slowdown enemy units, to research facilities. There are also 12 defensive buildings, mostly turrets, that are employed to guard against things like ICBM’s, or blow up approaching enemy units. Finally there are 30 different technologies for a grand total of 111 different things to research. There is a full list here, as well as a wealth of other info about LASW.
What is particularly impressive about LASW is that it has so many beautifully rendered flavors of ships, vehicles, aircraft weapons and factories. The two years that the developer, Isotope 244, has spent honing this title shows in the diversity of toys for you to wreak havoc with. And also how well thought out the interaction between those toys is when they go into combat. The amount of activity on the screen is both impressive, and beautifully rendered. And the game can get quite insanely frenetic at times!
Full use is made of the iPad’s screen real estate, as is the unique touch interface we now get to enjoy on Tablet devices. You can tap units to give orders, as well as drag the map around to see off screen areas. The maps are big, by the way. You can also zoom to areas on the map by tapping and sliding your finger around on the mini-map of the combat arena.
On screen units can be tapped, or collectively controlled by grouping them by dragging a box around them. You can then send them off on their way by tapping somewhere else on the map.
Flying units cast shadows. Combat units are not afraid to let rip with copious amounts of eye-candy laser weaponry and flocks of missiles, with the appropriate accompanying sound effects. Everything animates and looks great. And all the while you can strategize, tap, scroll, zoom and rain death down on your enemy smoothly on the iPad’s beautiful screen.
There are copious help notes in popup scrollable windows, which you will refer to quite a lot when learning about units and their functionality. It’s a necessary, but reassuring feature to see a dev. put in a game like this. Many don’t bother.
Menu objects all interact with you as you click and tap to create units and drop them onto the map to be built. You can even use two finger gestures to draw structures of more than one square onto the map.
In short Isotope 244 has really put a lot of effort into making LASW not only a great RTS, but an RTS which is a joy to play on the iPad (or iPhone / iPod Touch). While we are talking about the developer, Isotope 244 seems to be very keen to develop this game even further, and on the App’s page in iTunes invites users to give him feedback and ideas for future revisions of LASW.
One big difference LASW has from the iconic RTS games I mentioned at the beginning of the review, is that it doesn’t have a story mode, or a campaign as such. That may bother some, as it stands right now the game is about playing individual games of up to an hour or two on myriads of diverse maps. With lots of difficultly levels that give plenty of replay value, and a nice set of increasing difficulty that will be hard to complete quickly. Actually for the iPhone or iPad style of devices these games are generally required to be more approachable, and be played in bite sized pieces. So in that sense LASW I think is put together in a way that most people will find fitting for their mobile devices, and also still have scope for RTS fanatics who want to play more and harder as time goes by.
There is also no multiplayer at the moment. But that is something that may well come in a future update I am reliably informed. In any case Land Air Sea Warfare HD for the iPad is well worth buying if you are an RTS fan, as it is the definitive RTS on the iPad at the moment. And for that reason, and its great user interface, if you are thinking about trying an RTS out for the first time I’d recommend this for you too.
- Great User Interface.
- Great Sound Effects.
- Beautiful Graphics and Rendering.
- Lots of Diversity.
- No Campaign.
- No Mutiplayer.
$9.99 (View in iTunes)
Released:Sep 22, 2010
Size: 58.8 MB
Seller:Isotope 244 Graphics LLC
© 2010 Isotope 244 Graphics LLC
Requirements:Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.