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Titans of Steel: Warring Suns PC CD-ROM

Published by Just Play
Developed by Matrix Games
Released - Out Now
Price : £24.99

Mech games have always been fantastically popular. Usually though the games have been simulation based (if that's the right word when talking about fictional walking machines). Mechcommander was a RTS based around mechs and this game (and it's sequel) proved that mechs were great for strategy games too. Of course you can't forget about the various Battletech games that have appeared over the years and have always proved to be big sellers. Titans of Steel is a mech based, turn-based, game that capitalises on this popularity with great skill.

In Titans of Steel your mechs are know as Titans. As you expect the game is set in the future and as usual with humanity it's a depressing and chilling tale of war and death. Instead of the obvious solution of making peace a new, more effective, way of waging war is found. The answer is the Titan Attack Tech, a mech, that enables greater destruction and only needs one person to pilot them. Thanks to this innovation warfare is going to be a whole lot easier.

We've called Titans of Steel a strategy game but in truth it's actually a mix of strategy and RPG. Basically you create a team of pilots (or Jocks as the game calls them) and with your small budget of $500,000 you purchase a Titan (otherwise known as a mech) for each of them to control. Once you have done this you can enter your small team into one of three campaigns (Android Rebellion, Savannah and The Metaborator). Throughout the course of the campaign, providing they are not killed, your Jocks will gather experience and you'll gather more cash to invest in better Titans etc. As well as the campaigns you can also pick a randomly generated squad of Jocks and head of for a random game. You pick what map type you want to play on (from a choice of Biochem, Terran, Savannah, Polar and Core), decide how many Titans will be taking part and head into battle. There is also a tutorial and the option to play either a hotseat or LAN/Internet game.

Titans of Steel has bags of depth. Each of your Jocks has a wealth of attributes and in addition to this, each of the 5 categories of Titan all have their own capabilities. There are 31 each of Recon, Light, Medium, Heavy and Assault Titans making a fabulous total of 155 Titans in all. In the beginning though you can only afford the Recon Titans but as you successfully complete missions you'll be able to afford the better models. Your Jocks are not just human. You can also have Replicant (genetically enhanced humans although they are susceptible to radiation), Cyborg (increased constitution but lower charisma) and finally there are the Android pilots who are resistant to radiation, have self-healing abilities but do not benefit from shock absorption. Even the gender of the Jock has some importance with female Jocks receiving +1 bonus on instinct whilst the male Jocks receive a +1 bonus on constitution.

Graphically Titans of Steel is exactly what you would expect from a hex, turn-based, strategy game. Nothing impressive or spectacular here then but in truth it doesn't really need to be. Having said that though it would have been great if the game had been in 3D and you could have zoomed in on the Titans and the battles, but this isn't what turn-based gaming is about in all honesty. The big advantage of the basic look of the game is that the system requirements remain modest and a 400MHz CPU with 64MB RAM is all you need to enjoy the game.

There are no problems for deaf gamers with Titans of Steel. All information is given in text and can easily be recalled during the game. If you forget which key does what pressing the F1 key will remind you as it lists all the hotkey commands. The manual is also quite useful and informs you of all the games advanced functions which is great as there are quite a few.

Of course the advantage of the game being turn-based as opposed to real-time is that the gameplay can have far more depth and that's exactly what this game has. Whilst the complexity of the game will probably put some gamers off, those of you who put time into it will find a lot to appreciate. There is even a Factory mode where you can build you own Titans if the 150+ on offer aren't to your liking. The battles even give you the ability to call shots on the enemy Titans anatomy which is a superb inclusion. The fact that the game rewards you for keeping your Jocks alive is also a bonus too. If your Titan becomes crippled you can choose to eject the Jock in order to save their lives, which is excellent. If you like mech based games and appreciate the depth and complexity of turn-based games then Titans of Steel should definitely be on your wish list.

Overall Game Rating: 8.5/10
A turn-based game that mech fans will really appreciate.

Deaf Gamers comment:
All tutorials and information is given exclusively in text so there are no problems.