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System Requirements
OS: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 CPU: 400mhz AMD/Intel processor RAM: 96 MB HDD: 300MB VIDEO: 16MB Direct X compatible card SOUND: 16 bit Direct X compatible sound card Age: Teen

I have played the original Command and Conquer game and it\'s pretty safe to say that this is completely different. Revolutionary even! It\'s still a strategy war game but you can get right in the middle of it first hand. Not only can you ride numerous war vehicles, you can also switch characters, and call nuclear or ion attacks. Needless to say I was very impressed. The demo is multiplayer only and you can play one of two teams; you can join the GDI or the Nod. The story goes as follows: Renegade takes place during the first Tiberium war.

The basic plot of the game revolves around the kidnapping of a GDI scientist named Dr. Ignatio Mobius, a world renowned expert on Tiberium and a specialist in the fields of physics, genetics, and chemistry. Mobius is believed to have been kidnapped by agents of the Black Hand, a group of highly trained assassins and commandos employed by the Nod to commit acts of worldwide terrorism. The Brotherhood felt they would be able to exploit Dr. Mobius, whose knowledge is essential in completing their aim of creating a new generation of soldiers mutated by Tiberium. To stop this from happening, GDI turns to an elite commando, Nick \'Havoc\' Parker, to find Mobius. With the entire Nod army between him and his objective, Havoc uncovers a web of deception insidious experiments, and the depths to which Kane will sink in his quest for global domination. * This is a multiplayer demo so you need to find a partner or two to play against.

There are LAN and Internet play modes. I was happy to see a practice multiplayer option but this is not available in the demo. The full version of the game will offer single player mode as well. The goal in the multiplayer is to destroy all your opponents buildings. Each building serves a special purpose where you can weaken them by eliminating their power source, refinery, or weapons base. To win the game you must place your nuclear or ion beacon in their base and obliterate them. This is not easy by any means, each base is heavily guarded with a strong self-defense system. Now that you know your goal, how can you accomplish it? Just like the original Command and Conquer series, you need resources to buy weapons and vehicles. So be sure to protect your harvesters. For weaponry you have your typical automatic machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, chain guns etc. There are a couple unique and powerful guns as well like chem sprayers and electric shock guns. Not to mention the typical explosives, grenades and launchers as well. The fun part is the vehicles you can use. You have heavy and light tanks, flame throwing tanks, stealth tanks, hover crafts, helicopters and armored cars.

This game offers room for customization. It looks like it will have MOD support, so keep an eye out for enhancements to come. When setting up multiplayer games you can set options for friendly fire, repairing buildings, weapon spawning, as well as victory conditions. The demo has only one map available C&C_undermix. When configuring your settings you can choose your video and sound driver, performance and graphics detail level as well as the control and character skins. There are so many skins to choose from. There are scientist, women, heavily armored, chem warrior and black hand skins. There is so much to tweak and with MOD support the fun will never end!

From a Christian Standpoint, this is a war game so there is violence. However there is no blood and gore, and when you die there\'s a funny boink sound. It\'s pretty light hearted. There is online multiplayer game play, so you\'ll be able to play against live people. You never know how rude or polite people will be, so I like how they implemented a swearing filter. If you don\'t like rough language you can turn it off. Most of the player skins are pretty clean. There was one rough looking female skin. She had tattoos and a flattering tube top. On a side note there are obelisks in the game.

The game is easy to install, it comes with Game Spy Arcade, which is good to have. The graphics are good; the player and vehicle detail is great. I wasn\'t impressed with the scenery or environment detail. Then again I only had one map to judge this on. The sound effects were good. I love the boink sound when someone dies. The weapon and vehicle sound effects were great, but the demo didn\'t have any background music. The game ran well in Windows 2000 no complaints, very stable. There is a patch for the demo that will help with the networking set up. For controls, you use the standard WASD for movement, and E to use items. The game play was phenomenal! A very original idea, and I am definately going to buy this game!

Final Ratings

Appropriate B Game Play A+ Graphics B+ Interface A Sound B+ Stability A-

Overall 90% A-

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System Requirements
OS: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux, MacOS 9.2 CPU: 400mhz, 500Mhz for Mac RAM: 128 MB HDD: 800MB VIDEO: 16MB Direct X 8 compatible card with Open GL support SOUND: 16 bit Direct X 8 compatible sound card Age: Mature

It's 1943 and nearing the end of World War II. The Third Reich are getting desperate to win and will try anything. They are dabbling with the occult to try and resurrect and evil knight. They are also genetically engineering super robot soldiers that have many highly advanced weapons. Finally they are putting attractive, nimble German ladies in leather outfits to stop you. You are a trigger happy US Army Ranger BJ Blazkowicz. You work for the Office of Secret Actions (OSA) and are on a secret mission. You must save the world from the Germans. If you fail, you will be forgotten and disavowed. You are the last hope and must not fail. This will be quite an adventure, so let's get on with the game.

There are seven missions with many parts in them. Some say the single player is short; about ten hours or so. It took me a little longer too with my busy schedule and holidays etc. Some also say the game is too easy. I don't think so as I found the bosses challenging. There are three difficulty settings: Don't Hurt Me, Bring Em On, and I'm Death Incarnate. There are many enemies you will encounter, and the AI is pretty good. For example if you throw a grenade and it still has time, they will throw or kick it back at you. On the other hand I found it amusing watching a general walking and as he fell off a castle wall. The AI is good but not perfect. You will encounter many dangerous enemies along the way. You will face German officers of all ranks and sizes. Some are genetically engineered and others will be female commandos. Even your average soldier will be wielding powerful or specialized weapons. Scientists and their creations will attack you as well. There are levels where you will even fight the undead.

The bosses are pretty tough in my opinion. Some bosses include Helga Von Bulow (even the name sounds tough), The Ultimate Soldier, and the Evil Lord Knight. Some say the Ultimate Soldier is tougher than the last boss. In my opinion they are all strong and shouldn't be underestimated. Given the enemies you have to face, let's look at the weapons available to you. There are pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles (the one with night vision rocks!), chain guns, grenades, dynamite, panzerfausts (rocket launcher), shock guns, and my favorite the flame thrower. The flame thrower is especially effective against the undead. Even though you have all these weapons available to you, you can't just go running around shooting everything in sight. Some missions require stealth and you can't sound alarms, plus if you shoot a civilian you fail your mission. Multiplayer handles weapons differently than single player. For example you can't wield more than one heavy gun. Also big guns have delays during firing and will slow you down.

Multiplayer is what Wolfenstein is all about. You will need many people to take full advantage of this game. In other words this is the ultimate LAN party game. There are seven maps shipped with the game. With each map there are several objectives to complete within a certain time to win. You can be the Axis (Germans) or Allies (USA), each have similar units with special abilities. There are soldiers (weaponry), engineers (break in, explosives, repair), medics (heal), and lieutenants (ammo, air strikes).

Here is a break down of the maps and objectives.

* Beach Invasion-You must invade or protect an Axis compound. To do this the sea wall must be breached. You then have steal or protect the top secret documents and transmit them. Or if you are Axis, prevent them from being transmitted. Finally an optional objective is to claim the compound and raise your flag.

* Depot-The Axis and Allies face off in an abandoned depot. There's an anti-aircraft gun and field operations area at stake. Both have to be protected or destroyed. The same goes for the East and West gate. There's also the optional objective of capturing the area and raising your flag.

* Village-In this map you must escape with the gold treasure or prevent it from being looted from the crypt. It then must be taken to the Allies truck, or prevented from getting there.

* Das Boot-The Axis have a submarine to protect from getting blown up. The allies must destroy it while a path needs to get cleared for it. There's the optional objective of claiming the central access room.

* Communique-The Axis are trying to transmit a top secret message and the Allies are to stop them by destroying the North and South radars. Assault-The Allies took a communications tower and must prevent theAxis from advancing or breaking in through a hatch. The Allies must keep their flag there and keep ownership.

* Castle-The Allies must infiltrate an Axis castle, get an Obelisk from a coffin and escape with it...alive. You have to blow up a couple gates along the way. The Axis of course must prevent this from happening.

From a Christian Standpoint, this game has a few issues. There is violence, but it's not really gory unless you blow someone up with a rocket or grenade. There is some swearing and occultisms. After all they are trying to resurrect the Dark Knight. The multiplayer test did not have any swastikas in it, but the final game is loaded with them. I don't understand why they are needed, this is not depicting actual history. It's a game. Some may be offended by this. Finally some of the females need more clothes. I know there are some in leather, but worse yet some are prancing around in bra and underwear. Funny how all the men are fully dressed at all times.

The game is easy to install in both Windows and Linux. The single player portion only works in Windows though. The graphics are amazing! The maps and characters are very detailed. The graphics were very smooth too, no choppiness whatsoever. The sound effects and music were good as well. Nice voice acting, the soldiers even had their own conversations going on! There was nice background music. Sometimes the soldiers were listening to the radio or Beethoven. Very well done. You may have difficulty with the game in Linux if you use ALSA for your sound system.

The game ran pretty stable but crashed to my desktop once or twice. The controls are your standard WASD and mouse. The interface was easy to use and get around. There are two executables, one for single player and one for multiplayer. Like I said earlier this is the ultimate multiplayer game, I highly recommend it for that reason. The game is a little expensive if you are looking for a single player, since it is a little short. Even though I highly recommend the game, I don't recommend it for kids due to the violence, swearing and lack of clothing etc.

Final Ratings

Appropriate D- Game Play A Graphics A+ Interface A Sound A Stability B

Overall B-

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System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Minimum Intel Pentium? 233 or AMD K6-2 32 MB RAM 400 MB HD Space 2x CD ROM Drive SVGA, high-color (16-bit) Win-compatible Soundcard 32-bit Internet service provider with 28.8+ modem or LAN
Preferred Intel Pentium? 233 or AMD K6-2 48 MB RAM 3D Accelerator card (OpenGL or Direct 3D)

\'Opposing Force\', the first expansion for \'Half-Life\' has new creatures, new weapons, new areas of the Black Mesa Facility, and the same heart pumping, adrenaline action as the original. This game continues and expands on what made Half-Life great. \'Opposing Force\' comes in a stand-alone package, or you get it automatically when you buy \'Blue Shift\', the 2nd expansion pack. I highly recommend getting the \'Blue Shift\' package. You get the 2 expansion packs PLUS the High-Definition Pack. This pack updates all creatures and weapons (from the entire Half-Life Series) with higher polygon counts to make them look better than ever.

Story

This time around, you are Adrian Shephard, one of the marines sent in to find Gordon Freeman. Your mission takes a different turn when the facility is suddenly overtaken by aliens. You have a new mission. Get out alive. In your mission, you will make your way through areas of Black Mesa not in the previous game. You will encounter brand new creatures. And obtain some new and quite powerful weapons. You will also have some puzzles to solve.

Gameplay

If you\'ve played Half-Life and liked it, you will certainly like Opposing Force. The game has expanded on what made Half-Life so good. You are still winding your way through the Black Mesa facility, fighting against some fairly strange looking creatures. You\'ll be using your MP-5 with grenade launcher quite a bit, but will find a new set of weapons (some alien-oriented) to use. I found the new weapons and creatures to be a nice addition. It\'s a first person shooter, but, what has made the series so great is the way they make you feel a part of the environment. The sounds. The sights. You feel like you are really there. You will come across puzzles on your journey. The puzzles range from fairly simple, to more complex. They are typically of the \'how do I open a door\' or \'how do I get from point A to point B\' variety. Remember the Barnacles from Half-Life? They are the aliens with the long tongue hanging from the ceilings? This time around, you will find a helpful item in the game that\'s a Barnacle you can use. I won\'t give away its use, but it is needed to solve some of the puzzles.

Graphics

I have only played this using the High-Definition pack (explained above), so I don\'t know what the regular graphics look like. The graphics are somewhat dated but I am still very impressed with them. The pulsating and rippling look of the creatures continues to amaze me. Several times you will have co-operative missions with other Marines. These guys look pretty good too. By 2002 standards, the lighting effects and faces probably have the most dated look. Water effects are very limited. Because of these, the graphics rating is knocked down a bit. But overall, the graphics are very pleasing and believable.

Sound

The sound is a mixed-bag. I really enjoy hearing the sound of a creature around the corner before actually spotting it. Your character\'s sounds are also very well done (the sounds of your footsteps, reloading of weapons, and the firing of weapons). Where the sound can sometimes be a problem is when a character is talking to you. Sometimes the voice was too quiet or it was getting masked out by another sound in the room. The sound of a door closing could make me miss a key word or phrase someone was saying. I would have to go back to my last save point and re-listen to what was said.

Stability

The game ran great on WinXP. Only once did I have a problem. I had a save point that kept crashing on me when I\'d reload. This happened about three times in a row. I finally rebooted my machine and never had another problem.

InterfaceThe interface is quite simple and easy to use. There is a heads-up display (HUD) with all you need to know (health and ammo, essentially).

Christian Perspective

The game involves a lot of shooting and killing (both aliens and humans). There is also blood splatter when you make a hit. The blood can be easily turned off in the Parental Controls option. I should note, I don\'t actually consider the game to be a strictly all-shooter game. The game is full of puzzles which are sometimes tough enough to give you a good gratifying feeling when you have figured them out. Unfortunately, the language does get quite rough at times. More so than either Half-Life or Blue Shift.

Longevity

The game has a lot of life. There are user-created levels you can download as well as a multi-player aspect.

Final Analysis

No doubt the game has some terrific game play. The graphics are a bit dated, but still hold up well. I was disappointed to hear some fairly strong language this time around. The heavy violence may be an issue for some. With the ability to turn off the blood, the game becomes much cleaner. I know there are much more violent games available, but some of the scenes are still a bit gruesome.

Final Ratings

Game play: A+ Graphics: B+ Sound: A- Stability: A Interface: A Christian Perspective: D

Overall: 90%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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