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System Requirements A Pentium III PC, or better Windows 98, ME, 2000 or XP DirectX version 8 or later (this is included on the Laser Squad Nemesis CD) 64Mb of memory 40Mb hard disk space An email account and Internet connection for online play
Laser Squad Nemesis is a turn-based strategy game made by the creators of X-Com. There are four races you can choose from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. You can play as the marines, machinas, spawn or greys (big eyed aliens). When you start the game there are force points that you use to build up your army. Each unit has a different cost to deploy them. Once you?ve spent all your force points it?s time to begin.

What do I do?

Since this is a turn-based game you have to plan your attack, order your units, test your orders (optional), and then confirm them. You only have ten seconds per round so make them count. Once you have confirmed your orders, the game then processes them and the computer or live opponent takes their turn. There are two types of game modes: Wipeout or HQ. In wipeout, you have to render the enemy defenseless and in HQ mode you have to destroy ALL of their headquarters in order to win. Each game has turn limits so make sure every move you make counts. Because there is a lot of processing or waiting during play, games usually take a while to complete. When playing someone online you will get notified via e-mail when they take their turn, so you can be playing the same game for about a month.

How do I fight?

There are many types of orders you can send to your units. You can have them be aggressive or hold their fire. You can also attack terrain since many map areas are destructible. Some units are better for scouting while others have lots of firepower. The Head Quarters for a few species can replenish ammunition when you are running low.

Single Player

When you purchase the game for $19.95 it comes with twenty campaign missions and three months of online play. There are five missions per race and the missions unlock as you complete them in order. There are three difficulty levels: Rookie, Veteran, and Elite. For those who like to make maps will enjoy the map designer.

Online Play

Subscriptions cost $9.95 for one month, $19,95 for three months, $29.95 for 6 months or $49.95 for a year. You can get a free month of play by referring a friend. This is called a bounty. When setting up a game you can specify the amount of Force Points (15,20,25,30), the number of turns (20,30,40,50) and a time limit (5,15,30,60 days). With a subscription you can play people online, there were a few games to choose from when I looked. The people seem friendly and the forums are pretty active.

Game Play (18/20)

This game is quite fun and very addicting. The campaign missions are challenging and will get you thinking. The only downside is the amount of time it takes to process a move. Onlien play is optional and not required which is another plus.

Graphics (7/10)

The graphics in this game are not 3D though they say they are. You can turn off the walls and look at the maps from a flat perspective. So no need to have a high powered video card for this game.

Sound (7/10)

The sound effects are decent but nothing spectacular. Each unit and species makes it own noise. There is no background music or voice acting.

Stability (5/5)

This game ran great with no lock ups. The online mode works great, you can access your move via e-mail or through the website.

Controls (4/5)

The controls take a little getting used to but they are pretty easy once you get past the learning curve. Make sure you read the manual so you know what special abilities each unit has and how to use it!

Appropriateness

Violence/Gore (4/10)
There is violence and but it?s mostly fictional characters and it?s in self defense. The spawn race eats corpses in order to lay eggs. There is no blood. Some creatures blow up when they die and the marines groan when they perish.
Swearing (6/10)
One of the campaign maps has a swear word in the name, I doubt it involves female dogs. Since there is no voice acting, there is text before you start a campaign mission. I didn?t notice any swearing in that. Like all online games, your experience may vary.
Sexual Dialogue/Innuendos 10/10
There is no sexual content in this game whatsoever.
Occult/Supernatural 10/10
There is no magic or super natural content in this game.
Cultural/Moral/Ethical 10/10
There is no authority or prejudice issues in this game. Each race is just trying to survive.

Overall Score 81%

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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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