Game Info:

Left Behind 3 – Rise of the Antichrist
Developed By: Left Behind Games
Published By: Left Behind Games
Release Date: October 25th, 2010
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
ESRB Rating: Teen
MSRP: $30.00

Thank you Left Behind Games for sending us this game to review!

Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist is a slightly revamped combination of Eternal Forces and Tribulation Forces.  There are 46 missions divided into two chapters: Rayford and Buck, and Buck and Chloe.  Although the missions are pretty much the same, they now have video clips with low budget actors and special effects.  The Carpathia actor was pretty good but the rest made me wonder if studio employees were being used to play the parts of Rayford, Buck, and Chloe. The green lining behind them was also a dead giveaway that this is a low budget title.

Since this title is pretty much a rehash, the gameplay remains unchanged.  It’s still a strategy game and you will be playing as the Tribulation Force as well as the American Militia. You start each level with primary objectives that you have to complete in order to progress to the next level/mission. There may also be secondary objectives that can give you a bonus if you complete those too.


Strong Points: Nice music.
Weak Points: Bland graphics; recycled missions from previous games.
Moral Warnings: Some violence but tame for an RTS

Some missions let you choose between multiple spots to set up a base.  The next objectives will be determined by where you establish your base.  Another level has you decide which hero you will send to aid the American Militia.  If you send Buck you will have to stop some demons, but if you send Chloe, you'll have to set up a clinic and heal wounded soldiers.

Like many RTS games, you have to gather resources such as money, food, and housing.  One of the unique features of this game is the spirit points.  Everyone but the hero units have spirit points, which affects their role.  People are considered friends, neutral, or enemies.  A disciple can easily convert neutral units.  If one of your friends’ spirit level drops too low they will become neutral again.  You can convert enemies by raising their spirit points.  To raise your spirit points you have to pray, or if you’re playing as the enemy, the equivalent is cussing (no you really don’t hear what they’re saying).  Singing is a power that both good and evil units will use to boost/lower points of surrounding units.  Many missions will use this spiritual warfare in lieu of combat.  In fact combat has a drastic effect on your spiritual points, so soul winning is definitely preferred.  Many characters appear in this game as heroes.  If their spirit points drop too low, you will lose the mission.

There are many different positions for your newly recruited friends to fill.  They all require training and there are a few roles that are gender specific.  You can train your friends to become builders, recruiters, musicians, medics, and soldiers.  Each of these positions has higher levels to train to, thus allowing your units to works faster and become more efficient.  One annoyance with the graphics is that all the units of a particular group look alike.  One nifty feature is that each person has a life story that you can read if you’re inclined to.  When it comes to combat there are turrets, humvees, helicopters, and tanks at your disposal. However, you need the proper facilities to create and deploy these units and there are more than humans that attack you.  Evil spirits will wreak havoc on any nearby person so stay alert!

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Game Play 12/20 
Graphics 7/10 
Sound 8/10 
Stability 3/5 
Controls 4/5 

Morality Score - 95%
Violence: 6/10
Language: 10/10
Sexual Content: 10/10
Occult/Supernatural: 10/10 
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 11.5/10
-1.5 for stereotypical biases
+3 for delivering good moral lessons

Rise of the Antichrist promised better graphics, but I feel deceived.  I didn’t notice any improved textures. The maps are still a bit bland color wise, but I understand that this isn’t a happy time to live in either.  The character models are all the same as far as I can tell.  There have been some enhancements such as vehicles changing their appearance when they take damage.  The maps are better lit and the streets are wider, but you can still cause traffic jams with your army tanks.

Nothing has changed on the sound scene.  The voice acting is good and while you are waiting for your game to load, the story is narrated for you by two different voice actors.  I recognized one as Christian radio’s Chris Fabry.  The sound track is the exact same as the original games; there are no new tracks added.  It’s still pleasant to listen to as Chance Thomas did a good job.  If you like the soundtrack, you can buy it from iTunes.  They have some samples here.

The game interface has had some major improvements from the original Left Behind.  These improvements have been implemented in the expansion and have been incorporated into this one as well.  There is a turbo button, which can make sending units to a site go by much faster.  There are also new short cut buttons that allow you to select units and with the click of a button send them to the closest church, training center or clinic.  These enhancements are definitely helpful.

Although I did not experience any game crashes, I did encounter some game design issues.  Getting a builder to place a turret where you want it can take multiple tries and I didn’t see any acknowledgement that they got the command to build it.  And the mission’s triggers aren't very precise; if you build something where it does not expect you to, your mission will not progress.

While this game encourages peaceful missions, when you are playing as the American Militia there is no way to convert enemy units, so you have to kill them.  The Tribulation Force prefers spiritual warfare and your group will lose spirit points if things have to end in violence.  One thing I thought was peculiar was that the American Militia recruiter would only recruit men.

If you want to recruit your friends to play along with you there are some keys you can hand out to them to play online with you for free.  I didn’t see any games to join.

For those who already own the second game there really isn’t enough to warrant paying for the same missions again with cheesy videos attached to them.  If you want to try the series forget the original and pick up this one, though.  I still wish they would have offered an option to set the difficulty level; instead they allow you to play any mission you want without keeping track of where you left off.  Overall, I think the developers took too many shortcuts with Rise of the Antichrist, and may risk leaving many fans behind as well.


About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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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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