Shattered Union

Format: Xbox
2K Games

5 026555 242493
Age Restrictions: 12+
28 October 2005

Following a great increase in terrorism, internal strife, and ultimately, the nuclear destruction of Washington, D.C., the United States shatters into a half-dozen nation-states that descend into war. Take the helm of one of these new-found sovereignties (or the "peacekeeping" European Expeditionary Force) and struggle to reunify America. by any means necessary...

Shattered Union is a near future turn-based strategy game that is atop the smouldering ruins of a fictional United States torn apart by civil war. Gamers can play through a single player campaign to reunite the country by force or online in one-on-one matches.

The biggest problem is that this is not an easy game to pick up and play. You can either trawl through the booklet, or sit and watch the very long and complicated video tutorials - both of which are enough to send most people to sleep. With a game like this an interactive tutorial is a necessity to ease the player into the action.

Also, looking at the map it's not overly easy to work out which vehicles are yours and which are the enemy's. You have to highlight each unit and if their outline turns blue you know they are yours (if it turns red then it's the enemy). It's also not possible, at a glance, to see which of your units has still to be given orders and which have already had their turn.

As is usual for this style of game, it's more challenging, not to mention fun, to play against a friend than it is against the computer. The game's online facility is also worth exploring - once you've got up to speed with the gameplay.

The graphics and sounds is slightly above average for this style of game, but nothing that special.

Those that enjoy long and drawn out turn-based strategy games, where you can spend hours planning your opponents defeat, will no doubt love this game. But for those who prefer the faster paced combat simulators (Command & Conquer fans, for example) this probably will be a little too slow and cumbersome. Sadly, this game isn't what it could have been.

Nick Smithson

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