Perimeter Review (PC)

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Real Time strategy Games are quite popular these days. Unfortunately, there is a scarcity of Science Fiction theme Games using this type of game style, so when a new game appears, I always look forward to it. The latest such game along these lines is Perimeter, a game that boasts that it is real time strategy reborn. The story is complex, in the future, mankind must travel to a new home through a series of dimensional interfaces and establish itself. Of course, mankind has a number of factions, and there is a nasty race, they evolves based on human thought, into all sorts of fantastic creatures.

The first thing you notice about this game is its a DVD, not a CD Rom, so it is a resource hog. The game includes a rule book that explains the game fairly well, and it includes a tutorial to aid in learning the game. When you arrive in each Dimension, the objective is to get the interface operational, and the only way to do that is to set up a command base, and power it up. While this may sound easy, its actually more complex than is first realized. You begin with the frame, which holds your community, and must be defended, or you will be wiped out. The most import defense is the shield, called 'Perimeter' which can repel any attack, but cannot remain in continuous operation. To power up your defense, you need to construct buildings and equipment, but this can only be done on flat terrain. Since most of the terrain isn't flat, you will spend a good portion of your time terra forming.

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While you are setting your defenses, so too is your enemies, and you can disrupt his defenses, just as he can yours, by raiding and attacking the building and terra forming that is going on. You must determine just where to terra form, and how much space you have, and operate accordingly. You build your energy cores, which link together to form the power grid for your faction. Once you have a grid of power, you will add a command center, soldier plant, to provide soldiers, officer plant for officers, technician plant for technos, and several different laboratories which provide different abilities to your fighting forces.

For variety, there are different missions in the game, which provide different tactical problems for the players. Oddly, you play different factions in each mission, which begins with a cut scene and a mission briefing. The missions include search and destroy operations, technical mission such as breaking the enemies power grid, bug hunts, and the like. Following the plot can be a bit confusing, since you play different groups, this could have been done a little better.

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Like many such games, the AI in this one is limited in effectiveness. It can determine weak points fairly well, but it rarely builds a different array of units, it usually concentrates on certain types, and once you understand how to set a basic defense, you should be fairly secure from attack. This is not to say that the game is easy, it just seems somewhat repetitive, as the AI really only attacks a certain way.

The graphics in this game are superb, it is one of the most visually appealing games yet seen. The action is well done, and the bases and defenses look quite spectacular. This is a game that will really tax your video card, and a higher end processor is really needed, I played it on a Athlon 2500+ and it performed well, but it was not as smooth on a lower end system. The sound effects are nice, standard sci-fi sounds, and the musical score is well done.

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Overall, this is a very beautiful game to look at, and is fun to play. The game play is decent, but could be better, but it just looks so damned good, its hard to put down. Fans of real time strategy won't be disappointed by this effort, its worth it, even if you are only a casual science fiction fan.

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