April 12, 2017

Planetary Annihilation

Tags: A Gamedev Plays

This post is from the now defunct website “A GameDev Plays…”, copied here for posterity

Want to smash planets together? Fire mega-lasers? Generally bring destruction to your enemies? Planetary Annihilation has all this and more, lots more, maybe too much more.

This is an ambitious attempt at breathing life into the RTS genre from a few years ago. However, the result is a bit of a mess despite being quite interesting. The tactical gameplay seems to be standard - build up a powerful military force and send it against your opponent before they can do the same. The faster you can manage this the better. The game innovates in the battlefield layout. It is played on on spherical planets (quite beautifully rendered) that you can rotate the camera around. Sometimes there are even multiple planets. To facilitate battles there are a myriad of options and units. Vehicles, bots, aircraft, sea ships, orbital ships, space ships plus factories and installations. It is even possible to build a giant Deathstar-like laser. The complexity overwhelms and there is little guide on how it is used. Many times I found myself pausing the game to look up online how to use the special feature of a unit. Games run from 10 minutes to over 2 hours! This game is just too much, and not well explained.

Planetary Annihilation is out on the Steam store for PC, Mac and Linux at US$29.99. It has been bundled many times.