As if being based on a mediocre movie wasn’t bad enough, Alexander the real-time strategy game also seems to suffer from a bad case of rushed production. However you look at it, the game isn’t that good – where it’s not utterly broken, it’s unoriginal. in the few moments where it does offer passable enjoyment, you can’t help but feel that you could be spending time playing better strategy games.
The game feels like a seriously dumbed down version of American Conquest. Alexander will carve out his empire over the course of 16 linear missions that play like a checklist for stock RTS design – build up your base, collect resources, amass an army, destroy the enemy. Occasionally you get to do other things like searching for relics or defend towns.
Alexander attempts to fix a problem that was never that serious to begin with in RTS games – limited unit production ques. In almost all strategy games you could add but a limited number of men to be trained at your barracks, stables or what have you. When these guys died, you had to jump back to your town and click another twenty times to get the next batch of reinforcements to finish the job. Alexander changes this by adding an On/Off switch to unit producing buildings, which cuts out some frantic clicking but adds a greater problem in the long run.
Since there’s no way to queue up limited productions, you have to constantly monitor your town and keep mental notes of which unit generator is turned on. The only problem is that it’s easy to get distracted, by say fighting, and it won’t take long until you forget about unit production and eventually find that you have a huge army of workers you don’t really need.
The majority of levels require you to either roam around massive maps and skirmish with pockets of enemy resistance, or squint at your monitor as hundreds of miniscule troops run around the level unresponsively. Where games like Rome: Total War have some organization to the chaos, here it’s just a messy pixel war. The interface makes unit management a hassle. Neither workers nor troops don’t always follow orders and getting them exactly where you want them is an exercise of patience.
System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 256 MB RAM, WinXP
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