Forced Alliance: The Glarious Mandate

Ripcord’s Forced Alliance: The Glarious Mandate attempts to capture the drama and excitement of space combat sims. It is set in a future where humanity is battling two alien foes, the Voraptoid and the Marauders. You start the game as a cadet pilot in the Stellar Aviation Combat School and must work your way up the ranks. As you progress, you’ll find yourself involved in a plot full of intrigue and mystery. The amount of freedom you have in missions is considerable as you can choose how the mission (and the game itself) will unfold.

3_1Unfortunately, the overall effort is crippled by poor graphics, game crashing bugs, and disappointing gameplay. Considering the game has support for 3Dfx cards (albeit very temperamental support), the graphics are astonishingly bad. The engine feels like it might have been state-of-the-art during the mid 1990s, and at times seems more VGA than SVGA. Ships and fighters are an eclectic amalgamation of Wing Commander, Star Trek and Babylon 5 styles, but the game is so dark and murky, it’s hard to discern the details on any of them.

Graphics can be forgiven, but gameplay can’t. Space combat basically comes down to chaotic battles that are so close-in that dogfighting is relatively pointless. The computer-controlled ships will often pound the daylights out of you before you even get a chance to engage them.

Then there are the bugs and other quirks that ruin the game. On two different machines, the game would suddenly shut down as a mission ended. Or there are times when you watch your wingmen fly through solid objects, such as space stations. By then, you quickly get the feeling Forced Alliance isn’t the only thing forced in this title.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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