Gender Wars combines Origin’s Crusader: No Remorse with the controls and gameplay of Bullfrog’s Syndicate. The subject matter is as ludicrous as the title hints – men and women have decided to go to war with each other, and have been fighting for eons since. It’s also no surprise that the company behind the game, SCi, were responsible for such games as Carmageddon. These guys were clearly trying to be edgelords.
But games like Crusader, Syndicate and even Carmageddon were beloved because, in addition to those stunning visuals and red-hot gameplay, they managed to get all of the details right. The lack of attention to detail is unfortunately what keeps Gender Wars from succeeding. The problems with the game, aside from a number of technical issues, are all gameplay related. The game is mission-based, with primary and secondary objectives delivered to the player before entering the mission. Unfortunately, the missions, in particular the early ones, are too long and don’t allow mid-mission saves.
Other problems include the always problematic AI. It’s pretty stupid, ever for this sort of game. For example, you can walk into many locations, spot the enemy, and blow up everything in the room. The enemy will not attack. Take a step forward, hit the magic square the program has determined when they see you (never mind that you’re standing in a doorway with no cover), and they’ll charge. Your troops aren’t much better, getting lost in every level with their garbage pathfinding.
As it stands, Gender Wars is visually stunning, but lacks playability and polish. It’s not the sort of game that the player will want to load up for one more game. Once you’re over the visual allure, the rest of the game isn’t that pretty.
System Requirements: 80486DX2, 8 MB RAM, Win95
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