Liberation Day

8Not that many people are familiar with Fallen Haven, but apparently it was interesting enough for the folks at I-Magic to create this indirect sequel of sorts. Liberation Day is a refined version of the same game featuring new battles and units, new multi-player features, and new bugs. Still, most of the problems of the original have been fixed, though some of the more interesting elements have been eliminated along the way. The result is a game that is a bit dated and clumsy at times, but provides an effective alternative to the average glut of C&C real-time games.

Liberation Day shares a multitude of revamped features with the original. New unit types grace the terrain in the form of grenadiers, hover craft, naval support ships, and many others. The campaign covers four progressively difficult continents, with several scenarios to complete in each one. The research aspect has been all but eliminated, superseded by technology upgrades obtained from capturing tech centers during your conquests. An extensive selection of skirmish maps is also available.

While many of the improvements breathe new life into Liberation Day, too many irritating facets remain ignored. A list of omitted features includes morale, combat bonuses from facing, and a random mission generator or mission designer. Music in the game sounds lifeless and repetitive. Crude ambient sounds and combat noises fill the air with an embarrassing display of sound quality regression. The multiple second delay before a unit responds to your directive is undeniably baffling, since turn-based games have no real justification for suffering lag other than bad programming architecture.

3As usual, Interactive Magic has left a bunch of bugs for us to enjoy. Most of the bugs and glitches don’t render the game unplayable, but they have a tendency to strike at the most inopportune moments. In certain instances, roads built and then removed can’t be rebuilt in their original location. Ever. Grouped units sometimes remain stationary while their movement points dwindle to reflect a phantom march they never really initiated. Saving can also take up on ungodly amount of time on older systems, which you’ll probably require since the game is picky when trying to run on any newer OS.

In the end, the strategic side of Liberation Day is good enough to keep it from sinking – a sign that the designers had some idea what they were doing – but the programming underneath it all is a completely hit-and-miss kind of experience.

System Requirements: Pentium 75 MHz, 8 MB RAM, Win95

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