Uprising: Join or Die

Set against a far-future background of galactic war, Uprising challenges you to claim territory, build bases, and command military units — much the way you would in a real-time strategy game — but it has you doing all of those things from the cockpit of a heavily armed super-tank, putting you in the middle of the action.

8Not surprisingly, developer Cyclone had to simplify the real-time strategy element to make Uprising work. You can’t build a base just anywhere, and you won’t be choosing from a menu of 50 different military units. Instead, you roam the hills and valleys of the game’s attractive battlefields in search of “claim squares,” which look like bunkers of concrete and steel set into the terrain. When your tank is in an unoccupied claim square, you can call in a Citadel, a huge tower crowned by a gun turret that acts as your base of operations.

With a Citadel in place, you’ll be able to buy more structures for your base: a Power Building that mines resources you can exchange for more units and structures; a Barracks for producing infantry; factories for producing fighters, bombers, and tanks; defensive Gun Turrets and SAM Sites; a KSAT Building that lets you call in satellite strikes; and Booster Facilities that improve other units.

The catch is that only a limited number of structures can be placed around each claim square on the map; if you want to build more structures, you’ve got to claim more territory. That means taking your act to ground level — hopping into your Wraith tank and exploring the map. When you come upon an enemy facility, you can call in other troops to help you take it out. Infantry can teleport into the fray with satchel charges that wreak havoc on a structure, and bombers can rain destruction from above. You can also bring in tanks and fighters to distract and destroy enemy defenses.

Naturally, the idea is to wipe the enemy off the map by destroying his bases and building Citadels on every claim square. Of course, the bad guys have infantry, tanks, fighters, bombers, turrets, and satellites of their own to make sure you can’t do that too easily.

12Between missions, there’s an added level of strategy. For each successful battle, you get points you can spend to improve your chances in the next level. You can upgrade your Wraith with a better chassis or new and more powerful weapons; you can raise the quality of support units like infantry, bombers, and turrets; you can even buy extra starting units for the next mission. At the campaign screen, you can also buy a probe or hire a spy to give you more information on the planet you’re about to invade.

If you’ve played Quake or Jedi Knight, you know everything you need to know about controlling Uprising: you look up and down and turn with the mouse; you move back and forth and slide from side to side with the keyboard; and you fire your weapons (guns and missiles) with the two mouse buttons. Distributing power between shields, engine, and weapons is a simple matter of smacking the X key and dragging a red dot around in a triangular box. Good controls and an original premise give this game’s simple but effective edge, making Uprising an interesting action/strategy hybrid.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 100 MB HDD, Win95

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