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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004


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Ups: Voxel graphics are nice if you don't have 3D card. Simple controls.
Downs: What are you doing without a 3D card? Controls too simple, limited gameplay. 
System Reqs:Win95 or 98
Pentium 100 (P200 recommended),32MB RAM, DirectX compatible video and sound (4MB video card recommended), 4x CD-ROM or faster
tb1.gif (5567 bytes)Have you ever had a pogo stick? For Easter one year, my parents gave me one, and I was pretty excited. I thought it was the best thing ever. I took it out to the driveway, hopped five times, and found out why I never saw anyone using one. Thunder Brigade is a lot like that old pogo stick; though it looks like it might be fun, it lacks a certain something to hold a player’s interest.

Thunder Brigade is the story of the struggle of the United Systems against the Halon Empire and the Earth Alliance. Through the 3D view of a Battlezone-like hovertank, you play mission after mission, defeating first the evil Halons, then the not-much-less evil Earth Alliance.

tb2.gif (5571 bytes)Thunder Brigade does have some nice points, mostly its simple controls and smooth graphics. The simple controls definitely add to the action-oriented feel of the game. A player can jump right in, learn two or three simple movement commands, and start playing. Thunder Brigade also uses a system of "voxel" graphics, which generate 3D-looking graphics without requiring a 3D graphics card. The one big advantage to voxel graphics is that objects get more detailed as you move closer. This differs from most 3D accelerated games, in which graphics tend to become blockier at close range. But voxel graphics still can’t compete with acceleration; going from Battlezone’s graphics to Thunder Brigade’s is like going from Guiness to O’Douls.

The biggest problem with Thunder Brigade is that it doesn’t have anything special to hold a player’s interest. The levels are slow, and much of your time is spent driving from waypoint to waypoint. And the simple controls, for all their efficiency, leave little room for interesting weapons or extras. Perhaps the worst thing about the game is that it’s incredibly one-dimensional. The player is dropped in a mission, and expected to either destroy everything in sight or destroy just a single specified object. The multiplayer mode is certainly no better, as it revolves around simple shoot-em-up mission objectives that are fun, but not for very long.

tb3.gif (5497 bytes)Thunder Brigade is a game I would recommend to someone interested in decent graphics, simple controls, and shallow gameplay. Like, say, chipmunks. For the rest of you, who have become used to games with varied weapons, interesting missions, and a variety of objectives--in other words, which involve more than moving and shooting--I say steer clear.

--David Korus