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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
PlayStation 2
3DO Company, The
Pandemic Studios
GENRE: Strategy
March 27, 2002
Army Men RTS

Army Men: Operation Green

Portal Runner

Army Men Advance

Army Men: Sarge's Heroes

More in this Series
 Written by John Scalzo  on January 28, 2002

First Impressions: I love the smell of burning plastic in the morning.

In four short years there have been more Army Men games than most normal people can keep up with. There have been 30 games in the series released for every conceivable platform. In a year or two they'll be able to challenge the great Mega Man, who has 38 games under his blue belt going back to the NES. Unfortunately, unlike the blue bomber, reviewers have not been kind to the Army Men series. And I think that all stems from the fact that the Army Men games have never been a real time strategy game. Let's face it, when you were a kid, you had armies of those things going at it, not just one guy.

3DO has finally listened to the masses out there and begin production on Army Men RTS (RTS for real time strategy). Total lack of title creativity aside, 3DO just might be on to something here. For the first time, 3DO has contracted development of the game out to a different company. Pandemic Studios has never ventured into the console world before, but they are veterans of the PC real time strategy arena with Dark Reign 2 and Battlezone II, both well reviewed games.

I'll leave the Army Men as a racist metaphor jokes to the other writers out there and just say that the Tan Army still gets no love in the Army Men universe. You control the Green Army in true Warcraft/Command & Conquer/Starcraft fashion as you fight through their take on Apocalypse Now. The big green himself, Sarge, still leads the Green Army into their battleground. Instead of a Vietnamese jungle, you're venturing into the suburban jungle of a house, looking for the rogue Colonel Blitz. And by the way, if he starts mumbling incoherently when you find him like Marlon Brando did, I'm chucking this game across the room.

Army Men RTS will feature a lot of the conventions of your typical real time strategy game. You will have to manage your troops, gather resources (in this case plastic from toys) build barracks and other armaments, and completing your mission objectives. Army Men RTS also gives new meaning to word "recycle" as your fallen comrades can be melted down to become a tank for example.

The game is split up into four different modes as you traverse the house (which prominently features a PS2) in your search for the Colonel. A training mode will explain the how's in how to effectively melt down that Tan Army without the help of a magnifying glass (and here's hoping maybe with one). There is of course your mission, if you choose to accept, to take down Colonel Blitz. The house is split into 15 levels and how good you perform in those levels will open up new missions in the hidden modes, Great Battles and Special Operations.

Final Thoughts
Army Men RTS looks great and barring any massive gameplay problems, I don't see how 3DO can botch this one. I'm really looking forward to giving Army Men RTS a go and come March I should get my wish.

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