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"The units themselves arenít to bad, but they are very blocky and in that sense quite ugly."





TS uses voxels to produce its landscapes yet as I had suspected before it arrived, it really doesnít do anything for the game. All those benefits Westwood mentioned like Deformable terrain and large amounts of units can be done on all PCís without voxels anyway. Westwood doesnít even use things like Deformable terrain nearly as much as it could have; in fact for the most part when it does use it, itís very poor looking. Units move extremely badly, even in C&C and Red Alert they turned around smoothly but in TS they just jerk around like frame-by-frame and cast little shadows over the landscape as they did in Red Alert. You may notice Iím making a lot of revelations towards Red Alert, for the simply reason that TS should have been better than a much older game. As for those HUGE explosions you saw in early TS shots, they donít exist and I think itís false advertising to put them on the back of the box like that. Instead you get the usual little phut phut spots of fire and little clouds of smoke, nothing new.

The units themselves arenít to bad, but they are very blocky and in that sense quite ugly. The Infantry and smaller robots are the only ones that look any deal more realistic over what has gone before, the rest are just plain poor (no doubt due to voxels). The actual look of the maps graphically varies. The best ones are where your hit by an Ion Storm and all of a sudden the whole game turns into something original while you hurry to avoid huge lightning bolts that wipe out units by the dozen and at the same time you have to eliminate any threats or guard a ship, it changes the whole atmosphere. Next to those occasional glimpses of something original, the landscapes remain fairly familiar. They are without a doubt better looking than in the previous series, yet they are not better looking than clones such as Dark Reign and TA. Hardly ahead of its class, yet still worth playing. Perhaps the best point out of all of this is that TS will play on even the slowest of systems at a fairly good speed, on the whole though itís just nothing new.

As for sound, again itís just like a set of re-mastered sounds from the original games. TA remains the RTS C&C clone with the strongest sounds and TS comes in a far second with its phut phuts and click clonks rather than BOOM BOOMs! The quality is strong, however the unit sounds lack the ability to give you the feeling that youíre really firing a powerful weapon. The Rail gun is the only weapon that actually sounds truly dangerous in that respect, oh and it is. However sound is used very well, I saw no problems in that department. As for music, it sounded a little ĎMIDI synthesisedí, if you know what I mean. TS would have benefited from some orchestral music made for war films rather than a re-done group of tunes from the original C&C that by modern day standards just donít cut the mustard, still good though.

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