Universal Combat: A World Apart - PC

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Combat Game: Space
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: 3000 AD Soft. Co.: 3000 AD
Publishers: DreamCatcher (GB)
Released: Sept 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+


3000 AD’s Battle Cruiser series really came of age last year, with the release of the fifth instalment, Universal Combat. Set in a mind-bogglingly large universe – more than 250 planets to explore, with more than 21,000 areas of interest scattered across them – the game also featured an action-packed playing style which made it accessible to more than just hardcore sci fi combat game fans. The enormity of the universe was matched by the choice of characters and vehicles – there were twelve races to choose from, and combat took place anywhere, on land, sea and in space, from huge pitched battles to small skirmishes and dogfights.

Excitingly, a new chapter now comes to European PCs in the form of Universal Combat: A World Apart. The game gets a real spit and polish, with an all-new online engine facilitating play for up to 32 players. Modes within this include freeform roam, deathmatch, and specific scenarios for co-operative play. The rest of the game gets an overhaul too. Graphically speaking, pretty much everything has been tweaked. You get improved shader based special effects, which makes cloaking, hyperspace and explosion effects a whole lot prettier. Terrain will look better than ever before, and 16 first-person character models are brand new as well. The whole graphical engine has been revised to allow higher resolution and detail on high-end PCs. Gameplay too, gets an overhaul, with all new weapons and improved vehicle handling. The scale of the planets has been tweaked, with some of the particularly boring large expanses taken out but all the detail left in. If you don’t have Universal Combat already, you can buy this new version off the shelf. If you are already a user, you can download the patch to upgrade direct. In this case, although the game features new scenarios and none of the old ones, it will rejig your existing selection of missions so you can play them again using the updated features.

If you’re out to prove you’re the best in the galaxy, Universal Combat: A World Apart is a better place to do that than ever before.

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