Day 528: Dark Reign Redux

Posted: 2012/04/21 in Indie Games

(Note: I am not the reviewer in the video)

This review was a no-brainer. “Dark Reign Redux” (DRR) is the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) rendition of Windows real-time strategy (RTS) classic Dark Reign: The Future of War. The game has been lovingly (and successfully, IMO) converted to the Xbox 360 control pad. Major kudos to Activision for allowing something from their back catalogue to be converted by a fan-filled development team.

At 400 Microsoft Points it’s more expensive than your average indie game, but cheaper than purchasing the original game from or one of the other PC digital distribution companies. I used to be sceptical about RTSs on consoles, but Halo Wars showed me that they could be done and could be done well. This is a game that helps further prove it. That’s all the more impressive when one considers that Halo Wars was built from the ground up with the Xbox 360 in mind whereas DRR had to be adapted. Despite XBLIG space constraints, the entire game has been squeezed into a nice Xbox package (complete with the original FMV intro and all visual effects I expected to see).

This is worth supporting even if only because I would love to see more classic games lovingly re-released this way. If you hate every RTS you’ve ever played then this won’t change your mind, but if you’ve enjoyed them (or have yet to play one) then this is a great one to try. And, like any indie game, there’s a free trial so what do you have to lose?

Here’s what the developer (Magnetar Games) has to say about the game:

“Dark Reign Redux is a modern remake of the classic 1997 real-time strategy game Dark Reign: The Future of War. Humans have fled a toxic, dying Earth to live in newly established colonies spread out across the known galaxy. Caught in the middle of an intense battle for power between the Imperium and the Freedom Guard, the Togran race is on the verge of extinction. Only you can change their fate.”

  1. So far I’ve only played the trial, but the control scheme that Magnetar games devised seems to work very well. Most of the console RTSs I’ve played have felt very clumsy. Not so here.

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