Axis & Allies (2004 video game)

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Axis & Allies
Axis & Allies (2004) Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) TimeGate Studios
Publisher(s) Atari, Inc.
Composer(s) Julian Soule[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release November 2, 2004
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Axis & Allies, or Axis & Allies RTS to distinguish itself from the board game of the same name, is a real-time strategy World War II video game developed by TimeGate Studios and published by Atari, Inc.. The game was released on November 2, 2004.[2] It is based on the board game Axis & Allies from Milton Bradley and also on TimeGate's Kohan series. It is set in the years just after Japan and the United States had entered into the war.

The game incorporates two gameplay modes: real-time strategy and turn-based strategy modes. However, turn-based gameplay is only present in WWII mode, and thus gameplay is mainly focused on the real-time strategy genre.

Gameplay[edit]

Axis & Allies allows the player to assume the role of a military general of one of the five superpowers of World War II: the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and Japan.[3][4] Each of the five nations is able to deploy military units unique to its nationality, such as snipers for Russia, flamethrower tanks for Great Britain, and king tiger tanks for Germany. In addition, each of the four generals in the five nations is granted unique special operation abilities, such as carpet bombing, deploying a secret agent, or using propaganda warfare.

The primary objective of gameplay is to destroy the opposing enemy military forces, although some campaigns and maps will require other objectives to be completed first, such as capturing certain cities or defending a specific area, in order to achieve victory. Axis & Allies also has a "City Control" percentage toggle option that can be enabled, in which the winner of the battle goes to the first side/team to capture a set percentage of cities on the map.

Gameplay supports up to eight players in a single battle in both singleplayer and multiplayer.

Axis & Allies focuses on the production of three major resources: money, ammo, and oil.[5] Money is obtained from a constant flow of revenue received from a Corps HQ', Division HQ's, and cities. Unlike money, both the resources of ammo and oil can be obtained from just about any building. Money is used to purchase units and technologies, while ammo and oil are used for unit upkeep.

If the upkeep of either ammo or oil are not met, a player's monetary income will be reduced. If the upkeep of ammo and oil worsens, a drain of money can occur (a negative income). At this point, if there is no more money to be drained away, unsupplied regiments on the map will slowly receive damage until they are either destroyed or the upkeep is repaired.

There are various types of structures in the game. Each nation has the same types of structures as each other, but they have their own unique decorations and abilities corresponding to that nation.

Each general in Axis & Allies has his own unique set of four Special Operations that the player can use to employ to the battlefield (each general has the Corps Reorganization ability, so they really only have just three unique Special Operations). Special Operations are the special abilities of each general, and they have a tremendous impact on a battle if used correctly. Some Special Operations provide bonuses to the attack, defense, health, and/or speed of specific types of units, i.e. "Assembly Line" increases the health of vehicles by 20%. Other Special Operations help reduce unit costs, while some provide additional resources to the player, i.e. "Economic Aid" provides additional Ammo and Oil resources. Special Operations are purchased with Special Operations experience points, which are accumulated at a constant rate, but the rate temporarily increases when a player's military forces are attacking the enemy.[6] Each Special Operation has its own cooldown before it can be used again.

The Special Operations costing the most Special Operations experience points to use are called "bombs", which deal splash damage inside an area of effect. There are four unique "bombs" that appear in the game: "Kamikaze", "Carpet Bombing", "V-Weapons", and "Atomic Bomb". The most powerful of these four "bombs" is the "Atomic Bomb", wielded by Admiral Nimitz, as it not only has an immensely destructive blast, it also leaves a health-draining radiation in its wake.

Historical adherence[edit]

The video game, as with the namesake board game, depicts the theater of World War II in January 1942 shortly after the American entry following Pearl Harbor. Japan, however, has the ability to attack the Soviet Union immediately as there is no reference to the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. The game also does not show Greenland, Iceland or Portugal on its map (all three significant nations during World War II). Some other countries and regions are characterized as "independent", meaning they can be taken over during game play, or "neutral" which are greyed out and inaccessible to the player (Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey being three significant examples).

The game permits the use of battleships and aircraft carriers only in the real-time simulation (RTS) and then only as shore support vessels. Open ocean naval battles are absent from the game and there is no mention or use of submarines. The game also allows bombers to be used during the RTS but strategic bombing between turns, which is a major element in the board game, is not present.

Singleplayer[edit]

There are three modes for singleplayer gameplay: Custom Battle, Campaign, and World War II.[7]

Custom battle[edit]

Custom battles are basically normal real-time strategy battles played with the computer. In a custom battle, the player will always start out with a single Corps Hq building, some bunker defenses, and a supply depot truck. In the staging room before the battle, the player can choose what type of map to play on, what and how many land features will be present on the map, how much money and experience points each player will start out with, along with other options.

WWII mode[edit]

WWII mode resembles a computer variant of the Axis & Allies board game. It is played mainly as a turn-based game, but it can also incorporate the real-time strategy mode into it.

At the start, the player assumes the role of a nation and general. Once the game launches, there will be a brief video and speech given to the player telling about his/her nation's current status in the war. The player is then taken onto a flat, panoramic map of the world. Here, the player takes turns to purchase infantry units, mechanized units, armor units, and air support from their home country and move them across the map, engaging enemy armies and territories. In contrast to the Axis & Allies board game, the player can only attack one territory per turn and does not build naval and air support directly on the board, but rather, during an RTS battle resolution.

In attacking or defending from enemy forces, the player receives an option to either go into an RTS game to try to defeat the opposing enemy in real-time, or to let the computer compute a quick resolve based on the chances of victory for the player. The outcome of a real-time strategy resolution is entirely based on a player's skill, while computerized battle resolution is a random roll based on a probability assessment resulting from a comparison between the attacker's and defender's forces situated in the contested territory.

If an attacker defeats an opposing army in a territory, the weakest regiment of the defeated army is destroyed and the rest of the army retreats to a nearby allied country. If the opposing army is completely surrounded, unable to retreat to nearby allied territory, then the entire army is destroyed. However, if the defender is the victor, then the weakest regiment of the attacker's army is destroyed and the rest of the army retreats back to the territory from which they initiated the battle. If a unit moves into a neutral territory or an abandoned enemy territory, it will automatically capture that territory the next turn.[7]

There are only two major aspects of WWII mode: money and researches. Money is obtained every turn and is determined by the sum of the income values of controlled territories. Each territory has a unique income value; thus wealthier territories are more important in value. Money is used to purchase military units and researches. In purchasing military units, each nation receives a reduction in cost for a specific military unit; for example, Germany has cheaper tanks while Japan has cheaper air units. In purchasing researches, the probability of victory in "quick resolves" increases and it also allows the player to have the technology already researched in an RTS battle if the player chooses to go into RTS mode to resolve a battle.

Campaigns[edit]

In Campaign mode, the player is thrust into a series of World War II campaign battles for either the Axis Powers (Germany and Japan) or the Allied Nations (United States, Great Britain, and Russia).[7] There are a total of 24 challenging missions included in Campaign mode: 12 Allied campaigns and 12 Axis campaigns.

Playing as the Allies, the course of history goes the way it actually did with the Battle of Normandy sealing Germany's fate and the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa sealing Japan's. The campaigns interchange between the armies of Great Britain, Russia, and the United States of America as time progresses throughout the years of 1939-1945.

Playing as the Axis leads to an alternate history, basically with what-if scenarios, which begins with a tactical German victory at Crete. Having driven out British forces in the Mediterranean, Rommel and his Afrika Korps win the Battle of El Alamein, pushing the British all the way back through the Suez Canal. With the fuel-rich Middle East in German hands, Germany wins the decisive Battle of Stalingrad and the following year, the endlessly supplied Panzer units crush the Russians at Kursk, effectively sealing the fate of the Eastern Front. Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Japan manages an invasion of Australia, leaving the Americans without a staging area in the Pacific (it is also suggested that the attack on Pearl Harbor was more successful, with the fleet being sunk in deep waters rather than in the shallow waters of the base). The Battle of Normandy still happens; however, the landing beaches have unfavorable terrain and the Germans' counterattack is successful. The failed invasion at Normandy not only prevented the Allies from opening a new front in the war, it also oversaw Germany's plans to invade Great Britain. With Rundstedt invading from the south and Rommel invading from the west, Operation Sea Lion proved to be a success, forcing the British to surrender.

While Germany deals with partisan resistance, Japan invades India to crush the last of the British forces under the command of Wingate. With Great Britain defeated, Germany is able to turn its attention back to Stalin and the Soviet Union. Japanese advance units under General Kuribayashi and German Panzer divisions under Field Marshal Manstein surround Moscow, but the battle for control of the city turns into a three way brawl with German and Japanese units each vying for control of the city. The battle ends in a German victory. By now, the United States of America is the only Allied nation left to challenge the Axis. With the defeat of British and Australian forces, Japan quickly eliminates the last remaining ships of the American fleet and captures Midway, and later Hawaii. With American naval forces crippled beyond repair, the Allies lose their chances of defeating the Axis Powers and America settles into a new Cold War with Japan in the Pacific and Nazi Germany in Europe.

Multiplayer[edit]

Players online either play in custom team battles or on official/player-created maps. A maximum of 12 players is allowed to join a single game, but only a maximum of 8 players is allowed to actually play. Additionally, players online can observe games, save multiplayer films, host rooms and games, and make friends and add them to their buddy lists.

Many online players use more strategic and tactical levels of gameplay than those used only in singleplayer against the AI. Online gameplay can be played through a local area network (LAN) connection or through the Internet.[7] Online gameplay requires an account to be made via GameSpy. Online play is supported by GameSpy.

Due to the age of the game, as of beginning of December 2012, GameSpy has discontinued online server service to users.[8] However, user direct-connect LAN services remain operational and provide an alternative to playing on GameSpy servers.[citation needed]

Map editor[edit]

The Axis & Allies map editor lets players create their own maps to play in both singleplayer and multiplayer mode.[5] Players are able to customize many map options, including player starting units, scenery objects, terrain layout, audio sources, and game triggers. Game triggers allow for custom creation of cutscenes, unit & VFX spawns, storylines, and military objectives.

Reception[edit]

According to GameSpot, the average score received from gaming critics is a 6.8, and the average score received from users is a 7.5.[9] The game has been criticized for its weak AI mechanics.[10] IGN rates the game with a score of 8.4.[11]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "IMDb - Julian Soule, Filmography". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  2. ^ "Axis & Allies for PC - Axis & Allies PC Game - Axis & Allies Computer Game". Axis & Allies description. Gamespot. June 2007. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  3. ^ "TimeGate Studios - Axis & Allies". TimeGate Info on Axis & Allies. TimeGate Studios. May 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  4. ^ "IGN: Axis & Allies Review". Axis & Allies(PC) review. Butts, Steve. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Gameplanet - Reviews - Axis & Allies". Axis & Allies game review. Gunn, Mike, staff writer. November 2004. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  6. ^ Special Operations experience points increase at a constant rate of 1 pt./sec, but the rate booms when military units gain experience participating in skirmishes against the enemy.
  7. ^ a b c d "XGP Gaming: Review". Hadley, David. May 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-05-18. 
  8. ^ "TimeGate Forums: Axis and allies down again". December 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  9. ^ "GameSpot - List of Axis & Allies Reviews from Gaming Sites". Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  10. ^ Beers, Craig (November 2004). "GameSpot - Axis & Allies Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  11. ^ "IGN Axis & Allies Review". Retrieved 2015-04-30. 

External links[edit]