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Dark Reign 2
by Nelson “Admiral” Hernandez

Installation / Manual
The game’s installation was not quite flawless, and the game requires DirectX 7.0a, which I suppose still has some issues to be ironed out. Fortunately my F4 experience with DirectX came in handy. My problem was that the fonts did not appear correctly the first time I booted up the game. Shifting the texel alignment slider, which is buried very deep in the video card configuration menu, all the way to the left corrected the problem, and has not caused any conflicts with any of my other games. That was the only bug I encountered while playing the game, which speaks well for Activision.

The manual is good and has all the relevant information and a handy keyboard command map. The backstory is a little thin compared to Blizzard’s titles, or Activision’s own old Mechwarrior 2, which drew on the “history” of that universe very heavily and had reams of information for the interested. But I would rather have an informative manual any day than one that told me the story but left me in the dark about how to play the game.

They’ve gotta do something about that static electricity

The game plays pretty much the same as any other RTS. You collect Taelon from fields scattered around the map, use the resource to build a base and produce units to destroy the enemy. There are a few missions where you are given a limited task force and do not build a base. The map is shrouded, sadly—you’d think that by the 26th century a major American city would have street maps. The 3-D battlefield makes line-of-sight importantľyou can’t see over hills and around corners of buildings, and what you can’t see, you can’t shoot. I have one complaint about the LOS system, and that is that it does not remember the location of enemy structures if you move out of view. I can understand units disappearing, but if there are two defensive towers there it would be helpful for the map to remember where they are located.


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