My life as an Übermensch
I used to be a PC gamer. An übermensch amongst the plebeian masses. Today I’m a measly console gamer, who if I’m honest, uses this hardware to Netflix more than gaming. Between 1997 and 2002, I would play titles on a PC, with many of these being Real Time Strategy (RTS) – a title which seems to have disappeared in recent years.
Funhaus’s Demo Disk series highlights just how many RTS games used to be released. Whether this was market interest or technological limitations is moot. As with today, popular settings were historical, sci-fi and fantasy, but with the dearth of titles producers had to plumb their imagination to stand out from the crowd.
Fancy gene-slicing a shark with gorilla to create the perfect heavy infantry unit read Rob Fahey’s review maybe get inspired to pick up Impossible Creatures. I wasted many years in the flawed post-apocalyptic environment of Tribal Rage as a twin machine gun toting Elvis-impersonator leading a gang of ‘Trailer Trash’.
Too busy to RTS
But my premise is flawed though RTS titles haven’t disappeared, I just grew out of them – as I approach 30 I don’t have the time to put in the all day sessions the titles demand.
In the classic mould, Uber annihilated its $900,000 Kickstarter target, pulling in $2,229,344 against its target. Planetary Annihilation and its sequel Titans is owned by 1 million people according to steamspy. Unfortunately its more imaginative second kickstarter Human Resources didn’t do so well likely because the initial title didn’t go down so well despite its own funding successes.
Elsewhere, RTS has experienced a player-led evolution. Warcraft III, apparently my second best game of all time, birthed the titanic genre of Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBA), the vanguard being League of Legends and DOTA. I bemoan my lack of time, but if I want to lose brain cells there’s mobile. Whether it be through Mr Ts riding pigs or Kate Upton, Clash of Clans and Game of War seems to be cash cows for their studios if the aggressive marketing is anything to go by.
By writing this article its clear that RTS is alive and kicking, its cheaper (within reason) and more popular than ever. What’s happened is that its outgrown me. There’s nothing RTS and its new family can do to attract me, as there doing it already; if I want I just have to put in the time.
Many fantastic pre-2002 RTS titles are now available from digital download platforms such as steam, good old games etc.
Not all titles have been updated and are available. For these games, which may be considered abandonware can be checked out at sites like old-games.com. This can be a difficult process, is legally dubious and not supported by us or the games creators (probably).
Featured image is sourced from a review of Larian Studios’ Divinity: Dragon Commander on The Average Gamer. Used without permission, please contact squareblind (at) email (dot) com if you are the copyright holder and wish this image to be removed.