Genre : RTS/RPG/Sports
Developer : Cyanide
Publisher : Digital Jesters
Release Date : June 2004
If Dungeons and Dragons had managed the XFL…
Do you remember the table top game Blood Bowl? How about the Mutant League Sports series? No? Powerball for Genesis? Okay… Well, it is understandable if your memory does not serve when it comes to fantasy or sci-fi colored sports games. Perhaps their genre has come and gone in that seemingly Paleolithic era of the early 90’s. Wait! What’s this? A new fantasy sports game? On PC! Read on, intrepid reader, read on!
Coming to you all the way live with all the freshness and without any jive is Cyanide Studios’ Chaos League. Due out very soon, this game is not your typical elfish or orcish fare. In fact you might call it a breath of fresh air with all the dopeness and flare that will make you throw your hands up in the air and wave them around like you just don’t care. Word? Word, my little homeys, word.
Okay, enough of that.
What Cyanide proposes to the jaded fantasy gamer is that way back in the day (if there ever was one) the fantastical peoples of way back when liked their professional sports in a game that could be loosely thought of as a primeval form of rugby. Throwing everything from Minotaurs to Ogres and Wizards into the mix, Cyanide is hoping to offer up a serving of illtastic smashmouth the likes of which never before felt.
Based on the late stage beta I can tell you that Chaos League looks good. The game will be played in an arena roughly the size of a football field where you can field up to ten players and hold the remainder of your team on the bench. You’ll find yourself battling it out over sewer soaked sod or freshly planted turf in front of the Imperial Court. The fields aren’t simply limited to aesthetics either. Each field has its various characteristics just as real football stadiums do. So, as with the old Philadelphia Veterans Stadium and its horribly embarrassing green painted dirt instead of grass, the Sewers will be laden with sewer gas that will obscure players from each other. The crowd is displeased with your play in the Imperial Court? Fine, you’ll get a nice little bolt of lightning to motivate your players. There isn’t much in the way of rules in this game and what little officiating there is can be easily swayed by a few pre-game investments. Still not confident enough? Fine. You can take a little trip to your local medieval Balco Labs for a few cycles of the good stuff.
After you’ve gotten you squad of goblins and marauders squared away, you can take your little band of ball-snatching gypsies on the road into the Chaos League itself. Raise money on your season/campaign to the Chaos League Championship where you can, if you’re still physically able to, hoist your trophy in triumph.
Chaos League has a little maturation to do before release. The build that I played looked really nice and the models were well done but the interface was very incomplete and the game wasn’t very playable in its current stage. One thing is for certain and that is Chaos League is going to test your abilities to click-click-click on the fly to form up your boys and execute on the field. This game looks like it will be the type to regard the player who has spent the time mastering the hotkeys and thinking out the best strategies to make the best of his team. Each team’s construction varies wildly from the medium sized Mobsters to the flighty and deceptive Praetorians.
Another certainty is that Chaos League will be unlike anything PC gamers of this generation have experienced, which is a good thing. Chaos League also boasts a strong graphics engine that is enhanced by an aesthetic edge that distinguishes the game from other games of its ilk. You are not going to find your run of the mill fantasy characters here and you certainly aren’t going to find them in a setting that you’re used to. I don’t know how else to explain Chaos League, but if Cyanide can tighten up the controls and interface and keep the game’s pace quick without drowning the player then Chaos League will do all the explaining for me.
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