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Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Sunflowers

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


PC Preview - 'Paraworld'

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

Paraworld combes for the first time ever a setting never seen before with personalized unit management, it brings new life to the real-time strategy genre. Modern elements blend with primeval conditions in a long forgotten, incredibly beautiful prehistoric world. Creatures long extinct come once more to life, a constant danger to anyone living in the area.

Genre: RTS
Publisher: TBA
Developer: SEK/Sunflowers
Release Date: TBA

No, it isn't the "Land of the Lost," but the world of Sunflowers' upcoming real-time strategy title, Paraworld, will certainly remind you of it. It's a land of dinosaurs and ancient tribes anachronistically juxtaposed with modern humans with shotguns and smug grins. It's a land that time forgot, but one that Sunflowers hopes you won't.

Paraworld is an example of the action RTS – a game of building a base, collecting resources, creating an army, and crushing your enemy without mercy. Other than the dinosaur theme, there are a few things that set apart Paraworld from other games in this genre.

The most notable special feature of Paraworld is the Army Controller, which automatically sorts all of your units by level into a list of icons which are located on the left side of the screen. Basic information about the state of the unit and the unit's health is overlaid atop the icon, and the unit can be selected by clicking on their portraits directly inside the Army Controller, which alleviates some of the more tedious micromanagement tasks.

There are a few ways in which this can be used to your advantage. If you want to know what your workers are doing, you can easily see what the worker units are doing, such as which ones are building, gathering resources, or more importantly, doing nothing at all. You then could select them through the Army Controller interface and give them a task, without even needing to move your map to where the unit is located. It makes the task of using healing units that much easier too, as you can instantly see the health of all your units and tell your medics to heal wounded units directly.

I mentioned before that the Army Controller shows all of your units sorted by level. In Paraworld, each unit ranks between levels one and five. Whenever you kill any enemies, you gain skulls, and each unit can be promoted a level by spending a certain number of skulls. The promotion has a lot of benefits, not the least of which is that the promoted unit instantly heals to full health, even in the middle of combat. The unit also becomes more powerful and may even gain new abilities.

The way the game starts is interesting as well, as unlike normal RTSes, which start you out with a "town hall" and some worker units, Paraworld lets you choose whatever you want to start a game, within reason, of course. You'll have to pick a mix of units that come in under a predetermined point total. For any given point total, you can save a selection of start units for use later, and you can develop your strategies around taking advantage of specific beginning game combinations.

There are hero units in the game, and in addition to have powers and auras that boost nearby units, they also can unlock additional buildings and units for each side, depending on which hero you pick. There are a total of nine heroes, which provides a large number of possible combinations.

Otherwise, Paraworld has most of the features that we've come to expect in an action RTS. There are three sides, a tech tree, and a variety of units and buildings that each plays a role in your overall strategy. Paraworld has a lot of style and craft going into it, and it looks like it'll be a great PC title when it hits.

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