defcon
Metacritic: 84/100
Release: Mar 2007
Reviewed on: PC

DEFCON

Site Score
7.0
Good: Captures simple to learn, hard to master – Great pace with DEFCON levels
Bad: Plagued with crashes and issues
User Score
8.0
(5 votes)
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DEFCON is a RTS title that looks into a potentially dark future with the world at large scale nuclear war. Drawing heavily from the Cold War era the game is just as much about psychological warfare than the missiles that fly around the globe.

defcon-gameplay1

Playing as a General in the safety of your underground bunker you’ll command your countries defences and silos as you try to wipe your enemies from the planet. This requires players to attack the population of opposing nations while defending their own. “Winning” is settled based on one of three scoring schemes that rewards points based on things like kills and survivals amongst your own population.

Your game board for this nuclear tactics title is an old style computer world map which displays all the necessary game information. This globe is split into six territories which by default have the same population numbers to make them better comparable between each other.

Unlike traditional real time strategy titles DEFCON does not feature the standard resource collection or tech trees, instead opting for a game more about placement of forces and weighing up the pros and cons of launching attacks. To help build the tension though and make games last 20-30mins (depending on the speed setting) the game utilises the DEFCON levels.

By starting at DEFCON 5 where your options are limited to placing your units and moving to DEFCON 1 where all out nuclear war has been approved your strategy has to consider closely what options the new DEFCON threat level brings. This growth of options is mostly centred around the use of units (ground, air and water) in more aggressive ways.

defcon-gameplay2

These units are small in number although do have multiple modes that can take a few minutes to switch between. On the ground you’ve got the likes of radar dishes to give you line of sight, silos with defensive and offensive options and air bases for launching your air units made up of fighters and bombers. Finally in the sea you’ll be able to create fleets of carriers, battleships and submarines for reconnaissance and protection.

While the message that DEFCON depicts through its gameplay is a dark one the atmosphere and strategy that the game creates make it an impressive world ending title.

Summary:

  • Take out other territories while protecting your own.
  • Master ground, air and sea with units.
  • Change your strategy as the DEFCON level increases.
  • Battle against the AI or friends to dominate the world.
  • For Windows, Mac and Linux.

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DEFCON, 8.0 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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