Fort Commander II: Counterattack Review — Moving Forward

11060066-fc-ii-counterattackFort Commander II: Counterattack is a sequel to Fort Commander: King’s Gambit. The first title had potential, but the unnecessarily time-consuming gameplay, among other things, destroyed what could’ve been a good game.

There are no considerable changes in the menu interface and graphics, being roughly the same as with the previous title. The soundtrack is still the same as before. The massive changes are to be found in the core game and associated elements.

This is a tower defense game, sorta like Plants vs. Zombies featuring an Oriental war. There are three modes for this game, same as its first incarnation. The Campaign follows the classical sense of Plants vs. Zombies-esque gameplay: placing units in a lane and having them stop enemy units from marching towards your base. Only the Cavalry and the War Elephant return (and the Worker), while everything else is replaced and won’t be missed. All of the new units provide a new experience to the game and totally erase the “hierarchic” game design which was ingloriously implemented in the original. What I mean with “hierarchic” is when choosing units, you are relying on the most expensive units to save the day instead of strategically mixing and matching. Completing the first Campaign unlocks the other two modes: Assault and Survival.

An example of a good change in units is the Trap. The Tar is replaced by the Trap. In the first title, I only used the Tar once. Traps are very effective in the first moments of a level, since this time the enemy AI is unpredictable. Traps kill enemy units instantly and in bunches while Tars slow down enemies and lengthen the game once again. I believe that in King’s Gambit, dispatching of enemy units is deliberately scripted; you know what lanes will be occupied first. In Counterattack, no one knows where they’ll attack first or next. One of the great changes in the second title is all of the units are already given on the get-go. No more “padding” of content by giving an illusion of unlockables. The gameplay in the first title is mostly about laying down units and then leaving the game behind, occasionally checking back to heal wounded units. Now, it is required to really put effort in mixing and matching defensive units and paying attention until the end of each level.

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For ranged units in the game, you now rely on Matchlocks (gunmen) and Mortars instead of Archers. The Mortars inflict ranged splash damage well, a very nice addition. The Matchlocks are just aesthetic improvements of the Archers.

The Assault mode is my favorite in King’s Gambit and still my favorite for this title. You and your opponent send units towards each other’s bases as would happen in a real war. This time the money generation is less conservative, making the game fast paced. Like the Campaign mode, there are “health” bars for you and your opponent in Assault. In the Campaign, every time your opponent sends units to the battlefield, its health bar decreases. In your case, your health bar only hurts for every successful infiltration into your base. In the Assault mode, however, every infiltration hurts both sides’ health bars.

Survival modes are embedded into games to intensify their longevity. I couldn’t care less for this game’s Survival mode because even if there are massive changes in the unit roster, it isn’t enough.

True, the gameplay is vastly improved, but the Campaign and Assault missions are too short for a TD game. There is no story to anchor this game, either, leaving you on your own filling in the blanks after starting the game. Fort Commander II: Counterattack is two steps forward from its predecessor, and that’s it.

7/10

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Comments

2 Responses to “Fort Commander II: Counterattack Review — Moving Forward”
  1. kirk says:

    Nice that the games are improving. Perhaps this will be a buy.

  2. Adrian says:

    This GAME is good but the graphic is bad .

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