Z: Steel Soldiers (originally released simply as Steel Soldiers in North America) is a real-time strategy game released by the Bitmap Brothers on 15 June, 2001 for the Windows platform. These are small gripes however, and entirely subjective ones at that. It is quite amazing how such a slight twist in emphasis can change the whole focus of a game It might not be a giant leap for games in general, but it is certainly a victory for gameplay - a very welcome return to old values from one of Britain's most respected and loved developers. The on-screen interface is a little fiddly. For all the cutting back of the fat, Steel Soldiers isn't without a few love handles. You can't just sit there, if you do you're going to die. Imagine playing football on an unmarked pitch, having to look at a map to judge where the penalty box is and you'll understand why. It isn't even a consideration that a Psycho (bog-standard infantry robot) costs more to build than a Dreadnaught (lumbering battle cruiser), it's more a case of how long each takes to come into service. Units don't get obscured by trees, you don't get massive status bars clogging up the screen (something that really gets my goat) and every unit sits well on the undulating terrain. 21, 2012. report . About This Game “Z”, the classic Real Time Strategy Game by the Bitmap Brothers. Because we've got just two sides, both with the same units, we've been able to put all our time into balancing them. "It wasn't anything like C&C, they are two completely different products. For those who prefer more buttons, there are a few physically undemanding keyboard shortcuts, but if your mouse has one of those wheel things, you can quite happily play through the entire game with one hand, leaving the other free to down fizzy pop. file size 30.2 MB. On 24 August 2000, the Bitmap Brothers announced a deal with EON Digital Entertainment to publish a sequel to Z, then given a working title of Z2. "It's been a long four years," says Jamie, looking back. The original Z distinguished itself from its competitors in the RTS market with a unique take on unit construction and resource management. But for those who like keyboard-shortcuts and completely free cameras, you can do all that as well.". 'The guys in the office still play it, both in single and multiplayer," smiles head Bitmap Mike Montgomery, as he sips his tea. We should have about 20 multiplayer maps, for between two and eight players. Fans of this classic strategy title are in for a real treat. But what we've got now is a very advanced A1 system in there well we think it's very advanced. In fact, their last was the original Z, a one-time PC Classic that remarkably, still remains very playable if you like a serious challenge and if you can get the damn thing to work on today's ultra-fast machines. "You just have to go out there," Mike points out. I don't actually mind if you put the key stuff in there, that's fine.' The mission structure of the game takes this into consideration with the player having to achieve a plethora of … An uneasy truce exists between the two sides and thanks to Brad and Alan, that peace is shattered when they decide to shoot down a supposed troop ship landing in the demilitarised zone. But on this particular product we have made some brave moves, and 10 months ago we actually changed direction in a big way. Years later and, thankfully, though our collective skills at soldering transistors to rubber keyboards may have waned, British games are still some of the most innovative and engrossing titles you can buy and the Bitmap Brothers, along with Bullfrog, Ultimate Play The Game (now Rare) and individuals like Molyneux, McLean and Crammond, have constantly proved their worth time and time again. After being lead through a few nearly-completed missions by Jamie, it was then time for me to dive in. "We spent a whole year putting scripts into the game, then we finished the AI system and thought, 'shit, we can take all these scripts out - well, 95 per cent of them'. Few missions were complete, though most weren't far off, the cut-scenes and a few voices had to be added and then came the messy business of tweaking and testing the game on every possible machine they could lay their hands on. Z: Steel Soldiers (originally released simply as Steel Soldiers in North America) is a real-time strategy game released by the Bitmap Brothers on 15 June, 2001 for the Windows platform. Destroy a ship factory and it erupts in spectacular fashion, littering all around with debris, each shard of metal causing neat little ripples in the water. "We haven't optimised the code yet," says Mike, as the PC flicks back to life. We didn't, though, not because of balancing issues, but because with all the best strategy games: chess, backgammon, draughts, the sides are equal and We streamlined the whole game, cut everything back and the game has become so simple, so intuitive -which is exactly what we were aiming to achieve, but we overcomplicated things in development by putting in things that we didn't need. Look at Half-Life, the most involving single-player game ever made? It was like, 'shit, we've spent three years on this game and it's not really what we originally wanted.' Play Instructions: Install the game - Full Installation. "But you will only physically see units if you have a line of sight to them, if you've got spotters on top of hills or units moving around nearby.". It features a progressive plot driven story line written by Martin Pond, the man responsible for bringing the world of Medievil and the universe of Imperium Galactica 2 to life. hide . I wouldn't even say they were in the same genre, or if they are, they are at two extreme ends. Time is money, as they say. Tanks don't float or sink into the landscape as they often do with so many other games. Counter-Strike? Of course we've yet to test Steel Soldiers online (that can wait for another day), but we've certainly played the game across a LAN and against real people, and Steel Soldiers is every bit as fast and frantic as the single-player campaign, in fact probably more so. ", 'While we were doing the recording," Jamie remembers, laughing. Basically, we've made things simple. Since the original game Z became so popular, the Bitmap Brothers decided to work on a sequel. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see a full-length comic movie of Zod and the boys. And yes, while all RTS games can be controlled this way, you don't usually get very far unless you play finger Twister across the keyboard. There are in fact 20 maps available; ten for one-on-one games, a couple each for three, four and eight players and one map each for the rest. We don't want people changing things too much.". But they thought it was the hardest work they'd done for months. Mentioning Westwood and -- the Bitmaps in the same sentence, however, is not a clever thing to do. In the next mission come jeeps, and although they become obsolete later in the game, for the next couple of levels they are indispensable for scouting ahead. 'I went to the sound recordings for the mission briefings and I was in stitches. Too darned difficult, you see. In fact, apart from a handful (notably Shogun: Total War, Homeworld and Ground Control), 2D strategy games are every bit as much fun and certainly more popular than 3D RTS games. We've got 30 different units and 20 buildings, which is a fair selection. "It's also a bit darker this time around, less slapstick. Unlike the missions, where two sides are fighting across the map, in the multiplayer game or indeed the single-player Skirmish mode, up to eight players can fight together or team up. Had I sent a Scout Helicopter in I might have seen the danger, even though that wouldn't have survived either. It is the sequel of their earlier game Z, and follows the same futuristic military science fiction storyline and battlefield gameplay. Developed by The 'Oh-yeah-l-remember-them' Bitmap Brothers, Steel Soldiers is something of a rarity in these times, as was its 1995 predecessor Z. Offering a hefty 30 levels, five for each of the six planets in the game, at first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that each planet is identical, the only difference being the colour. These Z: Steel Soldiers Remastered cheats are designed to enhance your experience with the game. It would Be nice to have Z-Steel Soldier. Yes it really is that good. Therefore, you can play the whole game without touching a key, everything is controlled by the mouse. Thing is, the tanks are not on the tech tree for that level, so the only way you can get them is to use your snipers. Its rich spread of strategies arises not from a bloated cast list of bizarre machinery, but from a complex and almost human-like intelligence on the part of your opponent - fighting, like you, according to simple rules. Z: Steel Soldiers youve never had it so good When you take control of your Steel Soldiers unit, youd better hit the ground running, as you take some superb war machinery straight into the heat of battle. "It does," insists Jamie. Although the campaign itself is entirely linear, the missions themselves, though driven by set objectives, are far from it. "I'm quite sure it does," says Mike. Z: Steel Soldiers (originally released simply as Steel Soldiers in North America) is a real-time strategy game released by the Bitmap Brothers on 15 June, 2001 for the Windows platform. Z: Steel Soldiers Summary : Takes the core structure of the original title, Z, and immerses you into an arcade-strategy title where the emphasis is on real-time combat. "Well, hopefully not. We played every RTS we could find, I spoke to friends and to online RTS fans - this was about the time of StarCraft, where RTS games had multiple races in, and although it's something we don't really agree with, it worked so well in StarCraft that we were going to have four races in Steel Soldiers. So. "Z was classed as a Command & Conquer clone," says Mike, almost as if the comparisons still wound him. Quote: “Lead your Z: Steel Soldiers into the next century rebooted for the rocket fuelled fans of the classic hard-core strategy game. Indeed, the first thing you notice when you see Steel Soldiers in action is just how far we have come in the last few years. Unfortunately, though, I didn't have time to get used to the interface (I had to plead to even play anything after level one), and by the time I managed to get a grip on the game, the damn thing went and crashed. Back when the original Z … This is entirely down to the computer At, which has a human-like quality, and can lay claim to being equal to the stellar standard set by Half-Life. The terrain may not be the most realistic interpretation of what you might find on an alien planet, but it all goes back to gameplay. I think it's really cool. You can see the boundaries between each territory, where the flag capture points are and take a guess at where your enemy might first appear by just looking over the terrain rather than having to attempt the level again and again. In that it's played in real-time and requires strategic thought, Z: Steel Soldiers, like it's predecessor, is a real-time strategy game. The enemy only got a light tank and two robots through, one of which was an unarmed construction robot. To say the game is a bit pacey would be something of an understatement, but having played through all of the 'big' strategy games of last year, of which Ground Control is perhaps the closest in nature, what stuck me was the movement on screen and the clean way in which everything is displayed. Simple, see. Bloody good at using APCs and transport helicopters too, I'll give him that. Of course, with each restart, while my knowledge of the level only grows, the opposing general has to endure something approaching a lobotomy, and while he's pretty predictable at the start of each mission, he certainly learns fast. In tact, I got a little bit carried away and took two territories, and although this gave a short-term boost to my wallet, it left my forces too spread out and within a couple of minutes, both regions were lost. Steel Soldiers isn't one of those games in which you can just sit back, watch the credits roll in and hope to win through sheer weight of numbers. Though they may not look it at first, nearly all of the maps have been superbly designed, and even the not-so-superb ones are damn good. As to the nature of those rules, they too are remarkably simple: capture the flag. Our Z: Steel Soldiers Remastered +5 trainer is now available and supports STEAM. It's put right in your face. I've got to see that work." Later on, as ships start to become available, the water between the land masses opens up. Quite a few options then, and thanks to the game's pace, multiplayer games can be played in a lunch hour, which means we could be seeing the end of Counter-Strike at last. "Probably," laughs Mike. But it was close. The button you have to click to remind yourself of mission objectives, scores, find units and so on is a little on the small side. Battle For Dune, Steel Soldiers will be the Bitmaps first full 3D game and as Westwood has repeatedly professed, it's not a step to be taken lightly for a company who've yet to dissappoint its fans. 1. Cool Beans Productions produced several animations, presented as cut scenes between a few of the missions. If it wasn't for the fact that to do so wouldn't get you very far, you could probably sit there for hours watching and listening to the metal carnage that follows. Jeeps skid over the flats and arc over hills rather than take straight lines and turn on the spot and the robots themselves are animated to the point that in formation they move as individuals. Probably. "With the single-player campaign we have 30 levels, broken into stages of five levels set across six environments. zMand his men are deemed renegades, and more through necessity than desire, they must fight to clear their names. Just back from a gruelling press trip across the US, the team were looking forward to an uncharacteristidy quiet Christmas. In RPGs we must find some sacred relic, in shooters it is a door that needs opening or innards that need airing, so to expect to have to do something other than blowing up the enemy is perhaps a little hopeful. Z: Steel Soldiers - v.3.0 - Game demo - Download Demo version of Z: Steel Soldiers, a(n) strategy game, v.3.0, for PCs and laptops with Windows systems.Free and legal download. Z: Steel Soldiers is the eagerly awaited sequel to the bestseller Z. By default Z2, (recently renamed Z: Steel Soldiers) should be equally laden with anarchic fun. After all, we made the best computers (Spectrum, BBC, Dragon 32 - actually scratch that last one, it ran on coal and was rubbish), and the finest games in Christendom (AticAtac, Starquake, Elite - the list is endless). However, having figured out that a few dozen Tanks and Attack Choppers were enough to spit-roast me, maybe the AI didn't need advanced units as much as I obviously did. Robots. Stealth Bombers and Environment Control Buildings (these send meteorites across the map - neat), were rarely put to use. There are also more multiplayer modes than Unreal Tournament, with variations on the deathmatch theme, Hero games where you must keep one character alive, a Theft mode where each must find and hold a special item and the king-of-the-hiil style Key Territory game. Thing is, we didn't want to do six types of terrain that were all basically the same but in different colours, so we have different terrain effects and lighting, vehicles may work better on one terrain than on another. The simple fact is Z: Steel Soldiers is a truly excellent game, far superior to it's predecessor and easily up to the high standard The Bitmap Brothers have set themselves in the past. In fact, they haven't really had a duffer yet and having played a couple of levels of an early build of Z: Steel Soldiers, it doesn't look like they're about to start now. © mxdwn.com 2001 - 2020. The mission objectives in themselves are nothing we haven't seen or done before in countless games, but to be fair the same is true in almost all genres. I also found that there are perhaps too many buttons on screen, and some I never had cause to use at all. More important is the way the story is told (see panel). Outside their Wapping headquarters die rain clawed its way down the windows and the sun was sinking rapidly. All through development we've tried things out before dismissing them. Ah yes, nearly forgot, the story... Actually the story isn't that important, but it is rather good. It's a more realistic approach to gameplay. But as far as letting people create their own units, we don't know. ; Play the Game! So each set of five maps will have a distinctive style." Shall 1 turn the tape off?" The Bitmap Brothers have never been ones to mess about. It was a brave step for us to change direction slightly and, although we lost a little bit of time, it was the best thing we could have done and we've ended up with what we think is brilliant.". Popular, noisy and endearingly familiar, Westwood's latest models have been chuffing along like old VW Beetles - they'll always remain enjoyable to drive, but next to other cars on the road, the likes of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 have been outdated and outperformed since the day they rolled off the production line. Owning territory is central to winning the game, as you can only build on land that's under your control, and unlike other strategy games, land is at a premium. The AI only uses line-of-sight, it doesn't cheat... much, no it doesn't cheat. "Originally, when we first started, we were quite productive," says Mike. Unlike the original, Z: Steel Soldiers is plot driven with the player progressing through a campaign that takes place over 6 vastly different worlds, 30 levels in total. It will provide new challenges to seasoned wargamers, and for those bored into submission after countless C&C clones, I can guarantee this game will re-ignite your passion for strategy games. Additionally, rather than having to find deposits of coal, gold, wood or oil and spend hours figuring out how much each of your units costs in each, you simply get an income of credits depending on the amount of the map you currently own. Looked at as a series of still images, Steel Soldiers? Perhaps if some of the missions saw you taking on the role of defender rather than attacker there would be even greater variety and more satisfying balance. From his not unpleasant research, one factor has been at the forefront of the Bitmap ideal - simplicity. The Z: Steel Soldiers remake has also been released for Tegra-based Android devices via Google Play. In Steel Soldiers the cigar-chewing machine has been demoted to a lowly captain and posted to patrol some dusty backwater planet in the middle of nowhere. Get in line for the ultimate Real-time Strategy. You know, like 'come on, bloody do something'. The Bitmap Brothers wanted to cater to both fans of the original and to players familiar with the RTS genre. And with that, the tape runs out almost on cue. Apr. Everyone in the office had their own ideas that they liked and it got to the point where you just think, 'fucking hell, let's just stick a pin in the wall and see what comes out'. Even though the camera angles are restricted, you can still go to the options screen and change things so you can zoom further, swing faster, whatever. You don't realise how difficult it is to create maps for three-, five-or seven-player games... "We're still thinking about third-party support. "With Steel Soldiers we've kept some of that, the simple ideas and arcade-action style of gameplay. Maybe it was just me, bur at the age of 13, I unswervingly thought Britain was the centre of the games industry. I only hope we don't have to wait four years for their next game. Steel Soldiers (a.k.a. Each map brings out the best in each unit, meaning that almost every mission is played in a different way from the last - all of course at breakneck speed. Before the game you can set credit limits, tech levels and team settings, throw in power-ups and turn off the fog-of-war. Taking an outside view, and this from someone who spent many hours indoors playing Speedball when, at 18, Ishould have been swallowing them, the Bitmaps four-year hiatus from gaming's fickle limelight has been far too long. $14.99 Add to Cart . In Steel Soldiers, you just have to take the map. 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