Total Domination review
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It’s the future. You’re the leader of a bloodthirst, war-ready little city, and you must prove that you can “convince” the world of your undoubtable power. Welcome to Total Domination, an MMORTS game from Plarium Social Games. Along with a super smooth user interface and above-average graphics, Total Domination offers a world with both humour and suspense. Is that enough to help it climb above the problems of the genre, or is this another to add to the list of MMO strategy games that fall flat after far too little time?
Total Domination gameplay video
Above-Average Graphics – As far as the visual style is concerned, it’s certainly nicer than the average MMORTS. There’s more a feel of texture to it than from its competitors, and that adds to the dank style of the art design. It’s still not going to top a downloadable game, and I don’t think the art style itself is necessarily the best out there, but I could find little to complain about. Even the animation and timing with movements on the mouse seem more fluid than the average MMORTS.
City Planning – Further to that last point, it’s nice to have control of your territory without the limitation of a set grid. You can place your buildings wherever you want, you can even rotate them.
“We want a war, not a massacre” – White the tutorial/overlooker/narrator character in these games are rarely even close to being memorable, the General in Total Domination doesn’t fall too short of that mark. There are moments where you’ll laugh out loud at the things he comes out with, and while he’s still just a fairly annoying vehicle for the linear storyline, I genuinely liked the odd occasion he’d pop up.
Full Screen – The first mission of this game has you put it into full screen so that you won’t be distracted. Never before have I been so suspicious of an MMO game, or as unable to suspend my disbelief.
The Team – Your reports, on battle, buildings and tech, are sent to your team, who are basically just a faceless group of rather high-military looking people with no names and no personality. It would have been nice if we could have gotten something a little more involved, but instead the report comes through as if relayed through a computer. A missed opportunity.
Upgrading takes time – The MMORTS genre is built around waiting, and Total Domination is no exception. It starts off pretty well, actually, allowing you to progress at a comfortable speed. Then you’ll get a mission that demands you level up a warehouse to level 5 or something similar, and you realize that doing that would take hours and hours and hours. There comes a point where continued play is obviously not on the cards.
Your Soldiers Have Returned – Add this to the list of games that require absolutely nothing of you when it comes to combat. You click on a target, set how many troops you’re going to send, click send and then wait for your soldiers to attack. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to far longer, depending on where your target is. Then you have to wait for your soldiers to return.
“You’ve beaten the Monsters!” – The missions in this game are set up in such a way that you always have something to do. If you follow the missions, expect quite a linear experience. You’ll move from one task to another, without any real control over the game. This Is where things get complicated though, because the more you play, the more tasks you unlock and the harder it gets to keep track of things. Before long, you’re getting messages congratulating you for things you haven’t actually done, because you’ve accidentally followed the wrong mission-line too far.
More Friends, Larger Army – Yup, this is another of these games. To make the most of Total Domination, you’ll need to open your wallet, or bug your friends. It’s quite nice to have an option that doesn’t involve paying for improvements (although that’s there as well), but every time you leave the game for a while, a reminder will ask you to get your friends involved. If you want to grow your city, you’ll need to spend or invite (or work damn hard for it).
Total Domination is exactly what you’d expect from an MMORTS game, with just a little bit of polish added to smooth over the experience. What you end up with is a pretty generic, but still rather interesting little title that manages to beat out a lot of lazier titles by default. That doesn’t mean that it’s managed to move the genre on at all, or that it’s even a very fun game to play for a length of time, but that if you absolutely have to play something in this genre, this will more than suffice.