Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps - PC

2.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
Metascore: 70 / 100
70
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Platform: Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows XP
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About the Product

  • Manage complex battles in real-time or give orders to troops in the classic turn-by-turn style
  • Lead more than 70 realistic units from machine gunners to tank -- and use their unique strengths to win
  • As you progress from mission to mission, you'll use your commander skills to take advantage of more experienced soldiers & captured equipment -- opening up new strategic options
  • Effective AI -- soldiers will attack from different directions, coordinate attacks and go after crucial buildings to beat you
  • The battles come to life with beautiful graphics, realistic damage and amazing weather effects

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Product Description

Product Description

Desert Rats Vs. Afrika Korps - Lead the Axis or Allied forces in the most notorious campaigns of World War II. Lead your loyal men through recon, search & destroy missions and siege operations in the African desert! Exciting multiplayer action - up to 4 people can enjoy capture-the-flag, deathmatch play, or fight on the road from Tobruk to El-Alamein

Review

A quick glance at the list of features in Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps would make any armchair general froth at the mouth in excitement. Loads of unit types (there are eight different kinds of infantry alone!), the ability to target specific zones on vehicles, and all sorts of other things you don't normally see in an RTS would ideally make for a deep and engaging title. It's too bad that pacing and AI problems hold this back from its potential.

These AI issues are evident every second of play. Units rarely engage unless your troops come within their detection range, which allows you to take them on only a few at a time. A careful player won't lose many units, because it's far too easy to concentrate your entire force on a relatively small opposing army. On the other hand, if you advance much at all without sweeping the area with reconnaissance, you're liable to get completely annihilated – mines and bad firing angles can really hose you. The end result of all this is that you're forced to take things really slowly and win easily or plow ahead and die, which isn't exactly my idea of good pacing.

If you can suffer through the steep learning curve and get a really good grasp on the tactical possibilities, there is some enjoyment to be found here. However, all but the most hardcore strategy gamers should probably look elsewhere for their WWII simulation fix.

Concept:
Use your tactical expertise to conquer North Africa during World War II as both the Germans and Allies

Graphics:
Good overall, especially explosions, but the ground is flat and boring

Sound:
Contrary to what you'd expect, the heroes sound awful, while regular units are entertaining and well done

Playability:
You'd better learn the hotkeys, because the right toggle is impossible to find in the heat of battle

Entertainment:
Playing alone isn't terrible, but forget the multiplayer

Replay:
Moderate

Rated: 6 out of 10
Editor: Adam Biessener
Issue: June 2004

2nd Opinion:
This is obviously a title aimed at hardcore RTS fans, and it's encouraging to see some of the steps that Monte Cristo has taken to ease some of the issues that usually come from managing the behaviors of your various units. There's also a great deal in terms of unit variety, and small details like being able to tow artillery and the fact that tanks have heavier armor on their front than on their back and sides, are all things that I would expect to make their way into future games in the genre. Unfortunately, the game itself isn't really as compelling as it should be, making Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps yet another pretender to the RTS throne. Hopefully, next time the company will put its concepts to better use.

Rated: 7 out of 10
Editor: Matt Helgeson


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Product Information

ASIN B0001LV6T2
Release date March 23, 2004
Customer Reviews
2.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #80,301 in videogames
#15,584 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7 x 5 x 1 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Daniel Peterson on May 16, 2004
Graphics & Sound:
Graphically, it looks good, all units are fully 3d, and the terrain looks fairly good too. I had a few issues with my video card drivers, and was able to find an unofficial fix on the game's official forum. Sound and music are also both good, although nothing that sticks with me.
Gameplay:
This is largely a RTS (real time strategy) game. However, there's no resource gathering at all. You start with a selection of units and objectives, and have to determine the best way to accomplish those objectives. Each mission has primary, secondary and hidden objectives. The lack of resources means you really have to manage your units well, because you just can't build more when all your tanks are gone. You can repair existing units, or take over abandoneed units with infantry. There are also a few missions where specific actions will trigger reinforcements.
My feelings on the game:
I purchased this game after playing the demo, expecting a nice enjoyable way to waste a few hours at a time. By and large, that's what I got. There's two campaigns, one for the Axis and one for the Allies. The Axis is first, and was very enjoyable. However, after the first mission or two of the Allied campaign, the difficulty ramped up tremendously, and I found myself stuck, unable to go any farther in the game without cheating, even on the easiest difficulty level. The game tries to include a backstory, which links all the characters together, but I found myself ignoring it, as it wasn't all that good.
Pros:
* Nice graphics & sound
* Axis campaign is fun, while not being impossible
Cons:
* Lack of resources may lead to having to micro manage your troops to survive
* Allied missions get very difficult and frustrating
* Overall game back story is fairly "blah"
* Game isn't terribly long (maybe 15 missions or so)
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My operating system is WIN7: this game will run an error that it didn't load correctly. The fix for this is to goto properties and make it compatible for WINxp. After doing this the game will ask to reboot FOREVER. It will not play on WIN7 and haven't found anyway to make it work on WIN7. Bypassing that, I downloaded Virtual Box and loaded WINxpPRO service pack 2 as a separate operating system because several forums say that it will play on that OS. It asks to reboot the drivers. I click yes. Then it goes into a perpetual reboot where Windows will not start. I then have to goto the Last Known Good Start... to get the OS to load. I can't find a patch or forum to fix this issue. The company doesn't exist anymore and there isn't any tech support at all.

I did get this game to play once on Vista, then after the game was completed it sent the OS into a perpetual restart.
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This game has some serious litations.

There are no patches for the bugs, and probably never will be. You can see for yourself by doing a Google Search. Among the weirdness---- enemy soldiers shoot at burning hulks of tanks over and over, instead of responding to attack....moving vehicles get "Stuck" and won't go off the map at the checkpoints the game flags for you. You have to replay the entire scenario over again to finally find the exact spot to exit vehicles at checkpoints. There's more, but these were ones that kept happening to me.

It has a little story line, with cut scenes. These played very choppy on my system, and really didn't add anything at all to the game play. Whenever you want to progress, the game takes a LONG time to load from one segment to another. If you don't have the Reccomended specs, you might want to reconsider buying this game..Minimum specs probably won't cut it.

The difficulty is above average for this type of game. If you are not familiar with RTS (Real Time Strategy Games) you are likely to find this frustrating. We aren't just talking challenging, we are talking the designers did not do a good job of balancing things. Some scenarios, even in the Easy setting, are pretty much impossible.

Speaking of scenarios....there are only a few, and once you have gone through them, that is it. You can't create new scenarios. There may now be a Map Editor patch, but it isn't in the game.

Although you can use soldiers, they can't dig in, and they are DECIMATED by the numerous armored vehicles. Aside from Scouts to get information for your armour, soldiers are just useless.

There are aircraft, but they play a fairly limited role, spotting or bombing.
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Is this a good game? I'll never know. I bought it last Christmas, and now, almost 12 months later, I still can't play it. I have the best computer I could get: 3.6 Ghz, a Nvidia Gforce 4 (256 MB, one of the best), the latest drivers for it, 512 of RAM, 160 GB of free space, clean of spyware and with only 2 resident programs running in the background (average CPU usage of 2%).

Still the game refuses to run, claiming that there is no video card in my computer (!!!). I find this strange as games like Call of Duty and the Sims 2 can run with the graphics set to the higest settings. The box says the game should work well with all Nvidia cards, so I checked the readme file, which says the following:

"The game requires a video card Nvidia GeForce 2 or ATI radeon 8500 and above"

Which means that the game works with all the ATI Radeon cards (From the 8500 and above) but of the Nvidia cards ONLY the Geforce 2 is compatible. There you have it. The box didn't say that. It's a fraud. I've been robbed. And you will be too if you buy this.

I was really looking forward to this game- apparently no other game lets you control soldiers and tanks of WWII the same way you control your troops in Age of Empires, and with extremely detailed graphics. Too bad this one is a fraud.
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