RTS, Real Time Strategy. A genre of games which has been around a long time, from Dune II back in the early 90′s up to Starcraft II and the eSports that thrive off it. RTSes haven’t changed much in the past 20 or so years: build base, gather resources, build units, attack, repeat till you win… or lose. It has become a stale genre that is mostly associated with people who have insanely high APM (Actions Per Minute) or those from Korea.
In comes UberENT – already well known for their Monday Night Combat, and recently Super Monday Night Combat – with a grand idea for a new kind of RTS game. Now most people will think “Oh they only did MNC, what do they know about RTS games?” That’s where their credentials really come through. Their devs have worked on such esteemed titles as: Command&Conquer Generals Zero Hour, considered to be one of the best expansions to an already critically acclaimed game; Supreme Commander, another critically acclaimed game that received high praise during its time; and Total Annihilation, one of the best RTSes of the late 90′s and the spiritual predecessor of Planetary Annihilation. So they kind of have some experience with this field, and are passionate about it.
Now, on to the game itself. Planetary Annihilation is an RTS game, as in you control the battle in real time. But the difference is that instead of a small battlefield, the arena of combat spans an entire planet! If that isn’t enough space for you, you can expand to the moons of the planet and make bases there to fire reinforcements down to the main planet. To top it all off, you can even expand to an asteroid belt, turn one into a mobile weapons platform, then use a “kinetic bombardment”, turning the asteroid into a giant bomb, and crash it into the enemy’s base.
That’s not all. Depending on how you feel, you can play a quick skirmish with a friend on a small planet, or you duke it out in a 12+ hour battle over several planets and thousands of units. To build all those units you’re going to need an economy; well, you can control that in real time as well, picking and choosing which projects to put resources into. You want that giant tank that costs a ton of resources? Fine. You want to expand so you can get that kinetic bombardment? Go right ahead, you control the money flow. Furthermore, with the procedural planetary generator, you can create or randomize any map, and if you like it you can then save it and share it with your friends.
All in all, it’s a great idea, being created by guys who know their stuff, and backed by people who want to see this happen. Its a win-win-win! So go ahead and support their Kickstarter; as of right now they are at $319,007, with 28 days to reach their goal of $900,000.