Mostly, non-Linux users—especially Windows users—recognize Linux as a complex and complicated operating system with lack of compatibility to common file formats. The way to run Linux is also “difficult”, where the users need to remember and understand a lot of commands on terminal, build a package by themselves, or do some “tricky” things to gain satisfaction, etc. But, above of those all, Linux has no (“crack-able”) cool games! And it’s frustrating enough!
Typically, I’m not a gamer. But when I’m bored, I used to play some games on my Windows-based PC. I like playing Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empire, and the similar games. But sometimes, I need to work on my Linux-based netbook and no time to switch to my Windows machine. Unfortunately, my PLinuxOS machine only offers flash-based games, card games, platform games, and some “confusing” games—I said so because some games’ concept in Linux are hard to be understood, or maybe because I’m not smart enough to read the hints J
Years ago, when I was running Ubuntu, I installed 0AD game (if I’m not mistaken, it was still in beta version). As today I’m running PCLinuxOS, I need something new. Thanks God, besides 0AD, there is also Warzone 2100 in PCLinuxOS repository. So I installed Warzone and I “tested” it.
What is Warzone 2100
Warzone 2100 (pronounced “Warzone twenty-one hundred”) is an open source real-time strategy and real-time tactics hybrid computer game, originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It was originally released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation, and is now also available for Mac OS X, AROS, MorphOS, Linux, FreeBSD, AmigaOS 4, and other operating systems.
While Warzone 2100 was developed and released as a proprietary commercial game, on December 6, 2004, the source code and most of its data was released under the GNU General Public License, the rest of the data followed on June 10, 2008.
Warzone’s history and scenario
In the late 21st century, the world’s civilizations are wiped out by a series of nuclear strikes, seemingly caused by a massive malfunction of the new NASDA strategic defense system. While most of the survivors form scavenger bands to survive, the player is a member of a group named “The Project”, that is more organized and seeks to rebuild civilization using pre-war technology.
The game begins with The Project sending three teams (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma) to gather technology that would help with reconstruction; the player assumes command of Team Alpha in Arizona. While gathering said “artifacts”, the Project fends off attacks from an organization called the New Paradigm, another major survivalist organization, which is more advanced than the player’s forces. Later however, it is discovered that a self-aware computer virus named ‘Nexus’ is actually controlling the New Paradigm.
After the player defeats the New Paradigm, he is assigned to Team Beta, which is based in an urban zone in the Eastern Sector and under attack by a faction called ‘The Collective’. Again, the player starts out less advanced than ‘The Collective’ and it is discovered that Nexus is controlling this faction too. At the end of the campaign, Nexus launches nuclear missiles at Alpha and Beta bases, prompting the player to abandon the facility and move to the Gamma base.
Upon arriving at Gamma base, the player is immediately ambushed by the Gamma forces, which have already been taken over by Nexus. After the player survives the ambush and develops countermeasures to Nexus’ infection, Nexus takes control of the remaining NASDA satellites and attempts to destroy the player. However, before he can succeed, the Project captures a NASDA missile site, and shoots down the orbiting laser weapons. It is learned that the scientist Dr. Reed, who was bankrupted by the US military, transformed himself into the Nexus virus and was responsible for the holocaust by infiltrating the ‘NASDA’ systems. At this point, the survivors of the Alpha and Beta bases arrive, and the three Project teams launch a full-scale assault on Nexus. The Project destroys Nexus and can begin rebuilding civilization.
However, in the final cinematic, one of the remaining NASDA sites is shown contacting an object in orbit, while Nexus’ laugh can be heard.
… and the game begins
When Warzone starts in the campaign mode, we will only be equipped with 3 trucks and 4 ‘standard’ tanks. The trucks we have should be used to establish our base (command center, power source, factory, and refinery). At the same time, we use our tanks to guard our base from any attack comes from outer area. After we finish in building factory, we can just start to train new tanks (maximum 9 tanks in one factory). Later, these tanks can be used to explore the surrounding area and attack enemies (in the first level, there are 2 enemy bases).
Just the same as the similar game, one of the objectives is “take over” artifacts that are usually located in the enemy base. These artifacts can later be used to fund researches or to build new units.
On the next level, the enemies are getting more aggressive and do intense attacks. We are suggested to build more factory so that we can train more tanks and attack faster.
After the second level is completed, on the third level our main objective is building “Power Module”. This level is taking quite short time, especially if we have gathered all the artifacts on the previous level and researched “power module research” in Research Center. So, the only thing we need to do is building the “Power Module” itself.
On the next level, there will be a transport ship / drop ship that will bring 10 of our tanks to locate and recover artifacts which are far from our base. After we arrive in the Landing Zone (LZ), we need to move quickly and return to the LZ quickly too. There will be an assault and ambush from enemies. Although we can “ignore” them in order to reach the artifacts and LZ sooner, we still need to bring fully healthy tanks.
After returning to the base, we will be given an objective to recover artifacts (again) from the enemies’ base. In this level, right after we arrive in LZ, we will get an “opening” attack. In this level, reinforcement is possible. We can “import” another 10 tanks to support our attack. If we have more tanks, we can “import” them all to the current level. But the reinforcement will come in different time intervals on each level. Besides that, the game duration in this level is limited by 30 minutes. We have to accomplish the mission during this 30 minutes. Other missions’ duration on different levels may vary.
Soon after you return to the base, on the next level you will be assigned an objective to locate a signal transmitted by enemies and defend your LZ. In this level, reinforcement can be sent every 2 minutes. If you can pass this level, then you will be “transferred” to the next mission. Unfortunately, this new mission is starting to be mad. Although you have a lot of tanks, you will be easily defeated by enemies. So, get ready to use “cheat”. 🙂
It’s impressive, but….
As this game similar to Starcraft—which I love it very much—the concept of the game is “attractive”, especially because it’s also available under Linux for an offline play. Unfortunately, it cannot run well in my PClinuxOS machine due to my netbook’s specification. It could run smooth, as smooth as running under Windows only when I moved the harddisk to my Windows PC—which has higher specification—and booted the PC from my Linux harddisk! So, testing Warzone 2100 in my PClinuxOS netbook was actually failed! But, at least, Linux has cool game, right? You do not need to be worried about anything if you have faster processor and sufficient RAM.
- For the graphics, Warzone is a simple 3D, not very detailed nor realistic
- Available on portable format for Windows users (from portableapps.com)
- Besides single player mode, we can play in multi-player mode. And besides campaign mode, we can also play in skirmish mode and challenges mode
- Maps and mods are available in Warzone’s official website
- We can save our progress so that we do not need to restart the game from the beginning in the case of failed to accomplish the mission
- I failed to accomplish the final mission on portable version (under Windows), maybe because I used “cheat” 🙂