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Hostile Waters

"Hostile Waters is yet another game by the mighty UK develop/publisher Rage Software..."

Hostile Waters is yet another game by the mighty UK develop/publisher Rage Software, this time an Action/Strategy game. It's best described as Ground Control, BattleZone2 and Quake all rolled into one for a unique combination of action and strategy warfare.

When last we saw HW @ ECTS'99 it was already looking pretty polished, however since it started the game has been delayed for nearly two years! A year ago the only thing that seemed incomplete was the interface, but a lot can change in a year.

Mighty cruisers and gunships

In Hostile Waters you take control of tanks, helicopters and several other units, just about everything accept troops. Each unit you use is a game in itself and can be used for different tactical angles of attack on any one objective. Sadly until the game is finally released we won't really know how to talk about it.

HW is such a mix of mediums that it's difficult to put into words. So much so that not even Rage could give it a specific angle =), but is that a bad or a good thing? Either way since last year the game has progressed, although unless explained you might end up none the wiser as it does look depressingly similar.

For a start the physics engine has been refined further so that everything from helicopters to tanks feel the powerful war machines they actually are. Rubble tumbles down hills and vehicles topple over when they miss-judge the landscape, a sign of realism or a bug? Either way it works.

Same engine?

Kinder The graphics have also been improved, lending slightly more to the new 32Bit Incoming Forces engine than the 16Bit textures of the past. The engine is the same but it looks as though many of the vehicles and textures/landscapes have been vastly improved and it's obvious. The updated engine takes full advantage of all the latest technologies such as transform and lighting (GeForce) and environmental bump mapping (G400/ATI Radeon).

However the remnants of the original Incoming game (Rages first major title from the days of 3dfx voodoo1) still seem to exist, which is a pity. While playing the game I couldn't help but feel that the focus on action had become so much that strategy was right out the window. A bit like playing Ground Control on a completely flat surface.


Hostile waters is looking dandy, despite a feeling of still sticking to the past and that the game is based on a three year old design (outdated), it remains promising. The story is top quality, the sound effects are awesome, the graphics hold strong and the gameplay? Well we'll have to wait for the final version I guess.

One way or another, Hostile Waters unique blend of gameplay styles will no doubt attract an interested crowd. Although beware that its approach to strategy is more diversionary than tactical, we'll wait for the final thank you very much.

Developer - Rage Software
Publisher - Rage Software
Website - http://www.rage.co.uk
Release - Q4-2000

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