It was like, 'shit, we've spent three years on this game and it's not really what we originally wanted.' $14.99 Add to Cart . Robots. This is entirely down to the computer At, which has a human-like quality, and can lay claim to being equal to the stellar standard set by Half-Life. "We haven't optimised the code yet," says Mike, as the PC flicks back to life. Steel Soldiers stuck out for me when we got down to the last five names, because it represents what the game is about. Or sea. You can start to build up your forces when this firefight is over. I think it's really cool. All your favourite strategies and gameplay from the classic version, with graphics that have powered into the 21st century, vivid 3D landscapes, and a state of the art engine that brings your game to life. It doesn't work in a fast-paced action game like Steel Soldiers. The on-screen interface is a little fiddly. Steel yourself for some multiplayer mayhem. ", 'While we were doing the recording," Jamie remembers, laughing. Quote: “Lead your Z: Steel Soldiers into the next century rebooted for the rocket fuelled fans of the classic hard-core strategy game. We've spent so much time balancing them that we may just stick to what we release. And a good thing, too, for under the 3D-accelerated graphics Steel Soldiers retains the same simple ideals that have characterised every Bitmap game since Xenon was released in 1988. More important is the way the story is told (see panel). hide . For instance, as is traditional in real-time strategy games, units are drip-fed to you level by level. Z centred on two robots, Brad and Alan, incompetent droids that starred in numerous cut-scenes. But then I didn't tell them that if it wasn't for Xenon 2,1 wouldn't have dumped my Spectrum for an Atari ST. Or how much I was looking forward to Steel Soldiers. Developed by The 'Oh-yeah-l-remember-them' Bitmap Brothers, Steel Soldiers is something of a rarity in these times, as was its 1995 predecessor Z. file type Game demo. Anyway, I'll shut up now. Although the campaign itself is entirely linear, the missions themselves, though driven by set objectives, are far from it. Though to be fair these only require some practise to get used to. Come February, the end will be in sight. We've actually started that process. IWo days? He really scared the shit out of me, the bastard.". Similarly, after each failure, you get to know where certain units might be and have a better idea of what is going on over the next hill. Instead, every mission is introduced with a fly-over of the level using the game's 3D engine, during which the game's characters outline what is to be dona These are fine in themselves, but having to get through five missions to reveal the next part of the story is somewhat cruel. Tanks don't float or sink into the landscape as they often do with so many other games. It is quite amazing how such a slight twist in emphasis can change the whole focus of a game It might not be a giant leap for games in general, but it is certainly a victory for gameplay - a very welcome return to old values from one of Britain's most respected and loved developers. I wouldn't even say they were in the same genre, or if they are, they are at two extreme ends. "It's also a bit darker this time around, less slapstick. Not the game's fault of course, but as a strategy title it will certainly be too action-orientated for some. Steel Soldiers (a.k.a. The four years Z2 - sorry, Steel Soldiers - spent in development prove that it hasn't been an easy lieu ride. Apr. At the beginning of each 'act', as your motley band of robot renegades arrive to cause havoc on a new planet, you are treated to a wonderful sequence, almost as if the story had come to life from the pages of 2000AD. Locate the executable file in your local folder and begin the launcher to install your desired game. Z: Steel Soldiers youve never had it so good When you take control of your Steel Soldiers unit, youd better hit the ground running, as you take some superb war machinery straight into the heat of battle. But it was close. We'll do the game first, then think about what machine it would suit best." Look at Half-Life, the most involving single-player game ever made? The Bitmap Brothers' robo-RTS sequel Z: Steel Soldiers is set to relaunch on Steam tonight, 13 years after its original release. "For the interface, though our brief to the designers and programmers has been 'I don't want to press a key, Z:Steel Soldiers. Each of the cinematics follows the other but they might lack a bit of the original charm we saw in the first game. A month? 'I went to the sound recordings for the mission briefings and I was in stitches. In the next mission come jeeps, and although they become obsolete later in the game, for the next couple of levels they are indispensable for scouting ahead. Just recently we had fire trucks in, but it spoilt the experience of the game and they just didn't fit in, so we thought 'sod it, take 'em out'. Z: Steel Soldiers (originally released simply as Steel Soldiers in North America) is a real-time strategy game released by the Bitmap Brothers on 15 June, 2001 for the Windows platform. Additionally, rather than having to find deposits of coal, gold, wood or oil and spend hours figuring out how much each of your units costs in each, you simply get an income of credits depending on the amount of the map you currently own. Time is money, as they say. Who knows, maybe one day we'll see a full-length comic movie of Zod and the boys. "Probably," laughs Mike. It will provide new challenges to seasoned wargamers, and for those bored into submission after countless C&C clones, I can guarantee this game will re-ignite your passion for strategy games. Obviously the units available are exactly the same as those in the single-player campaign, but what is completely different is how many players can join in. Everything is immediately in view. So, thought I, a couple of tanks and a half-dozen Psychos should take care of them. Hey there, I recently found an old CD of the Game, installed it and got it working somehow, after I patched it to the newest vesion I asked myself how I would go to host a Multiplayer game I actually have much experience in multiplayer hosting such as Dedicated Servers, Portmapping and etc. One thing is for sure, though - the AI puls up a damn good fight. We'll have logos in there for multiplayer, so it should be easy if people want to add logos to their units. The point and click interface allows you to control almost every aspect of the game without touching the keyboard. Tight and self-contained -often with numerous choke-points, they again share a common trait with traditional deathmatch levels in that every inch counts. And yes, while all RTS games can be controlled this way, you don't usually get very far unless you play finger Twister across the keyboard.  And yet, when did you last play through the game on your own? The other day we noticed the AI sent out a scout helicopter, he's never done that before." We don't want people changing things too much.". Straight away you are thrown into the action, merciless though it may seem; but it's only by flailing at the deep end that you find out how devilishly simple yet incredibly varied the game is. The terrain may not be the most realistic interpretation of what you might find on an alien planet, but it all goes back to gameplay. "In fact, we haven't done any optimisation for a year. FREE. But for those itching to know what happened to General Zod and his bumbling sidekicks Brad and Alan after the original Z, here goes... Well, the General is no longer. maps seem too simple, the land unrealistic and the water flat, but in action it's what's happening across the maps that takes precedence. Perhaps if some of the missions saw you taking on the role of defender rather than attacker there would be even greater variety and more satisfying balance. Everything is in here from the terrific comedy cut scenes to the frantic game play making this is the definitive version of Z. It is the sequel of their earlier game Z, and follows the same futuristic military science fiction storyline and battlefield gameplay. Maybe another time. So. "You just have to go out there," Mike points out. You don't realise how difficult it is to create maps for three-, five-or seven-player games... "We're still thinking about third-party support. How I didn't piss down my trouser leg, I'll never know. Had I sent a Scout Helicopter in I might have seen the danger, even though that wouldn't have survived either. Unfortunately, though, I didn't have time to get used to the interface (I had to plead to even play anything after level one), and by the time I managed to get a grip on the game, the damn thing went and crashed. In Z: Steel Soldiers, unlike almost every other strategy game, you can't blame defeat on not knowing the level, only on your tactical incompetence. Up until recently, names have been die least of the Bitmaps worries. file size 30.2 MB. Battle For Dune, Steel Soldiers will be the Bitmaps first full 3D game and as Westwood has repeatedly professed, it's not a step to be taken lightly for a company who've yet to dissappoint its fans. I don't actually mind if you put the key stuff in there, that's fine.' If fast-paced robot mayhem sounds up your alley, Z: Steel Soldiers is available now on Android and Steam. And while I was standing there doing my business, he suddenly turned round and, in (robot) Brad's voice, shouted: 'Atten-shun!' Which is why Steel Soldiers will come with a wealth of multiplayer options: "There's a timed game," says Jamie. It was a brave step for us to change direction slightly and, although we lost a little bit of time, it was the best thing we could have done and we've ended up with what we think is brilliant.". "It's just been unbelievable. Z:Steel Soldiers. "It does," insists Jamie. it, I feared disappointment. Firstly, Steel Soldiers can be controlled entirely from the mouse. Later on you can use snipers to take out helicopter pilots, so that you can nick those. In 2001 the Bitmap Brothers released “Z:Steel Soldiers”, serving the same real-time strategy idea, but graphically completely redone, now being a true Windows 32Bit application. "Every time you play it's that little bit different," gushes Mike. Just one more question: Will we have to wait another four years for the next Bitmap Brothers game? ; Replace the original Z2.EXE file with the one from the File Archive. After all, we made the best computers (Spectrum, BBC, Dragon 32 - actually scratch that last one, it ran on coal and was rubbish), and the finest games in Christendom (AticAtac, Starquake, Elite - the list is endless). And on the final Mars-like dustbowl, when the most devastating tanks start rolling into service, you find wide open plateaus just waiting to be filled with tracked metal and explosions from distant guns. Fast, frenetic and polished to nearperfection, its beauty lies in its simplicity and accessibility. "A hero game, which is similar to Regicide in Age Of Empires IIor the Commander in Total Annihilation, resource-based games if you want to fight for territory, deathmatch-style team games, flag games - all of which can be played in Skirmish mode against the Al. Later on I found that the enemy doesn't use high-level units and structures nearly as much as it could. Enjoy! When you take control of your Steel Soldiers unit, you'd better hit the ground running, as you take … Secondly, Steel Soldiers has no tutorial. These Z: Steel Soldiers Remastered cheats are designed to enhance your experience with the game. ; Play the Game! Indeed, the first thing you notice when you see Steel Soldiers in action is just how far we have come in the last few years. "Originally, when we first started, we were quite productive," says Mike. We wanted the importance to be on the individual units, their worth and balance and the combination between them. As with all of the missions, both sides start with a certain spread of units to make the best use of, all of which start life in the same place each time. Our Z: Steel Soldiers Remastered +5 trainer is now available and supports STEAM. Thankfully, since you are free to move them around, they rarely obscure the action. Well, it does a bit...". ", "If you've got a radar net it will show you the positions of the enemy units," Jamie adds. But for those who like keyboard-shortcuts and completely free cameras, you can do all that as well.". Shall 1 turn the tape off?" The simple fact is Z: Steel Soldiers is a truly excellent game, far superior to it's predecessor and easily up to the high standard The Bitmap Brothers have set themselves in the past. In 2001 the Bitmap Brothers released “Z:Steel Soldiers”, serving the same real-time strategy idea, but graphically completely redone, now being a true Windows 32Bit application. It all comes down to gameplay, really, and the original Z had it in spades. The bastard Blue general had used his builder bot to construct a chain of Gun Towers. But as far as letting people create their own units, we don't know. Basically, we've made things simple. rather that the shine of its graphics - just the way a great game should be. © mxdwn.com 2001 - 2020. You start at one side of the map, usually with a Command Centre and one territory - your blue-tinted enemy on the other, and you must both expand across the level by capturing and holding the litter bin rooted in each territory. For all the cutting back of the fat, Steel Soldiers isn't without a few love handles. Jamie Barber is the one who knows the real ins-and-outs of Steel Soldiers. If Command & Conquer ms strategy's answer to Doom, Steel Soldiers is its answer to Quake. It's amazing it works at all. It's very easy. Outside their Wapping headquarters die rain clawed its way down the windows and the sun was sinking rapidly. "Z was classed as a Command & Conquer clone," says Mike, almost as if the comparisons still wound him. Z: Steel Soldiers - v.3.0 - Game demo - Download Demo version of Z: Steel Soldiers, a(n) strategy game, v.3.0, for PCs and laptops with Windows systems.Free and legal download. In the bloody aftermath of ‘Z’ comes Z: Steel Soldiers. No longer a general anyway. You don't have to go and build a robot, who has to build a cart, which has to go out and collect the rubbish from the rubbish bins. Because we've got just two sides, both with the same units, we've been able to put all our time into balancing them. Far from feeling constrained or frustrated, this adds another level to the strategy as you rally your forces into the right mix in order to grab another chunk of land. If it wasn't for the fact that to do so wouldn't get you very far, you could probably sit there for hours watching and listening to the metal carnage that follows. Whilst the first game provided fun intermezzos, those in Z: Steel Soldiers are a tad more serious. After being lead through a few nearly-completed missions by Jamie, it was then time for me to dive in. Can you add publish the original Z Steel Soldiers? It's there if you want it, but you can move it, minimise it or keep it to the default set-up. Everyone in the office had their own ideas that they liked and it got to the point where you just think, 'fucking hell, let's just stick a pin in the wall and see what comes out'. hide . The original Z distinguished itself from its competitors in the RTS market with a unique take on unit construction and resource management. Quite a few options then, and thanks to the game's pace, multiplayer games can be played in a lunch hour, which means we could be seeing the end of Counter-Strike at last. But it has been a while since the Bitmaps released a game on PC. There are in fact 20 maps available; ten for one-on-one games, a couple each for three, four and eight players and one map each for the rest. Z: Steel Soldiers) screenshots: Gamers looking for a nearly insane challenge should enjoy the fast action of the technology-driven Steel Soldiers. The enemy only got a light tank and two robots through, one of which was an unarmed construction robot. Made of steel. Brad and Alan are actually the names of the two voice actors, and after we played them a few cut-scenes from the first game, they snapped back into character in seconds. It features a progressive plot driven story line written by Martin Pond, the man responsible for bringing the world of Medievil and the universe of Imperium Galactica 2 to life. It's a more realistic approach to gameplay. in the name of research, I started the level again to see if the same would happen. The Steel Soldiers story is conveyed in a manner not unlike the black and white stills of Homeworldand the more colourful MDK2-only far more animated and humorous. "I'm quite sure it does," says Mike. Z: Steel Soldiers (originally released simply as Steel Soldiers in North America) is a real-time strategy game released by the Bitmap Brothers on 15 June, 2001 for the Windows platform. All through development we've tried things out before dismissing them. And why is it still there taking up valuable hard drive space? "With the single-player campaign we have 30 levels, broken into stages of five levels set across six environments. It will provide new challenges to seasoned wargamers, and for those bored into submission after countless C&C clones, I can guarantee this game will re-ignite your passion for strategy games. Stealth Bombers and Environment Control Buildings (these send meteorites across the map - neat), were rarely put to use. Z: Steel Soldiers Remastered Trainer Build 216 . Back, too, is Zod, the cybernetic general based on Robert Duvall's napalm-loving character from Apocalypse Now (you may have noticed him on the cover). Plus this PC we're playing on was dropped on the floor a little while back and we just flung all the bits back together. That was a shame because Z was more arcade strategy', almost as if you could keep putting coins in and keep playing and playing and if you stopped for a second, you lost.". On seeing the only way forward was through a ravine, guarded guite lightly by a couple of tanks, I took the rash decision to attack.
The remake on steam is terrible . Units don't get obscured by trees, you don't get massive status bars clogging up the screen (something that really gets my goat) and every unit sits well on the undulating terrain. Even though the camera angles are restricted, you can still go to the options screen and change things so you can zoom further, swing faster, whatever. Years later and, thankfully, though our collective skills at soldering transistors to rubber keyboards may have waned, British games are still some of the most innovative and engrossing titles you can buy and the Bitmap Brothers, along with Bullfrog, Ultimate Play The Game (now Rare) and individuals like Molyneux, McLean and Crammond, have constantly proved their worth time and time again. Apply the official Z: Steel Soldiers v1.41 Beta 2 [US/UK] Patch. 21, 2012. report . Unsurprisingly then, we found out that the arty types at Cool Beans, makers of the comic-style sequences for Steel Soldiers, have had more than a little to do with the galaxy's greatest comic, as well as having created the artwork that adorned the (Star Trek Voyager Elite Force you've played Homeworld or MDK 2 you will know what to expect, but Steel Soldiers' cut-scenes are in a different class entirely - original, funny and certainly worth a repeat showing. It's just very simple. Even looking through the screenshots I took while playing the game, few seemed to capture the pure exhilaration I experienced while playing. We had to keep a few in there to set the AI up, maybe give the AI some initial objectives to wake the player up. At last it has arrived, Z: Steel Soldiers, the sequel to Z. But they thought it was the hardest work they'd done for months. It would Be nice to have Z-Steel Soldier. We actually have the same voice actors that we had before, so we have continuity and these guys really are hilarious. Up until the second I got my hands on "But then I would say that, wouldn't 1?" In fact, they haven't really had a duffer yet and having played a couple of levels of an early build of Z: Steel Soldiers, it doesn't look like they're about to start now. "The problem is that nowadays it costs a lot more money and you have to put more effort into a game and certainly, to do a game up to the quality of the Bitmap Brothers is expensive and it takes time. For those who prefer more buttons, there are a few physically undemanding keyboard shortcuts, but if your mouse has one of those wheel things, you can quite happily play through the entire game with one hand, leaving the other free to down fizzy pop.  Later on, as ships start to become available, the water between the land masses opens up. The rechristening, by the way, was because of trademarks: car bores will know that BMW have some four-wheeled conveyance called a Z3 which, although rather good for getting the shopping home, kind of kills off all hope of any subsequent Z sequel - or at least it did. All of these were cut to pieces before they reached the first marker. The mission structure of the game takes this into consideration with the player having to achieve a plethora of … For all the subtle varieties in gameplay and the high degree of thought that has evidently gone into the game, it doesn't so much push the boundaries forward as punch a hole in them, one through which other games are unlikely to follow. Yes it really is that good. "We spent a whole year putting scripts into the game, then we finished the AI system and thought, 'shit, we can take all these scripts out - well, 95 per cent of them'. If you know what units you have, you know what you're up against. I had to think long and hard before deciding to give Steel Soldiers a PC Classic Award, and I have to say that while not to everyone's taste, it is certainly a work of art. Rather than having their game in a real-world environment that will set Steel Soldiers apart and rather than crowbar in new features to list on the back of the box, it seems that less most definitely more. You can put robots onto APCs, then put the APCs onto transport helicopters - which I hadn't learnt about until today, which makes me laugh. Of course, with each restart, while my knowledge of the level only grows, the opposing general has to endure something approaching a lobotomy, and while he's pretty predictable at the start of each mission, he certainly learns fast. Get in line for the ultimate Real-time Strategy. "You take the flag, the flag gives you the territory, the size of the territory gives you an amount of credits and as along as you have one territory, you can get credits and can always build something - and that is it. This was after the developers had secured all rights to Z2 from the publisher GT Interactive. Of course, the biggest change from the original Z is that Mike and his micro-mechanics have had to create a 3D engine from scratch. In fact, each unit moves pretty much as you would expect. It's more plot-driven and focused," Mike stresses. Though they may not look it at first, nearly all of the maps have been superbly designed, and even the not-so-superb ones are damn good. You can't just sit there, if you do you're going to die. Buildings, tanks and trees too come apart in the most extravagant way, and you can't help but stifle a grin as a lone robot soldier skids to his death under a hail of bullets. But, being greedy types, we feel you can never have enough of a good thing, and we'd have liked to have seen more. All rights reserved. In the bloody aftermath of 'Z' comes Z:Steel Soldiers. "You can have robots in a bunker and sometimes, though not all the time, when you're firing at it with a couple of long-range units, just as it's about to blow, the enemy flood out and annihilate you. We streamlined the whole game, cut everything back and the game has become so simple, so intuitive -which is exactly what we were aiming to achieve, but we overcomplicated things in development by putting in things that we didn't need. On 24 August 2000, the Bitmap Brothers announced a deal with EON Digital Entertainment to publish a sequel to Z, then given a working title of Z2. 29, 2019. report . In tact, I got a little bit carried away and took two territories, and although this gave a short-term boost to my wallet, it left my forces too spread out and within a couple of minutes, both regions were lost. In fact, apart from a handful (notably Shogun: Total War, Homeworld and Ground Control), 2D strategy games are every bit as much fun and certainly more popular than 3D RTS games. "It's been a long four years," says Jamie, looking back. Significantly, as with Westwood's recently announced Dune sequel, In Steel Soldiers the cigar-chewing machine has been demoted to a lowly captain and posted to patrol some dusty backwater planet in the middle of nowhere. The mission objectives in themselves are nothing we haven't seen or done before in countless games, but to be fair the same is true in almost all genres. The new voice actor, Pete, worked on Phantom Menace and previous Star Wars films as well, so in voice acting circles we've got the best. The campaign should keep you going for a while, but when that's over, you can always play against others. You know, like 'come on, bloody do something'. Steel Soldiers isn't one of those games in which you can just sit back, watch the credits roll in and hope to win through sheer weight of numbers. To uncover the story, missions must, of course, be completed and there is a healthy range of mission objectives, from rescuing lost units (usually Brad, Allen, or both), escorting Zod, finding lost items, destroying enemy factories or all out annihilation of the enemy. "There's more of a story, which we didn't have before. In Steel Soldiers, you just have to take the map. From his not unpleasant research, one factor has been at the forefront of the Bitmap ideal - simplicity. Fans of this classic strategy title are in for a real treat. A new breed of robot with a taste for war and a warped sense of humour. However, having figured out that a few dozen Tanks and Attack Choppers were enough to spit-roast me, maybe the AI didn't need advanced units as much as I obviously did. Z: Steel Soldiers Summary : Takes the core structure of the original title, Z, and immerses you into an arcade-strategy title where the emphasis is on real-time combat. Our most advanced AI yet, that will stop at nothing to rid the universe of Zod and his band of space renegades…. To build a factory for vehicles, robots or aircraft, you have to make sure that the land is flat, and because you unfortunately can't build steamrollers, more often than not you'll end up with a robot factory on one side of your empire and vehicles being produced at another. After all, The Bitmaps have been pretty much out of circulation for some time, and to come back with a game to match or even excel past classics such as Xenon II, Speedball or Gods was always going to tricky. I also found that there are perhaps too many buttons on screen, and some I never had cause to use at all. All of which goes to show that Z: Steel Soldiers is a game that has to be played to be appreciated. Offering a hefty 30 levels, five for each of the six planets in the game, at first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking that each planet is identical, the only difference being the colour. You start off in the first mission only able to build one offensive unit - machine-gunners - which sounds pretty dull until you play it. Now there are many features in Steel Soldiers that set it apart, but one that makes itself known quite early on is that rather than being one of those 3D strategy games that make more demands on your fingers rather than your brain, 2: Steel Soldiers works on your body the other way around. In this instance I was buggered to find that instead of going all defensive, the sneaky tart simply overran me. Case closed. 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