Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game that combines the strategic challenge of a classic RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence. The game is released by Iceberg Interactive, an independent videogame publisher founded in 2009 by an international group of game industry veterans. Icebergs have successfully released digital hits in European retail, such as Killing floor, Wings of Prey and APB reloaded. With that said, have they bought us another enjoyable game?
The game is set on Earth, post-nuclear war. The ice caps have all melted which in turn has dramatically raised the water level and changed the planet we know. The last survivors live on the remaining spots of dry land and floating sea platforms. Remiment armies have evolved into rival factions that are fighting for power and desperately trying to take control of the remaining fuel. This has turned the planet into a massive battlefield. Think of Mad Max on water and you will get the idea.
You play the role of Kevin, a rookie fresh from the navy academy with great leadership potential. As he begins his new career he joins the ranks of the Sharks, a powerful military organization that controls nearby waters. As you begin you find yourself under the command of the commander of the Sharks. You are let loose with a small flee, sent on a mission west of the Sharks base where two oil platforms have suddenly gone silent. The commander suspects that a band of rebellious outsiders called the Raiders have stormed the region in their scrap boats. You need to find out what’s happened and eliminate the root of the problem.
So let’s find out what it’s actually like to play the game. The controls are the usual for any RTS. You use the combination of the mouse and keyboard to select units and give them orders. There are various units to control and master each with their own unique specialities. You start off with some basic units. To give you an idea, you start off with what the game calls ‘Piranhas’, these are pretty much what we would call Jet Skis. These are the weakest of the units you have at your disposal. However, when you have lots of them at once they pack a fair punch. You also have a unit called the ‘Angler Boat’, these are pretty much as the name says, however these boats are not for fishing they are a war machine with a mini-gun. They are good at taking out towers that are placed around the ship yards and boot camps etc.
You start off with your basic base being a boot camp. As you play you unlock further facilities like a shipyard where you can build more angler boats etc. As I mentioned before, Oil Rush is all about gathering oil, which you do by taking over Oil Rigs that are scattered around this watery world. These are often found in no-man’s land where the enemy raiders are hanging out. You often need to make sure you have enough units free to scout out these areas. If you don’t send enough, they will be defeated easily making it harder for you to take over these all important oil rigs. You need to also think about defence, each facility you have can have much needed defence towers or bunkers added to it as the raiders will also attack you and try and take your precious oil rigs. These defence buildings can be upgraded as you play along. The further you get into the game, like most games you gain upgrades as you learn new technology and also unlock better weapons like napalm that, as the name states, literally napalms an area, which is very handy.
In the earlier missions you take control of a zeppelin hot balloon and have to guide it over some enemy structures and tell your commander where to aim the napalm attack. However, you’re Zeppelin is pretty poor at defending itself as it has limited defence weapons, so you will find yourself using this type of unit as more of a scout that an attacking unit. There are many upgrades to be found while playing through Oil Rush and they can be pretty satisfying to unlock.
This game has a great story to it. I feel this is what really keeps you playing though, as after an hour or so the game can feel a bit repetitive. Also, you will find yourself concentrating on the mini map more than the actual main screen, as you need to manage your units and move them between structures all the time. I found this slightly annoying as it starts to feel like more of a board game than a computer game after a while.
Oil Rush, however, is a pretty solid game. If you are a fan of tower defence games then you will most likely really enjoy it. It is pretty good fun and very satisfying. The story line also seems to have a slight bit of an insight into the future of our planet, and it is pretty believable that we could actually end up this way if our ice caps melt the way those scientists seem to think. Maybe now is the best time to buy that scuba outfit.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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