Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
30 Genres of Christmas
Real-Time Strategy
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 15, 2009   |   Episode 20 (Show Archive)  


It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!

DAMN! This picture makes StarCraft look AWESOME!!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Real-Time Strategy Game? Are you a fan of big epic battles, but would rather spend your time planning the battle, mining for gold, training your soldiers and logging the forest? Are you playing a game that can go for hours and hours without a clear winner? Are you playing a Warcraft game that does not start with "World of"? If so, then you're playing a Real-Time Strategy game, a series that allows you to manage a complex battlefield full of soldiers, magicians, and high powered technology.

Patron Saint: General Patton.

Typical Story: This land used to be lush and beautiful, but thanks to centuries of war it is now dark and desolate. For years one army has controlled this world with an iron fist, smiting anybody that dares challenge them. A group of rag-tag warriors isn't going to stand for it, but before they can charge the bases and kill the oppressor, they will need to build up their numbers. First you decide to lay down some houses for the people to live in, then a barracks

These days Command & Conquer is best known for its cheesy (yet entertaining) full-motion video sequences!
where people can train for combat. From there we build a lumber mill, refinery, magic shot and so on so forth. Before long you are leading your masses into battle, defeating the evil dictator and freeing your land for generations to come ... or until the sequel comes out.

What a World of Warcraft Addict Says: "So let me get this straight, the box clearly says "Warcraft" and it's from Blizzard, but this isn't the expansion pack I was looking for. Where are all the people? Where are the quests? Why is everything told from an overhead point of view? WHY AM I SPENDING THIS MUCH TIME MINING? Seriously, Blizzard, this game sucks. This is nothing like World of Warcraft. I especially hate how I don't have to pay online fees to play online, what kind of garbage is that? Screw this game; I'm going back to WoW!"

Not a Real-Time Strategy Game: Is Brutal Legend a Real-Time Strategy game? According to Tim Schafer, this Jack Black-infused

I'll give Blizzard credit for one thing, they have awesome artists that really make me want to play their games!
action game started out as a rock 'n roll RTS. But despite having a few epic battles, most of the game feels like a cross between an open world sandbox game and your basic third person hack 'n slash. The RTS content is saved for the boss battles and multiplayer. I can certainly see the argument for why this game would fit alongside Command & Conquer, but the line is just blurry enough to make me question the genre.

Then vs. Now? I know I'll be booed off the stage, but the Real-Time Strategy genre hasn't changed much over the last 15 years. Oh sure, the graphics have gotten better, the unit balance has been drastically improved, multiplayer gameplay is considerably easier and each series has its own unique gimmick. However, outside of a better variety of games (including everything from high fantasy to World War II RTS games), most Real-Time Strategy games play exactly like they did all those years ago. Not even StarCraft II, easily the most anticipated Real-Time Strategy game of this generation, is capable of making the drastic changes we've seen in other genres. That's not to say that the game won't be fun, I'm sure it will be. But as far as I can tell most of today's Real-Time Strategy games are nothing more than yesterday's game with better graphics. So, for that reason, I side with the classic RTS games.


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