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Etherium makes an impact in new screens

If real-time strategy title Etherium wasn’t on your radar before, the new pair of screens released by developer Tindalos Interactive will definitely make for some interesting blips.

In Etherium, three empires are locked in a ruthless struggle to control a distant planet and its moons; this planet contains etherium, a mysterious and precious resource. The player will take the lead of one of the three factions, each with its individual characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, technologies and special skills, such as climate control, espionage and precognition.

So not only does Etherium sound pretty neat, but it also looks super-cool. I haven’t played an RTS in a while, but this is one that’s looking just about as next-fen as anything. The game won’t play out in typical fashion either as you’ll have to actively manage research and care for your colony as you wage war. Making things tougher, you’ll also have to deal with the elements and the brand new weather control system.

Need to approach an enemy base unseen? How about using a sandstorm as cover. Want to cross a “freezing river”? Best use your tanks so your troops won’t be icicles by the time they reach shore. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of weather and the elements having as big of an impact on actual gameplay as Etherium’s will and it’s a much needed addition to the RTS genre. I remember back when deformable terrain was all the rage, but the weather itself and all that it can do to a military force on the battlefield? That’s something else.

Etherium ail be playable in four=player multi or solo, and its campaign is promising to be of the non-linear variety too. So you should basically be free to tackle any of the games missions as you see fit.

he solo campaign in Etherium is non-linear, so you are free to decide how your conquests progress: you can choose which of the planet’s continents or moons will provide the setting for your next mission. It may be more advantageous to conquer particular territories, but these may also be better defended. You will also have to stop the enemy from recapturing territories you have gained! Every continent and moon has very diverse environments, and varied terrain that will force you to adapt your strategy and employ different tactics: arid desert, jungles and swamps that impede the advance of the tanks, icy worlds, island archipelagos. you must consider the terrain very carefully before implementing your strategy! You will also encounter six secondary factions during the campaign (raiders, alien beings, etc). You could of course fight them, but alternatively you could also rally them to your cause, to exploit their units and special skills!

Weather control, alien allies, non-linear battlescape… Etherium is sounding like a winner. Now if it plays half as good as it looks, we just might have a new force to contend with in the RTS genre. There’s no release date as of yet for the game’s release on the PC, but stay tuned and we’ll let you know as soon as we hear something.

About Jason Micciche

Jason's been knee deep in videogames since he was but a lad. Cutting his teeth on the pixely glory that was the Atari 2600, he's been hack'n'slashing and shoot'em'uping ever since. Mainly an FPS and action guy, Jason enjoys the occasional well crafted title from every genre.

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