Let me start with saying I am a huge fan of the earth series,
-Earth 2160 continues the story of its predecessors through 4 campaigns of around average length that will most likely keep you busy for a while.
-The game features 4 very unique races which vary greatly in terms of playstyle.
-Lets you modify your units as you see fit to execute their job perfectly.
-It comes with a skirmish mode and supports up to 8 players for lan and i-net multiplayer. Has a bunch of extra maps added to it, some of which I recall seeing in fan patches.
-The game natviely supports most modern resolutions up to 1920x1080.
-Despite its age the graphics are still very neat to look at and features like its day and night cycle make the game quite pretty.
-Note: You will have to register the game ingame via its product code allocated by steam to unlock its full content, which might scare some people off but I dont exactly see any harm in it. (not like most modern games dont require you to make accounts :p)
Eurasian Dynasty (ED)
The ED originated from Russia and while they may not be the fastest, they certainly have some of the toughest units in the game featuring heavy tanks, artillery and bombers. They weaponry ranges from conventional weapons to heat rays.
Their basebuilding consists of placing a main 'core' at the center of your base from which you build pipes to connect a variety of structures and generators to power your network of buildings. They can also build walls and a variety of other defenses.
Their ressource gathering is done by mobile refineries which can hover from depot to depot and process all ressources gathered on the spot for a steady income.
Strength: Very tough units, able to turtle quite well using a ring of walls around the mainframe, simple ressource gathering
Weakness: Slow units, buildings are vulnerable to get disconnected from the frame and can get disabled due to lack of power, basebuilding takes up a lot of time and needs to be planned ahead a bit in order to make room for future buildings.
United Civilized States (UCS)
The UCS originated from the United states of america, they have a variety of mechs and jets at their disposal and use a lot of energy based weaponry as well as ballistic missiles.
Their basebuilding is probably the most 'normal' and executed by flying drones that place structures which then build themselves as they drain the ressources needed. Their bases have the unique feature to use add-ons to enhance buildings in a specific way, such as making generators create more power or making refineries generate more income.
Their ressource gathering is rather traditional and has flying harvesters land on top of the ressources, gathering them and returning back to the nearest refinery for dropoff.
Strength: Fairly easy to master, strong missiles backed up by laser weapons, simple basebuilding which doesnt need babysitting. Can place turrets and walls to some extend to provide decent defense. Can teleport freshly trained units.
Weakness: Their structures while efficient can get costy to replace with a bunch of add-ons added to them and expanding to get more ressources does require you to set up additional outposts. Their laser weaponry is prone to get tackled by shields early on which renders them inefficient.
Lunar Corporation (LC)
The LC created orbital colonies and initially settled down on the Moon. They were able to study alien technology and feature the most advanced weaponry out of all the races. Their vehicles are hovertanks, infantry has jetpacks and aircraft are speedy.
Basebuilding for the LC means placing a basic module on the ground and stacking other modules on top to create a tower which depending on modules you places can fill in a variety of roles from research and unit training to combat modules to turn them into tough fortresses. They can also place external turrets and laser walls and all structures can be placed anywhere as they are dropped in from the sky. (you can only call in a limited number of buildings at a time though)
Their ressource gathering is as simple as dropping a mining base next to a ressource field. They will harvest and process it automatically.
Strength: Some of the fastest units in the game, very strong weaponry that is specialized to usually fit a single purpose, probably have the ability to expand in terms of ressources easier than any other race, can build foward or hidden bases anytime, anywhere.
Weakness: Due to their 'stacking' mechanic of modules their structural integrity is often at risk and they are prone to have their buildings get sniped which are even more expensive to replace than fully modded ucs building, their early game units while fast are fairly weak in terms of hp.
The aliens are a new addition in Earth 2160 and feature the most unique playstyle using cloning and evolution to create their units and having no ressource gathering in the traditional way.
They can morph strong defensive structures which are able to provide heavy cover for units while they clone and evolve or block off ressource points from your enemies.
Instead of ressource gathering their units absorb a small amount of ressources to evolve into different species, starting with a basic unit that has no way of attacking and a basic mothership you have to clone them to create more and evolve those into different strands to create the perfect army.
Note: It is advised that you keep at the very least one basic unit to replicate as you might be unable to reproduce if you dont!
Strength: Strong structures, heaviest aircraft in the game, fast and lethal units, can easily poke at hostile bases and harass them.
Weakness: Beyond static turrets no way to defend yourself, take great amounts of planning and macro management to keep track of your units and their evolutions, easy to get harassed and crippled if cloning units are exposed.
Virtual Agents are 'Hero units' which will offer their services for the highest bidder. As Aliens have no means to store ressources they are unable to obtain any.
Agents pop up every now and then , initially after a few minutes three random ones will pop up and ask if the player wants to hire them. You have to be quick and go for whichever suits you best or simply bid on them all if you feel generous with your ressources. Your enemies also have the chance to obtain them and can make them a better offer. In the end they will join whichever side is willing to spend the most money on them.
Once hired you can spawn the VA anywhere you like and they will remain in your service for a limited amount of time till their contract expires, after which you have to pay them again. If they get killed their contract is also terminated.
Those Virtual agents offer a variety of bonuses for certain playstyles, such as reducing the cost of flying units by 25% or having your ground units start as veterans. The VA's also come in a variety of shapes and often are a powerful unit on their own that if used right can pack quite a punch.
You can have up to 3 agents at a time which will most likely start to chat with one another at some point. This usually leads to quite some hilarious conversations which might entertain you if you like bad puns and sarcastic comments.
Note: Virtual Agents can be disabled during game setup if you dont want to have them around.
Thats about all I can tell ya, if youd like to know more you should just take the game for a spin, especially since its currently on offer for a laughable price. The rts genre usually doesnt bring forth as many games as other genres do currently which is why many of us still play 'older' games to pass the time.
This one is a little gem, sure has its flaws but it can be a bunch of fun, especially if you're looking to get it to play with some friends of yours who are also willing to spend a single dollar or euro to get it.