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An American geological expedition, under a UN mandate, assesses the natural resources in a distant part of Siberia, deep in the trackless steppes of Eastern Russia. But instead of oil, they discover a deposit of a hitherto unknown mineral.
Release Date: Jun 15, 2001

Buy Original War

$4.99

Recent updates View all (2)

Original War updated to v 1.12.10.13 + dubbings added

July 30

Once more, due to efforts of Stucuk from http://owsupport.com/ Original War gets a new update.

Changelog:
Added: Support for 22 Steam Achievements
Added: Language Pack Support
Bug Fix: Am02 - Mikhail is rather aggressive (Issue 4)
Bug Fix: Am07 - JMM dies but mission successful (Issue 5)
Bug Fix: Bloody valley tree gives exp multiple times (Issue 11)
Bug Fix: Polish "From the Future with Love" - %d and %t (Issue 19)
Bug Fix: Cornell appearance Am10_cont (Issue 25)
Bug Fix: AM15, Connie Traverse (Issue 29)
Bug Fix: RU14 generic characters (Issue 31)
Bug Fix: Am15 W. Gorky event (Issue 34)
Bug Fix: Bug/Exploit. Chatting as others in the multiplayer lobby (Issue 35)
Bug Fix: All soldiers don´t attack legion in 2nd attack 15am (Issue 37)
Bug Fix: Crash at Start of AM15 under certain resolutions (Issue 39)
Bug Fix: Ru02 - barracks (Issue 40)
Bug Fix: AM11 Scout (Yamoko) (Issue 43)
Bug Fix: Am15 "No loses" medal (Issue 44)
Changed: Multiplayer Protocol Increased (Incompatible with previous versions)

As part of this update we have also added dubbing in French, German, Polish, Spanish and Czech.

19 comments Read more

About the Game

An American geological expedition, under a UN mandate, assesses the natural resources in a distant part of Siberia, deep in the trackless steppes of Eastern Russia. But instead of oil, they discover a deposit of a hitherto unknown mineral.

American scientists working for Department of Defense find out that this mineral is in fact identical to the substance used to power an extraterrestrial artifact in their possession. This object is called the EON (Extraterrestrial Object Nexus).

It was found in 1919 by Colonel Emerson near the site of the Tunguska explosion. Emerson was the commander of a US military unit in charge of transporting US war supplies from the city of Vladivostok to the Eastern front during World War I.

DoD Experiments have shown that items placed in the capsule are transported hundreds of thousands of years back in time. The American scientists were not able to understand its construction, nor could they manage to synthesize its fuel. Eventually, the machine - classified Top Secret - was stored, pending further advances in human science.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 95/98/2000/XP/7 (Windows 8 not supported)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® III - 700MHz
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™2 - 32 MB
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 2000/XP (Windows 8 not supported)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® IV - 2GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™4 - 256 MB
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
70 of 75 people (93%) found this review helpful
61.5 hrs on record
I got this old game because it was on sale, because I hadn't seen the concept of an RTS closely involved with time travel anywhere else but Achron, and because of its positive reviews. I was wrong - this game is nothing like Achron, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Last night, I stayed up until 6 AM trying to beat the first two USA missions in a way I could be proud of, and spent more than an hour on the third mission besides! I've only played one other RTS which directly applies how well I performed on one level to how well I start on the next level and to the degree that it is possible to get an unworkable start if you really mess up. The best part is? The game doesn't tell me that. It lets me explore, lets me find that out. It lets me find out that level 2 is much easier if I keep level 1's wounded soldier alive, lets me discover that Sabre-tooth tigers attack my troops as a matter of course (New policy: Pre-emptive extermination), makes me find out the little things that divide a Lieutenant from a quartermaster.

The tutorial's unobtrusive, taking the form of hints which pop up along a small, out of the way bar at the bottom of the screen. Easy to ignore if you've seen it before, and easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. Just the way I like it.

The graphics are, to be honest, not good by today's standards. But I am a firm believer in "Graphics matter only to the point where they help the consumer suspend disbelief", and they are good enough for me to suspend disbelief. If you've played the original Starcraft, it's around that level of quality.

Unlike in Starcraft, however, terrain is hugely important in Original War. Long grass conceals soldiers who are crawling, but is temporarily flattened if a vehicle or walking human crosses it. Harder and softer terrains have different effects on the movement of vehicles depending on their propulsion (Tracks seem to be slower than wheels on harder ground and faster on softer ground) and the movement of infantry.

The variety of units we have access to is honestly extremely well done - a basic human can fulfill any infantry role, but the skills they've acquired (In four areas, which transfer from mission to mission as the character does) determine how effective they are. Whether they're effective or not, just performing in the role will increase their ability in it. The four roles I've been exposed to - Soldier, Engineer, Mechanic, Scientist - are each so useful choosing between them is actively painful, and I count that in the game's favor. I've only seen three vehicles so far - two wheeled and one tracked - but being exposed to the vehicle construction menu informs me that eventually I will have the option to deploy vehicles of multiple chassis types, controlled directly by humans or remote guided, armed with distinct weapons, and so far I've seen both gasoline and solar power represented in the game.

Now, the gameplay itself. Original War features RTS gameplay, but it honestly spends most of its time telling a story of people trapped two million years ago which is reflected by the gameplay. Most RTS games accept one basic conceit - that if you click a button in the barracks, you get another man or woman with a rifle. Original War rejects that conceit, and as a result you get a game more about using up, salvaging, resource allocation, and making do than it is about build orders, micro timing, or army composition. The result neatly becomes a sort of hybrid between an RTS and an RPG, with the large battlefields and unit management of an RTS and the detailed statistics and many, many options of an RPG.

In terms of what I as a player can do, Original War impresses me. Do I want the resources that captured vehicle represents more than I want the vehicle itself? I can have it taken apart for a bit of a refund. Do I think it's time for my top soldier to learn how to repair vehicles? I can make her put on overalls and carry repair tools. Do I need to build a bunch of buildings fast? Turn everybody into engineers! Frustrated at the Engineer's slow speed while carrying resources? Vehicles with cargo bays can gather that for them. Am I considering mounting a final, do-or-die assault? Why am I considering that? I can pick the enemy's irreplacable unit count down with a small group of soldiers if I move carefully. Do I want my vehicle to be built quickly or just eventually? Do I want that tech researched NOW or eventually? And this is not counting the in-mission choices - I've received at least one dialogue choice per mission and this is without mentioning the implied choices.

All in all, if you like RTS games, if you like RPG games, and most of all if you like HARD, uncompromising games which ask you as a player to think, learn, and make choices I think there is a very good chance you will enjoy this game as I am.

EDIT: Having completed the final mission of the USA campaign (One of them, anyway...) I have more to say.

In terms of Original War's ethics, I am impressed again. Original War is from the 2000s and it would have been easy for the game to fall into the standard American action hero characterization for the protagonists in the fashion that ruined so many other innovative RTS' for me, yet it doesn't. This is most notable in the portrayal of Joan Fergusson, a scientist who was never meant to go back in time but did anyway. In the majority of video games she would be doubly hampered as both a civilian and the love interest of the USA campaign's main character which would result in Fergusson simply being a useless character in both a statistical sense and a storyline sense. Instead, the exploits of this individual are believable given who she is, where & when she is, and what her limitations are. Specifically, if you keep Joan alive she holds bases on two occasions and brings a squadron of AI tank reinforcements to the final battle that you know she built by herself. The same can be said for nearly every other character I have encountered so far (I'm finding it difficult to grasp Major - Comrade Major Platonov - but I haven't completed the Russian campaign so...) which I view as support for the theory that Original War is more of a cross between an RTS and an RPG than really either.

I enjoy Original War's dedication to continuity of choice - most choices made in early levels (Yes, losing units is a choice) will come back to haunt you by the final stages of a campaign. For instance, in USA 2 I chose to spare a captured enemy Mechanic. In a later level, that choice directly affected how I went about that mission. Even small choices like rotating the Scientist and Engineer roles so that everybody gains skill points becomes a major tactical factor by the tenth level.

If I have one major criticism of Original War, it is that some units seem completely pointless. Apeman Engineers are amazing, Apeman Soldiers are...not. Double Gun Vehicles are always useful, Double Laser Vehicles are an utter waste of time and resources. Original War is hardly unique among RTS games in this sense, and I do appreciate having the options even if they are largely pointless. A point that mitigates this criticism in my eyes is the potential for the player to make useless units - for instance, the abomination that is the Morphling Machinegun or the utter incompetence of the Hovercraft...anything. That some units are useless means less when allowing inexperienced players to make stupid mistakes is such a big part of why I like this game.

All in all, I still really like this game. There's a better than even chance I will buy it for most of my friends since it is on sale, and I will return to 200 Million years before the modern world after my Age of Empires phase has petered out.
Posted: June 30
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22 of 24 people (92%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
I have purchased Original War three times; first in a bargain bin in 2002, then on gog.com and finally on Steam. Let me tell you why this is one of the finest RTS games ever made. A truly exceptional example of the genre but mainly for reasons that set it apart from most strategy games.

Let's talk about what it does that may not be so different but is instead allows us a comforting familiarity with what we've come to expect from Sci-fi RTS games. As is a staple of the RTS Genre the single player comes with two campaigns, a Russian and American/NATO campaign. There is the cliché'd sci-fi super-rare-new-resource, and of course it's a green crystal.

What sets Original War apart from most RTS games is... Well, quite a lot actually. For one; it's set in a world where time-travel is possible. Russia and America are vying for control of a new-found substance called Siberite (known as Alaskite in the Russian campaign.) Both superpowers decide to use time travelling machines to go back and move all the green-glowing-good-stuff to their respective territories, so that when the future comes around they'll already be in possession of every valuable deposit of said resource. For the soldiers embarking on this mission; it means a one way trip. Speaking of soldiers...

Throughout the story you'll be given a single protagonist (American's get Macmillan, Russians get 'Gorky') and if they die, it's game over. The rest are cannon fodder. Likeable cannon-fodder. The problem with liking these human meat shields is if these characters die, that's it. They don't come back. Given that each character has stats based on what you had them do most (building vehicles, constructing fortifications, shooting enemies, or researching space-time anomalies) they get better at it through an EXP system. Even if you don't find yourself liking their dialogue (impossible), you sure as hell will miss their efficiency. Certain characters dying affects the story too, sometimes in a grim way (this is true of both campaigns).

This is but a brief overview of the game, there's a lot more off-the-wall design elements you should experience for yourself and for it's price, Original War will not disappoint. It's difficult to find anything to dislike; The RPG elements are unobtrusive, the cheesy dialogue is heart warming and with memorable characters such as Colonel Powell and Lisa Lawson (to name but a few) I cannot reccomend it enough.
Posted: August 28
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41 of 57 people (72%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Original war , title doesn't lie.

10/10
Posted: May 15
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
36.0 hrs on record
This is my favorite game of all time. I found out about it through a demo disk that came along with a game magazine back in 2001 and was instantly hooked. I must have spent a good 50+ hours playing the demo alone before I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the full game.

I still to this day bring Original War up regularly in my gaming rants about how unique and inventive it was, and how disappointed I am that it didn't get the attention it deserved. I'm glad to see it on Steam now and it's fun to see how pretty much everyone else that's played it feels the same way as I do.

Besides compatibility issues this game has aged extremely well. I still play it from time to time over 900+ other newer games I could be playing. While it is an RTS it actually plays quite a lot like an RPG, in that you don't mass produce anything and the few units you get to control all for the most part have their own stories and personalities. When they die they're gone for the rest of the campaign (unless you restart, which will become a habit if you're anything like me and can't let a single person die ever) which makes you actually care about who you send out and think more carefully about the most optimal ways to get all your soldiers out of each mission alive. A lot of official reviewers back in the day complained about the voice acting but personally I love it. Sure it's not super serious and amazing but I find that it adds more charm to the game, makes me laugh and makes the experience generally more memorable. I frequently find myself doing impressions of the more 'unique' characters like "Oleg Kazimirowicz Gleb" (you'll understand when you run into him) and lip syncing all the story dialogue when I go back and repeat playthroughs.

You have to assign characters to research new technologies for weapon, building and vehicle production as well as go out into the world and collect enough resources to sustain that production. In singleplayer it's all tied into the story very well. There are also dialogue options and decisions you'll get to make that strongly impact the outcome of your game and who will survive.

As far as I'm aware, the online community is still very much alive for the game however it still seems to be mostly Czech and Polish folks playing (as those two countries were basically the only places where the game was decently advertised). It's because of this that the first words ever I learned in another language besides English were polish, back in the GameSpy arcade days. They were swear words (go figure).

There's also a website called 'owsupport' that actively releases patches/fixes for the game and as their name suggests, provide support for the OWar community so if you ever need help that's the place to go.

Overall it was an underrated, poorly advertised game that deserved a lot more credit for it's ingenuity than it received and I highly recommend buying a copy and giving it a go.
Posted: August 22
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
This is in my opinion one of the best RTS/RPG ever made and it has aged well.

The story is unique and interesting, the characters have personality and are interesting as well. The gameplay mechanics are great even by today standards, lots of options for base building. The graphics are nice and look good even today.
Posted: June 1
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199 of 213 people (93%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
I still have the boxset from this game in my closet since 2002ish. This game is pure awesome. Don't let its retro looks fool you.


Its something along the vibes of jagged alliance. you get character progression and permadeath. Most of the main characters have their own lines and personalities written for throughout the entire campaign; i always tried to keep em alive just for that ;D

other than that, the storyline, while slightly convoluted, simply serves as a backdrop for a great rts/rpg game where you manage not only your resources, but your human resources as well. 4 Character classes where your characters can switch between and gain experience in during missions carry out specific tasks, where soldiers fight, scientists do research and heal people up, engineers start buildings and collect resources, and mechanics drive and build vehicles.

Decisions you make within each mission affect subsequent missions. Somewhere down the line you will be forced to make one which will split your campagin progress into two trees. *spoiler :D*

I really loved the vehicle design in this game, where you slowly overtime research and unlock modules to provide more options for modular vehicle construction. Gun+Chassis+Power source+ wheels/tracks is awesome. I like the really distinctive look of the double gun cars. <3


all in all, this game is worth my 20 bucks then, and the 5 bucks now. buy it. you wont be disappointed.
Posted: January 27
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