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.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (455 reviews) - 92% of the 455 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 15, 2001

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About This 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 XP/7/8/10
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® III - 900MHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible with alteast 64 MB of VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® IV - 2GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™4 - 256 MB
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (455 reviews)
Recently Posted
PressTemmie2Pause
( 6.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
I played so much of this game when I was little....

And it's still amazing. Works like a charm on my Windows 8 btw

Its reaaaaaaaaalllly hard btw. I died on the first mission on normal difficulty....
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zephaera
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
This game gives me the best childhood nostalgia.
Really the best RTS!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kolsto
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 4
This "game" is so bad i were concidering to stick a pencil in each eye just to avoid seeing it again.

Do not buy this. It is a crappy game that has less than zero value for you.

Crappy grafic
Crappy voices
Crappy behaviour-
Crappy all you can think of.

BTW- Non existing A.I.

No matter how cheap this game is, you WILL regret wasting even a dollar to buy it.

Better to make a paper plane of the dollar bill and put it on fire before throwing it from a tall building, at least that would give you some entertainment.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
white1498
( 0.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
needs a player vs computer skermish mode.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tednological
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 17
People can't move more than a walk away from gunfire
Well, at least it runs at a silky smooth 5 FPS
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bobisme
( 41.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
9/10
RTS lover? GET. THIS. GAME!!!

The difference between this game and every other RTS is the core fundimentals, brilliant and original, the unique use of your troops, base building and a clever story all layed out seemlessly show this this game has heart all wrapped up in a blaze of glory...

Your engineer is building a turret? hand a soldier a hammer n get him to help, watch as he gains the knowledge to build!
Short on soldiers? watch as the engineers learns to kill things with finesse!

This game is not a spam to win game this game is about smart soldier alocation/training, limited troops sent to the past to assist in your victory, ready to be molded into scientists soldiers mechanics and engineers.

Vehicles are custom deisgned with a wide variety of options to choose, keep an eye on fuel gages and solar power levels while keeping mechanics close at hand to pop out those dents on your path to victory.

Each mission has medals to be won for showing your skill and each mission is well tied to the story.

This game was made by smart people who by looking at the final product cared about what they made it really shows in the finer details as you progress through the game.

the only downfall of this game is the inability to run, though as you progress you realise you don't need it.
the graphics are done well and stand beside the newer games with no issue

A great game that i can't believe i have never played before, it's been on my wish list for some time and now at 99c AU ya can't go wrong!
A fine blend of RTS and RPG
An old game that has a heart, built before souless game pumping came about.
Take on the role of Mcmillan a soldier sent into the past to collect a new found mineral
he dies you die

9/10
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JaroDK12
( 62.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 15
Fun game. I used to play it when i was younger. Nothing new/special about it when it comes to gamplay but there is at least unique story and some RPG elements. Ah and you can't create human/units, making everything more challenging. If you like RTS i would give it a try.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Malaysianshrew
( 27.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 12
10/10 would create an army of suicidal monkey men again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
stuguy909
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Fun game, good story. Keeps crashing over and over and over.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
handir
( 87.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 9
The Best Game Ever.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
211 of 226 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2014
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.
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131 of 135 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
55.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2014
Two words: BUY IT!

Its old, and forgotten by their developers, but ist great anyway. It has all what good RTS game should have:
- Unique story, never seen anything similar in other RTS games
- Unique resorces gathering system (not seen in any other games, and still fits 100% to the story)
- Unique crew management (loosing man in first mission, can make others harder up to the last one, cause crew advance with you, crew members are limited, no respawn, no training units, permadeath)
- Crew has skills (and they train them on mission, and as reward for good mission score)
- Three factions quite balanced even while having different units, and different technologies
- Modular vehicle construction (you choose vehicle type, engine type, weapon type, and steering type)

I played this game when it came out 13 years ago - still having box version, and playing from time to time. Today I saw it on steam and bought it without even small doubt.

P.S. To STEAM crew. Why its marked as "indie"? Its made by Altair Interactive ( now called Altar Games )-> the same that made UFO;Afterlight, UFO:Aftermatch etc. Its also beeing published by Bohemia Interactive (Arma game series, Operation Flashpoint, Take on Helicopters). Its not indie...
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123 of 130 people (95%) found this review helpful
Recommended
61.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 30, 2014
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.
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131 of 152 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2014
Original War is certainly a product if its time. It was very quietly developed in the waning days of RTS popularity and developers were first trying to do something a little different. It is the quinessential "Gem" for any fans of the genre. The art style is unique and clever, fantastic music and the concept was innovative. You don't train new men in the traditional sense; you have a finite amount of men, and you can build vehicles part by part (chassis, turret, fuel source) and train local fauna (aka cavemen) to join your cause. Each of your men (and women) have a name, and stats, and a specialty. You can change their roles as a match goes on (sniper, infantry, medic etc...) to suit your needs. In campaign mode, survivors of each battle with gain XP and "lvl up". Having an RTS with RPG elements back in 2001 was something special, but I'm not sure this game is for everyone TODAY. I think if you're a die-hard fan of the RTS genre, this is a great pick! Even if you're a fan of retro PC gaming in general, go for it. If you're looking for a Starcraft killer, move right along.
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188 of 238 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2014
Don't get fooled by the playtime I have in steam.


This is easily one of the best and most innovative RTS games out there.
If you like RTS and Oldschool this is definitely something for you.

Thanks to 2D instead of 3D graphics the game look quite okay compared to 3D games at that time.


The music is alright and always nice to listen to.

There is an editor with the ability to script (Pascal-like language) coming with the game and an alive community over at owsupport.com.

The campaign offers for 10-30 hours of time, depending on skill and difficulty setting and offers quite an interesting storyline with not too monotone objectives.

Apart from that, there is the multiplayer which may not have too many players in it, but it is still functioning and offers around 15 maps with different gamemodes ranging for regular 1v1 build base battle each other to 2v2 with a twist of disappearing and respawning units up to 3v3 rampage and 4v4/2v2v2v2 battles. I personally enjoy the way the game handles base building and unit management a lot.

The catch with this RTS is that you can't train units. You need 5 soldiers to attack the enemy? You can't train them like that. You start with a certain amount of people and those you have to stick with. You can't just say "5 soldiers plz" and your barracks will poop out 5 people. That doesn't work here.

Some maps/campaign missions have some sort of unit spawn, but in MP it can be selected and in SP it's doesn't make you OP.
You can train apes or make Computer or remote controlled vehicles to prevent loss of actual soldiers, which adds a really nice touch to the game and is a nice alternative to regular RTS games.



I think everyone should give this game a try, it's one of my most favorite RTS games ever and I can only urge you to consider buying it, especially at such a low price.
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75 of 84 people (89%) found this review helpful
70 people found this review funny
Recommended
54.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 8, 2015
Step 1. Pick Russia
Step 2. Research apeman language
Step 3. Tame every apeman on the map
Step 4. Give them the gift of AK-47
Step 5. Destroy your enemys
Step 6. Reflect on the kind of future this new timeline you have created will have
Step 7. Regret nothing

Love this game. The nostalgia is real.
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65 of 71 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 27, 2014
Oh, at last. This is one example of a game that didn't deserve what happened with it. If only steam was back then, what it is now, maybe OW would get the praise it deserved. Anyway, if you're into RTS, you can't go wrong with this price. You'll have fun :)
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54 of 57 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
139.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
One of the most fun and conceptually interesting RTS games I've ever played. It's an Original War in more than name.


The Good Things:


Good mix of RTS and RPG mechanics. Humans are a limited resource, they do not respawn and you do not receive more than you start with. Each character can gain experience in 4 classes and can change between classes at any time in the appropriate building, retaining his experience. Some things (construction, vehicles, turrets) can be automated, removing the need for a human pilot, but computer-controlled entities are slower, shabbier and do a lot less damage than those controlled by a skilled human operator. You must always find a balance between risking irrepleaceable human staff and wasting resources on suboptimal AI control.

As far as vehicles go, you build your own by mixing together a chassis, engine, pilot (can be manual, remote or AI) and weapon. New components are made available by researching them and/or building addons for a vehicle factory, each of which can only accomodate five - and all factions have at least six possible addons that can be mixed and matched. While higher tech components are generally more powerful than lower tech ones, they never render the low tech ones truly obsolete, by virtue of costing more, taking longer to build and being more specialized (e.g. heavier vehicle turrets cannot rotate unlike lighter ones).

The game is in isometric 2D, but the terrain obeys the rules of 3D in a way no later games did - unit vision works as "rays" instead of a radius, trees and rocks obscure vision, units on high ground see and fire further, soldiers can go prone in tall grass to become virtually invisible, etc.

Terrain layout, elevation, trees have a real impact on gameplay. Infantry uses it as cover and to avoid vehicles, vehicles require a tracked chassis to ascend slopes, and the most powerful vehicle in the game is balanced by being too huge to climb a hill.

The two campaigns are long, varied and challenging. If you go for all bonus objectives on the highest difficulty, there's easily at least 60 hours of gameplay (though I clocked 120 due to leaving the game running in the background a lot). The American campaign is the best one, having a good story and characters.

The Bad Things:

The sound effects are bland and lack variety. There is only one sound effect for most actions.

The voice acting in the Russian campaign ranges from mediocre to terrible. This is specific to the English version only - the Polish and Czech versions actually have very good voice acting.

The Russian campaign feels drawn out and padded at times, and the Russian part of the story feels disjointed.

There is no campaign for the third faction (Arabs). You get many glimpses of clearly important Arab characters and see echoes of their ventures happening offscreen, but the campaign that was supposed to explore them in detail was never added since the publisher went bankrupt.

There is no skirmish for the same reason as above.
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56 of 62 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
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.
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62 of 72 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 16, 2015
Recommended For The More Conservative Strategists

+ Boasts a healthy and competent mix of RTS and RPG-style gameplay
+ New units cannot be spawned mid-game, lending gravity to one's actions and the manner in which one utilizes resources
+ The campaign is quite varied in terms of possible choices and effects that may result; this gives the campaign a stronger sense of replayability
+ The abiliity to control time serves to both minimalize tedium and maximize one's response time; excellent and greatly desired quality-of-life feature
+ Plot is interesting and creative; can be a bit silly and over the top, but it's not done so in a way that encourages a cringe
+ Orders for troop movements can be issues while the game is paused

- Mediocre and subdued audio
- Voice-acting leaves much to be desired
- Limited, uninspired soundtrack
- The game has compatibility issues and can be an enormous hassle to start up successfully
- Few multiplayer options; no AI skirmish or practice, for instance

If you enjoyed this review, please follow my curator page. Also, feel free to join my group, LockeProposal's Big Day Out for discussion and announcements. Thanks for reading!
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