Every now and then, an innovative game is being released that absorbs immediately all of our attention. The newest one is this row of games is Project Nomads, which we can describe as an FPS/RTS/RPG combined with some Adventure influence. What this is supposed to mean you will read in this review …
The story goes like this: The earth has been destroyed and the only thing that remains of it are a bunch of flying “islands” in our atmosphere. While 3 friends are discovering a treasure, they’re attacked by enemy planes. Two friends are being captured, the third one (you!) crashes on an abandoned island a bit further away. Due to this crash, you’ve freed an ancient ghost from his grave. He tells you he had been captured by the Sentinels, the ones who captured your friends! He gives you a few artifacs and from this day on, you will be the liberator of the region! Later on, there will be a couple of few changes in the story, but it’s pretty obvious; the story is just a way to glue the missions together. The creators of the game haven’t done much to develop your character.
You also never know what your mission really is, for example: They drop you on an Island full of terrible monsters and then you’re on your own.
Armed with my spells in the left hand and my little book full of prayers (something unexpected can always happen ), I shot myself a way through a bunch of monsters. Afterwards, this seemed to be the right solution, because those *censored* beasts keep spawning over and over again. When I finally extinguished the whole island, I actually didn’t knew why on earth I was needed here. With the time I spent on the extinguishing, I could have seen a porn movie on the big screen I installed earlier that day on my island …
The meaning of Project Nomads is to finish a bunch of levels with your own flying island. When you start the game, you can see it right away: the controls are kept very basic and easy. The only things you need are your mouse and the arrow keys! No bad word about the mouse controls, but the arrow keys are a totally different story. The only thing you’re able to do is to run forward and backwards. Since the speed of the backwards “sprint” is about as fast as the world championships Snail Racing, the only thing you can use to get somewhere is the forward button.
Once you get used to the controls, you can enjoy the fine graphics. These aren’t extraordinary, but they surely aren’t bad at all. Especially the detail of your island and the effects (explosions, …) are a very nice piece of programming!
The most important aspect of the game are the artifacts. These are blueprints and you need to construct all of your buildings with them. You’ve got 2 standard constructions: Your Lighthouse (main building: when this is destroyed, it’s game over) and the Watchtower (moves your island). Further, there are several more artifacts you can find while advancing in the game like a windmill, an airfield and gun turrets. You can fill almost your all island with windmills. This way, you’ll have a lot of energy (the basic material in the game) but you’ll need to repair a lot! You can also build a lot of gun turrets, so you will be protected against enemy planes but of course you won’t have much energy then. For some missions, you will need an airfield, and you won’t have an overload of artifacts either. Another nice feature is that you can upgrade most of the artifacts you’ll find, by simply “compressing” 2 or more from the same kind! When you upgrade your airfield for example, your planes will be faster, stronger and will be totally restyled! Talking about airfields: you can take place behind the controls of the plane at any time, so there’s a little bit of flight simulator in the game. The most annoying thing in the beginning is the fact that when you control an aircraft, your island will be totally unprotected, because your gun turrets haven’t got AI on board in level 1.
When a bomber visits your island, 3/4 of your buildings will be destroyed in one bombing round! Once your turrets advance to level 2, the fun stuff finally starts! They will start shooting as soon as they see an enemy, which is very useful. From then on, you can eventually concentrate on that undefended bomber high in the clouds above you …
I’ll also pay a beer to the person who finds a way to move your island in the direction you want, not in the direction the game wants you to go. There’s a terrible lack of freedom in Project Nomads! This is really frustrating at some times because you need to cross the heavily guarded enemy islands and balloons. It would be much easier if you could be able to choose a sneaky attack on their main citadel!
Everybody likes to shoot his friends’ character in an ordinary shooter, so luckily there’s also a multiplayer mode implanted in the game. The only disadvantage is that your friend needs to sit next to you … in a LAN! No internet games in Project Nomads, and I think that’s a very sad fact. There aren’t any skirmish maps either, so when you finished the campaign, the only thing you can do is playing in a LAN. Luckily, the creators had enough inspiration to create multiplayer maps with much variation. From grey and bold rocks to green islands with much vegetation.
To end, I would like to say something about the sound: It isn’t bad, but you can’t name it realistic. The planes and gun turrets sound like rusty, bad oiled machines. The background music isn’t that great either …
Project Nomads isn’t a bad game, but also isn’t one of the best games of the moment. There aren’t many bugs, but while playing it, I saw 2 times the famous ‘Windows Blue screen of Death’ . Cause to the slow progress you make, you won’t experience much excitement during the campaign.
Still, everyone who’s searching for a new style of game will surely find his taste in this original game!