Shattered Union Xbox Review

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox, Xbox

Strategy games have been predominantly the domain of the PC for many years, with games developers shunning consoles thinking that such games would be out of place on anything sans a keyboard and mouse. With all the latter said, it’s rather refreshing to be playing a strategy game on a console, although it’s too bad that it’s a pretty dull affair.

Think hexagons and turn-based gameplay and you’ll land straight at the front door of the strategy genre. Here there’s a reason for all the turn-based fighting as America has suffered its second civil war, bringing the powerful country to it’s knees (as a tattered Stars and Stripes flag portrays on the title screen) and losing its leadership.

Without a government the country is therefore up for the taking, and by controlling one of seven factions your aim is to make it your own. Before your ownership is assured you have to fight for the territories of the country and run out all the opposing armies. If only real countries could settle their differences on a hexagon grid!

There’s nothing deeply thoughtful in the design of this one, it’s simply a case of taking your turn and then letting the AI (or other player if online or playing through System Link) follow suit until one army is depleted to near nothingness. There’s little complexity to be found here, with turns acting as days, and a movement grid, which is really easy to use. A thorough tutorial might drag things out a little, but at least you’ll understand the ins and outs of the game afterwards.

Something to think about is the way to approach your enemies as some of your units are better at chinking through armour whilst others should avoid the more heavily armoured enemy units. Your own units can also be repaired and expanded upon when not out on the battlefield.

The problem with Shattered Union is that it barely manages to rise above anything but dull. The game is remarkably slow-paced as the AI is left to its own resources to take its turn, marred even further by frequent cases of slowdown and dreadful loading times, and the rest isn’t really a memory a minute either. Average and forgettable are two words that perfectly sums things up.