At its core Meridian: New World is a very traditional RTS, although it has some notable exceptions to that traditional formula. Far from tweaks, it includes the command centre, for you to explore in between missions. As well as the ability to talk with your subordinates. In addition you have a number of abilities you unlock and use in the missions, from the ability to enhance your units, heal them, and even damage the enemy. Even with the limited unit types, you can select the weapons they carry on a whole. This gives you the freedom to design your own force and adapt to the current map, something that few games make meaningful.
Another strong feature of this title in the science fiction theme, presentation. From the nature of the command centre, command ship you have, to the story itself. Taking place on a remote planet, Meridian, you’re part of a force sent to scout the world, only for another presence to be there, entirely unknown and more than a little hostile. Most importantly with no warning and no declared intent.
Stables of base building and defence are present, though this is very formulaic. Base structures follow the basic pattern, command centre, barracks, factory, resource drop off and research. Units are quite limited, with my own time game only revealing a few basic types. Scouts, while minimally armed, have the ability to heal. Likewise, the basic trooper can be upgraded to have greater armour and regeneration. On the other side, the Chimera can be given one of a number of weapons. From machine guns to deal with infantry, long range lasers, rockets for range and strong anti-air capability. Light tanks can also be equipped with all of these weapons.
While the missions seem individually short, there is plenty to do. From the chance to explore the command ship, talk to your companions, subordinates on the mission to Meridian. The challenges to use your units, from choosing whether it’s more units or technology you choose to complete it. The missions themselves have a great deal of variety, from direct combat through to stealth. This variety has stopped it feeling stale quickly. Certainly there’s still plenty of desire to see more.
Graphics and Sound
Graphically, this game calls to an older style of RTS and is perhaps the weakest feature of the game. It is more akin to something like Tiberian Sun and its expansion, Firestorm, Starcraft to name a few. In saying this, the levels do have a great deal of detail. From deep snow filled valleys, dense forests with narrow paths. The units are also unique, if limited in number. The different weapons are easy to identify by their firing.
On the other end of the spectrum, the sound, music of the game is quite strong. From the sound track, very thematic and well designed, to the unit sounds. There’s a fine touch here that isn’t present in the graphics. It’s of a quality that stands out amongst the genre, even more so due to the production of this game.
This game no multiplayer features at this time, however the possibility exists for this to be included in the future.
I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or respect for the effort one man put in, but I did enjoy this. The combination of sound and visuals, the unit design, the command centre, commander abilities. This brings back the best of the old, Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, Ground Control 1, with the new, Starcraft II. Very thematic and one to be proud of in the collection.