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Reviewed By: Bryan Pizzuti [03.26.02]
Category: Real Time Simulation
Developer: Nikita Interactive (Russia)
Publisher: MonteCristo

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Once the big campaign is finished, there isn't much to choose from. There are 2 single-mission maps to choose from: one that pits you against 1 computer player, and one that pits you against 2 computer players. Besides that, all that's left is multiplayer.

There are 5 maps to choose from in multiplayer mode, but it's only your typical RTS game options here that date back from 1995; there are no capture the flag options or teams of players assigned to one clan (though clans can be allies). This is a place where this game is seriously deficient simply because it also has the capability of truly shining. I would expect to see team based play within a single clan (multiple generals), or possibly several players as members of the same army (an overall general and his squad leaders, for instance). Different objectives, such as capturing particular units could have been added as well. There doesn't appear to be any way to add maps to the game, but I certainly hope to see more than five one day. After all, custom maps have been around a long time. With all of the depth that this game is capable of in single-player mode, the simplicity of the multiplayer options really feels like a comparative let-down. I'm sure against a wily opponent, even these simple options can be fun, but there's no room to grow here.

Score: 5/15

This is a daring foray into new territory for both MonteCristo and Nikita. Parkan is an interesting blend of first-person shooter, real-time strategy, and combat vehicle simulator, and paves the way for a new video game genre, which is a wonderful thing to see. For the most part, it succeeds in this effort, as well, but there are small things here and there that do show that this is an experimental genre. The small stuff may be fixed or improved with patches, but what really got to me was the lack of multiplayer depth, and no way to add more maps into the game. After all the work done in the game itself, it doesn't look like multiplayer was a priority for them. It's really a shame too, considering everything that could be conceived of with this particular game. But still, despite the low score (which, if you'll look at the summary, is heavily influenced by a low replayability score) this is a pretty good game that's interesting and a lot of fun. Anyone interested in combat vehicle sims or RTS games will definitely want to check this game out, if you can handle the limited multiplayer capabilities.

Final score: 73/100
While not for everyone, Parkan: Iron Strategy definitely brings a fresh exciting genre to the table for combat simulator and real time strategy gamers. First person shooter fans may enjoy it as well, but be prepared to take time learning the intricacies of the game first. Also be prepared for the flaws in the game; though they aren't always critical, and might not matter to some people, they DO exist. And be prepared for it to not last forever after you finish the campaign.


First Impressions: 8/10
Nice box, installs fine. Game can be frustrating at first.

Manual: 8/10
Informationally complete and clear. Great tutorials. No key reference card. Keyboard reference built into game.

Plot: 8/10
Interesting, but only one campaign divided into sections.

Graphics: 19/20
Designed to use GPU efficiently. Nice effects, environments are nice to look at, but not destructible. Units clear and sharp.

Sound: 10/15
Music just OK for the most part; game sticks when changing CD tracks. Sound FX are great.

Control/Gameplay: 15/20
The elusive "fun-factor" is here in spades, despite some omissions. Clearly a new genre with some issues still to be worked out, such as hotkeying units, and radar issues. Game is otherwise lots of fun.

Replayability: 5/15
No capability to add campaigns or custom maps. Only 2 single-mission maps and 5 multiplayer maps. Few options for multiplayer play.

  • A nice combination of RTS and combat sim
  • The ability to design your own units
  • Huge buildings
  • The ability to fight from and within buildings

  • The radar needs work
  • Multiplayer capability is comparatively shallow
  • No capability to add or create custom maps
  • No grouping units with hotkeys

Final Score: 73%