A lot of people think that Total Annihilation was the first game to use real 3D terrain in an RTS. They are mistaken; this game beat TA to market by a few months. This is perfectly analogous to the fact that Wing Commander was technically the first movie to use bullet time, not The Matrix.
I never cared for this game much, and it wasn’t because it was bad (it was actually pretty average). I didn’t like it because it was…kind of mean-spirited. Case in point: one side in this game has a vehicle called the Hostage Taker which scoops up enemy infantry, lobotomizes them, straps explosives onto them and lets them go, at which point they wander around mindlessly until they hit something and blow up.
Name and developer, please!
Dark Reign: The Future of War developed by Auran.
Wow, that sounds harsh! In Original War it was apes being strapped inside of vehicles!
And judging from the Wikipedia description of the game play, this is the exact game a friend of mine told me about when he mentioned this cool ability to tell a unit to harass the enemy! Imagine if Starcraft vultures could be told to harass without you micromanaging!
He never mentioned the Hostage Taker, though.
Bartek: You are correct!
GB: Yeah, this game also had some interface niceties that other RTS games didn’t get for a long time (except for Total Annihilation, as any TA fan will tell you).
Dark Reign still is the RTS I have the fondest memories of. You could tell your units how to behave, rather than merely telling them where to go and who to kill. Very cool feature. The hostage taker, well… it was just fun to use the opponents troops against him/her. 🙂
I’m pretty sure though that Dark Reign did _not_ have 3D terrain. I think you might be mistaking it for Dark Reign _2_ which did, indeed, feature 3D terrain and vehicles. That game, however, not so fun… precisely because of its bad 3D.
K, Dark Reign did indeed have 3D terrain, but to the avergae player it wasn’t very noticeable as visually the only clue was some shading differences on the tiles, contrary to TA’s much more striking rendered terrain.