I was searching around the bargain bins of Big Lots with a measly 10 bucks and I came across this game. After playing through the entire game - twice - I can definitively say this is the best strategy AND action game you will ever play. Hostile Waters is a hybrid Action/Strategy game, and it blends the elements nicely. If you construct units with soulcatcher chips (allowing them to be AI controlled), you can give many different types of orders as they are very competent at doing what they do. Every AI chip however has a certain specialty when it comes to combat. Borden enjoys demolition work, Ransom specializes in helicopters, and Madsen has excellent sniping skills for long-range weapons, just to name a few. The AI also have their own specific personalities, as you'll hear them conversate between one another, sometimes tossing a few insults. Besides giving orders through the map and the direct order system whilst on the battlefield (which also works terrific), you can directly take control of your units and do things your way, introducing the action element. It's suprisingly solid and absolute fun to fight alongside your teammates. Controls, whether in action or giving commands, are tight and responsive, and although you may need some experience during the later missions, it has a real pick-up-and-play design to it. Depending on how you want to play the game, you can craft it to your liking. As any good strategy game does, this one does its story the right way. Thanks to a science fiction writer who created the story, it is compelling and catchy. In the near future, where world peace has finally occured, a Cabal of old-world leaders attempt to take control and its your job to stop them. Information on the Cabal, the new world, and many details such as nanotechnology, soulcatcher, and the Cabal's biological research is revealed in a satisfying way that keeps you hooked. The story on its own right is a good enough reason to get this game. Graphics are amazing, and they still hold quite well to todays standards. Every object has a shadow, everything is well detailed, explosions look brilliant, smoke is realistic, and the HUD is perfectly detailed allowing you to know what you need to know at the moment. Everything from squads of enemy choppers and tanks to the people running in fear (while being gunned down) looks absolutely fantastic. Sound is a completely amazing other story. 5.1 surround sound systems will get a good workout here, since you can hear every detail around you. If you can't see it, then you'll definitely hear it. Combined with the great graphics and efficient HUD, you will obtain a real good sense of your surroundings at all times. Overall, this is one of those brilliant gems that apparently no one ever heard of. I was severely disappointed when I saw only 98 ratings and no reviews. Detailed graphics, perfect sound, terrific story, hard-boiled action, and clear thinking strategy have never merged in such a great way before. Not picking up this game is a crime in itself. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to start my third run.
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