Maelstrom Profile Preview - Factions and Units

Check out the factions and units that you'll command in this futuristic real-time strategy game.

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Aliens and humans will battle for the future of Earth in Maelstrom, the upcoming real-time strategy game from Codemasters and KD Vision. These two companies previously collaborated on the innovative Perimeter, and now they've teamed up again to tell the tale of Earth hanging in the balance. You'll once again have to pick up your mouse to create bases, produce military units, and crush your enemies wherever they may be.

Welcome to the bright, sunny vision of the future that is Maelstrom.
Welcome to the bright, sunny vision of the future that is Maelstrom.

This is a game set in a grim future. According to the story, civilization collapses after an alien maelstrom wreaks havoc on the planet. In the aftermath, three factions battle for the future of Earth. Two of these factions are human, while the third is the alien faction responsible for the maelstrom. We've got the background information on each faction in Maelstrom, as well as the units that you'll command in the game. Maelstrom will ship later this year.

The Ascension

The Ascension is the high-tech human faction in Maelstrom. Originally a multinational corporation that specialized in advanced technology, the Ascension now wants to rebuild the planet into its vision of a utopian society. Of course, that means getting rid of all the undesirables, as well as those pesky aliens. The Ascension has the most advanced weapons, but this comes at a cost, as Ascension units are some of the most expensive in the game. Thus, what the faction lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality.

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Maxamillian Khan: As the field commander of all Ascension forces, Khan is armed with the most advanced weapons and equipment. His abilities include being able to cut through the fog of war, and he has special cryogen freezing attacks.

Kie Fujishima: If one person can be responsible for the Ascension's technological superiority, it's Fujishima. Though she's normally a scientist, she can be called to help out in battle. Her prototype weapons fire devastating electrical bolts, and her special abilities include making Ascension units less resistant to hacking attacks and boosting the rate of fire of friendly units.

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AK-RD: AK-RD is a unique robot that parachutes onto the battlefield to lead Ascension forces. Armed with prototype electrical weaponry, AK-RD can summon reinforcements and detect cloaked units.

Legionary: The basic Ascension military unit, the legionary is a genetically engineered warrior armed with laser weapons and a rechargeable shield. As such, the legionary is a match for any enemy infantry or light vehicle.

Ice hammer: The advanced Ascension infantry unit, the ice hammer is armed with cryogen weaponry and equipped with heavy armor. The freezing ability of the ice hammer is particularly useful in watery environments.

The Remnant

The Remnant comprises the freedom fighters of Maelstrom. As its name implies, this faction consists of all the human survivors of the alien Maelstrom, at least, those that don't wish to confirm to the Ascension's vision of utopia. Led by the former US Navy SEAL James Buchanan, the Remnant fight with weapons and armor scavenged from the ruins of civilization.

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James Buchanan: Leader of the Remnant, Buchanan fights in the front lines alongside his troops. In fact, he's armed like an ordinary Remnant trooper, save for that his weapons are a bit more powerful than most. He also has the ability to use a special evaporation grenade to dissipate water hazards, and he can summon reinforcements.

Marcus O'Neil: The second in command for the Remnant, O'Neil is a capable commander when Buchanan isn't available. His special abilities include healing friendly units, and he has a grenade that can slow enemy forces.

Sasha Antonova: A former Russian mafia boss and bandit, Sasha Antonova joined forces with the Remnant after she recognized that the freedom fighters were humanity's last hope. She can cloak herself and other units so that they become invisible and recruit militia members to join her.

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Trooper: These are the standard infantry units of the Remnant. The trooper is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and armed with small-caliber firearms. Survivability and firepower can be increased with upgrades and further training can promote the trooper to a marauder or bulleye unit.

Marauder: These are troopers with heavy armor and a machine gun. The marauder is what the Remnant rely on to provide firepower on the front lines.

Bullseye: With a name like bullseye, this unit can only be a sniper. Bullseyes are essentially troopers with additional sniper training. In addition to sniping abilities, they can provide recon on distant enemies.

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FireBug: A flamethrower unit clad in heavy armor, the FireBug can wipe out groups of enemy units, as well as turn the surrounding countryside into a burning mess. Also, the FireBug can lay down proximity mines.

Hunter: Since the Remnant are at a disadvantage technologically, it must rely on hunter units to hack into enemy robots and units and turn them over to Remnant control. Hunters can be trained to reprogram organic units, as well.

The Hai-Genti

The Hai-Genti is the alien faction in Maelstrom. Originally from the star system Proxima Centauri, the Hai-Genti seek a new home on Earth after having slowly destroyed their home planet. The Hai-Genti specialize in psychic abilities and genetic engineering, and they share an alien hive mentality. This faction's goal is the elimination of all human factions.

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Mammon: The primary leader of the Hai-Genti, Mammon was originally a scientist who took up arms to save his species. He rose in command and now leads Hai-Genti forces on Earth. His skills are hand-to-hand combat and ranged psychic attacks. He can increase the rate of fire to friendly units and unleash vortexes on the enemy.

Auriga: This infamous warlord is the second in command of the Hai-Genti. He serves Mammon only because Mammon defeated him. Auriga possesses a strong melee attack and ranged psychic blasts. His abilities let him summon a battle clone of himself on the battlefield, as well as call in other reinforcements.

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Psychblade: The psychblade is summoned by Mammon when it's needed on the battlefield. It has a strong melee attack, and it can capture enemy units. Its special abilities include detection of cloaked units.

Spawn: The most basic Hai-Genti unit are these mindless bio-engineered soldiers that serve on the front line of battle. Spawn have thick armor and blades on their forearms for melee attacks.

Rippers: The primary ranged unit of the Hai-Genti, rippers are covered with a spiny, armorlike hide. They can then hurl these spins at distant targets. Further upgrades add poison to the spines, for additional damage.

Siren: Another ranged unit, the siren doesn't attack its enemies physically. Instead, it generates a high-frequency sonic impulse at a target that is capable of damaging both machines and people.

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Devourer: The devourer is the heavy unit in the Hai-Genti arsenal. These large creatures are heavily armored and, having an extra set of arms, can pick up and tear opponents apart.

Bio-Thrall: The bio-thrall is what happens when humans are genetically modified with the Hai-Genti DNA. As a mindless drone, the bio-thrall serves on the front line as an infantry unit. However, the bio-thrall can turn itself into a proximity mine, as well.

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