It gives you a good feeling right of the bat if you know this, right?
So, is the game worth something?
Storywise, Petroglyph really have came up with something very original (no sarcasm intended). An ancient and evil force named the Hierarchy have come to conquer the Earth and destroy all it's inhabitants...
This is indeed not original but it gets better!
While the military is infuriously battling the Hierarchy forces, they fail to succeed and all's going down. Fortunatly for us humans, the Novus, another intergalactic race, descends on Earth to battle the Hierarchy, there is still some hope left!
After a good while The Novus seem to have difficulties battling the Hierarchy and they are unsure if they will win or not. At this point, Earth is devastated and it's inhabitants driven to near extinction. There were so many battles that The Masari (the former inhabitants of the legendary city Atlantis) ascend to the Earth to help The Novus in their cause and to help the humans get back on their feet again. It takes you a while to get to this point in the game but that's when you know the game isn't fooling around anymore, it's time to heighten your strategy senses and to get ready for some interesting plot turns and twists!
Universe at War hosts some memorable characters, while the dialogue sometimes sounds and feels awkward and out of place, the game still manages to let you remember the very interesting clash of ancient superpowers and it's leaders behind it.
The game's graphics are very nice, at the time the game came out it was quite a hog and not fit for lower-end computers. The units look very clean, and the massive machines The Hierarchy look very impressive, and they still look as impressive as then today. The Earth looks devastated, the way it's supposed to be, but at some missions, you get the feeling you're on another planet. Oh sure, the first missions will take place in major cities and such but after that, the big 'kabooms' are over, meaning that the amazing events are gone from that point.
Universe at War is an RTS that basically goes over a clipboard ticking all the ingredients that make a good or at least decent RTS off and sticks some of it's own ideas in it. Except for the story or first missions, you will never be surprised, or baffled or just have a good feeling when you finish the game. It's not bad, make no mistake of that, but in the middle of the game you'll have the feeling of 'been here done that' and near the end of the game you will just be plain bored and longing to finish it. It's just the same thing over and over again, with the difficulty curve slightly ascending, it's kinda like an introduction to all other (and better) RTS games. Universe does nothing wrong, and that's the game's biggest problem, it's SAFE, you can't impossibly go wrong with the game, but you'll only play the game just to be busy, that's all.
The music of the game fits really well at times, it uses the Command and Conquer system of a playlist of catchy tunes and let them loop over and over again, without boring you at some point. I wish I could say Universe has a good soundtrack, but it doesn't, only a few songs will get to you, but mostly you'll be grabbing your own playlist.
Like my question before, is the game worth something? It sure is worth a look if you find it in a store, but do not buy it at full price, because it's not quite worth it. The game isn't very frustrating, the computer is fair ninty percent of the time. Depending on your difficulty of choice, you'll most probably go through the game in half a week. The multiplayer on the PC version is dead and most of the achievements on GFWL are broken, so you are stuck with the single player campaign and some skirmish missions.
TOTAL SCORE: 72,5%