The Charge Of The Light Brigade (Impressions) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power


The Charge Of The Light Brigade
By Impressions Ltd
Amiga 500

 
Published in Amiga Power #5

The Charge Of The Light Brigade

The Charge Of The Light Brigade is set in 1853 and pits the British against the Russians. It uses the same control and presentation system as its predecessors (Rorke's Drift and Cohort), one which completely dispenses with flashing squares, movement phases and lists of numbers in favour of little animated characters who march around the map beating each other up and generally looking very warlike. Call it gimmicky, but the effect this achieves is superb, and shows most other wargames up to be the archaic crap they really are.

The action can be interrupted at any time, allowing you to assess the situation and give orders to your troops. Unfortunately this is the point at which Light Brigade loses most of the marks it gains for presentation. Most of your orders will be concerned with moving troops, and over long distances this can only be achieved by giving the general direction (from eight possibilities) you want them to move in, hoping they pass somewhere near their intended destination and remembering to stop them when they reach it. There is an alternative method which works by pinpointing a specific destination, but this can only be done over very short distances, which isn't much use.

The other main snag crops up with the two armies clash. As soon as the first unit in a group meets the enemy, it starts fighting while the rest either mill around looking confused or just stand there dumbfounded. You're expected to tell each individual unit exactly what you want it to do, a pretty time consuming task when you've got about 200 of the blighters to play with. Surely some form of artificial intelligence could take over when opposing units got within a certain distance of each other?

On top of all this, there are numerous minor irritations, such as an erractic response to mouse clicks, and the hopeless method for scrolling around the map.

It's a shame, because the frustration these problems cause just about ruins an otherwise innovative and entertaining game. It's great fun to play around with and watch, but attempting to put serious battle plans into action sadly isn't really feasible. This is definitely the way Amiga war games ought to be heading, and if the delightful presentation can be mixed with a more convincing style of gameplay, the old days of substandard wargames, could be coming to an end.

The Bottom Line

Looks brilliant and has plenty of instant appeal, but falls down as a strategy game. Even so, it bodes well for the future of wargames.

Jonathan Davies

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