#171 Herzog Zwei

Posted: 30th March 2021 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

942nd played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: Mega Drive
Year of Release: 1989
Developer: Technosoft
Publisher: Technosoft/Sega

Strategy games that predate Dune II and others that created the RTS genre are always odd. When you get something turn based you can easily go back to the likes of Archon, while something like Power Monger has some interface problems that still make it quite clunky and slow to play.

It needed Westwood and Blizzard, through the Warcraft series, to perfect the formula, but both have cited Herzog Zwei as an inspiration for their games. It does look like an earlier Command & Conquer game, but at the same time just the fact that the Genesis doesn’t have a mouse says that this won’t work quite like this.

Our Thoughts

There’s something quite odd about this as an early RTS. As I said, using a controller means your controls are quite limited and you end up swapping into a menu to build each time while the game goes on around you – scrolling through vague icons to work out what you need to do. Then when a unit is build, the main character you control needs to airlift them out of your base to the battlefield, rather than them coming out and immediately attacking. In addition to that, you don’t directly command your units – you give some general command and they go from there.

Aside from that, you also need to capture bases to get extra resources and build your army to attack your enemy’s base. While you can’t take all the actions needed to win – capturing bases in particular is something I don’t think your own fighter can do – you do control the strongest unit on the field. It feels like you’re constantly running around trying to get your units out while also trying to get something done in the level to actually win it.

Final Thoughts

It feels like Herzog Zwei is an evolutionary step, creating a new setup for strategy games surrounding unit buildings and your goals. However, it feels like you have to do a bit too much to actually make as much progress as you’d want to.