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Published by:
Red Storm

Game Genre:
Strategy/Turn-Based

Game Cheats:
Not Available

Requirements:
Pentium 120, 16 Megs RAM, 4X CD-ROM
16-bit Sound Board, Mouse, & DirectX

Retail Price:
$29.95
Our Ratings:
Features

Graphics

Sound FX

Gameplay

Overall

Screenshots:
ruthless.com


Game Review - by StormDaemon
In the high level corporate world, only the strongest will survive, and in the strategic world of ruthless.com, only the most ruthless will survive, so put on your iron glove, because you are going to need it in this game. Not only does ruthless.com require you to have a strategy mindset, it also requires you to be able to do all the dirty work that may or may not go on in the corporate world of computer software. Using either ordinary or subversive tactics to gain a controlling share of the et, you'll have to compete against other corporations that can be either pushovers or vicious backstabbers.

Features:
Ruthless.com features an extraordinary amount of ways to pull in the top dollars and overcome competitors through either good or bad means. From simply making a better product and eting it to hacking into an enemy's corporate computer or bombing their building, you'll have a huge amount of options that will keep anyone interested in supremacy for a long time. Supremacy, of course, can be obtained in several different ways of playing such as scenarios, campaigns, or even multi-player. All are challenging and require a lot of patience and guile.

If you do decide to take up the challenge of running a corporation, you'll have the choices of a huge amount of CEOs that run your ventures. They can be personalized with names, pictures, and traits, and you'll want to keep them close at hand, otherwise an enemy might get to them in one way or another.

During the game, a number of choices for things to do will be given, so you'll never lack anything to do. Each action, however, must be carefully weighed, because competitors could be doing a number of other actions that could throw them into the lead. You'll have things to do such as making new products, advertising, hiring new executives, having security, creating computer security-- acquiring other companies, bringing legal action against others, hacking into enemy computers, implanting viruses, spying, stealing info, bombing enemy buildings, kidnapping executives, assassinating executives, bribing others, and many other creative ways of business. You can also make deals with other corporations ranging from non-attacking agreements to contracting an attack on another corporation.

Gameplay:
Strategic and ruthless gameplay are at the heart of ruthless.com, and straightforward ways of playing will surely get you into bankruptcy and out of the rat race. While being all good and doing 100% legal ways of business is a nice thought, unfortunately most other corporations are not as nice as that, and eventually you'll be getting a few slaps in the face from another vicious corporation. With that in mind, playing the game is simple, but at the same time it is a complex world where anything can go.

The game is turn based, allowing for only a few actions each turn, and everything gets done all at once at the end of the round. This allows for the strategy to come in without having to worry about split-second decisions, at least in the single player games. In multi-player, there is a time limit to every turn, so people can't just sit there for hours on end doing nothing. If you want, you can do that in scenarios or campaigns. Good decision making is a must because of the fact that the computer AI has several different personalities available, and they'll take advantage of every misstep made by their competitors.

During each turn, you'll usually be allowed two actions, but sometimes you can get more in before you are forced to pass. The number actions allowed are numerous, but they all depend on which departments you have in your corporate buildings. For example, if you don't have a eting department, then you can't do good PR and you'll suffer. You won't need all of the various departments to succeed, however, but some of them are a must, such as eting and R&D. The more shady departments can provide for legal protection, but they also can provide for illegal actions such implanting viruses, kidnapping executives, and planting bombs, all of which usually happen in a game.

Another aspect which must be considered during gameplay are the deals. Sometimes another corporation will offer you a deal, or you can offer another corporation a deal. The range of actions of a deal are enormous and consist of just about everything could do to others. You may wish to sign a deal not to attack another corporation if they attack another one for you.

All in all, the gameplay is complex, but once it is understood, it is all easy to do. With so many different things to do, you'll never get bored.

Graphics:
Ruthless.com uses a 3D isometric graphical representation of the et in order to give an easier understanding of what is actually taking place. The view looks nice and provides a lot of information, once you get used to understanding what it all actually means. People without 3D accelerator cards don't have to worry because even though it all looks 3D, there are absolutely no polygons, which is a wonderful thing sometimes.

The rest of the game is ornately detailed with lots of colors, mosaic pictures, special effects, and even skins. The pictures and graphics are just straight colors here and there that make for a stiff looking game, but rather they are artistically done and look really nice. Though a number of the pictures have a dark and brooding atmosphere that you could expect from a sinister corporation, others have a light and happy feel that betrays the true nature behind the picture. All of the little special effects that happen during the game are nice and pretty too, but they don't look as good as the rest of the graphics. The skins actually determine the theme of the control interface, and unfortunately, there are only a few different skins, which is enough to play, but maybe not enough to satisfy anyone who loves to change the look of a game a lot. The graphics are truly different from most strategy games, and they deserve a good look from most gamers.

Sound FX:
The sounds really went along with the graphics in the sense that were more artistically done than just spit out to sound decent. Though there was more music that pervaded the game, the various sounds such as selecting something or some other event happening were just fine. The music, on the other hand, was really well done and sounded great. From sounds that gave a feel of old Europe to the new electronic future, the sounds mixed with the current skins and provided for a good combination with each theme. The feeling provided by each theme was a good part of the game and supported the whole atmosphere of high-powered corporate dealings. Creativity was a major part of the sounds, and it really showed.

Overall:
Ruthless.com is a slick, creative, and cool game that is a lot of fun to play. The strategy is complex and very vicious at times, which is a very nice, and the huge amount of things to do keeps the game going even after several hours of play. The graphics and sounds are creative, artistic and are generally pretty nice looking and sounding. All of the available options really help to make this a quality game which I recommend to any strategy enthusiast, and even those people who may not like strategy that much. The bottom line is that this game was done real good.


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