Theatre of Death is an isometric tactical war game similar to Cannon Fodder, but much more advanced. You are a commander of squads of soldiers, which you have to guide through missions in various terrains from the grasslands, desert and snow to the Moon, using a variety of weaponry at your disposal such as pistols, machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, landmines, and even tanks, APCs and choppers.
Theatre of Death is an isometric tactical war game similar to Cannon Fodder, but much more advanced. You are a commander of various squads of soldiers, which you have to guide through various missions to get rid of the various enemies with the various weaponry at your disposal.
You start off selecting a slot for your game. There are no saved games as such, the game automatically saves after each mission. On the mini-map, where you get an overview of all the missions available. Blue flags are completed missions, white flags are available missions and red flags are locked missions. These will be unlocked as you complete the previous missions. When you finish all the missions in one terrain, you move on to the next, all the way to the Moon!
In each mission you'll get a briefing of what you have and what you have to do. In the battlefield, you use the left mouse button to select soldiers and move them around, and the right mouse button to make them fire at the selected spot. To enter vehicles or buildings just move them towards them. Each soldier has a limited amount of health and ammo, so use them wisely. Also, as you progress through the missions, you'll be given different weapons and vehicles to use against the enemies, such as pistols, machine guns, grenades, rocket launchers, landmines, and even tanks, APCs and choppers.
Spread throughout the maps are many goodies, such as small crates which give random bonuses such as ammo, health or score, or ammunition sheds where you can reload and change weapons. However, the terrain is filled with hazards which can quickly get your men killed. Leave them too long in the water and they'll get eaten by sharks. Leave them too long in the mud and they'll sink. Add to this explosive barrels and electric fences, enemy soldiers and structures ready to kill them, and you'll find the battlefield to be a very dangerous place.
To make things worse, your troops can be quite dumb. Even though they'll automatically fire when they spot enemies, they'll just as easily hit their teammates with grenades or rockets. Wherever you order them to go, they'll move in a straight line, no matter what hazards are in their way. And even when driving, they'll easily run over their teammates or smash against other vehicles.
To get a bigger view of things you can use M to bring up the minimap. From here you get an overview of the map, the location of your troops and the enemy's, and the morale of the troops. Morale is an important thing: if it drops too much you'll find your soldiers panicking and running in the battlefield. However, the same can happen to the enemy, so it can also be a powerful weapon. You can also call in airstrikes and reinforcements, if available.
The graphics are pretty good. In briefings and screen backgrounds they're very detailed, but in-game they're very simple and cartoony. The music is nice and varied, though there isn't much sound. A bit annoying is that you have to set up your sound card every time you start the game. Overall, the game is very action-packed and fun, and can be very hard at times, though it does have its flaws, so I give it a 4.
Theatre of Death is a fun, innovative isometric action/strategy hybrid by Software Shed/Psygnosis. The game is similar in many ways to Cannon Fodder, but a lot more complex. In this futuristic tactical combat game, you are a commander in charge of a squad of soldiers (usually ten or more). In addition to giving them standard orders to march and kill enemies, you can order them to climb in tanks and crush the enemies with it. Your little soldiers can also go into weapon sheds to change their weaponry (including those collected on that level), and you can call in air strikes and reinforcements if the going gets tough. Morale is also an important element in the game: your soldiers can panic and run, and in some missions, your goal is to scare the enemy into surrendering. With a lot of missions, varied scenery, and gameplay options, Theatre of Death is a perfect game for fans of Cannon Fodder who want more options and challenge, but don't want the level of gritty realism seen in Jagged Alliance.
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