Maelstrom is an infuriating mess that showcases nothing more than meaningless tacked on features in place of quality, meaningful RTS gameplay. It is difficult to walk away from the experience with the feeling that KD Visions seemingly spent more time making pretty water effects than it did create the actual gameplay itself. Gameplay wise, there are few, if any, decent units or buildings to interact with. Your only real options are to construct buildings, which are largely useless due to their low hit points and limited maneuverability or fight off the relentless waves of units that are constantly emerging from the bottom corner of your screen. If you want to get anywhere in this game, you will need to find a better way.
There are two paths to success when playing Maelstrom, and both are equally as annoying. First, there is the path of patience, waiting for your upgrades and abilities to do their job and take out the enemies before they do any damage. This often involves watching for opportunities to attack and destroy the closest enemy you come face to face with, then moving on to one that you think is weaker and taking it down quickly. Although effective, this route is never fun and rarely accomplishes anything of note except wasting time. A much more effective method of the gameplay involves attacking an enemy, then quickly moving to another to secure a kill, all the while focusing on building up your military so that you can send in more troops to do even more damage to the next wave of attackers.
Unfortunately, this is not very feasible in most of the better PC games. You are limited to using only one type of weapon and character in most of the modes, meaning that if you want to take out multiple enemies with your primary and secondary weapons, you’re going to have to learn how to play differently according to the circumstances. For instance, in the last wave of each level, you get a chance to enter the fray one more time. If you fail this time, however, you start all over. Fortunately, this lack of familiarity with the gameplay means that Maelstrom provides a great deal of variety and challenge, allowing players to replay previous levels over again. Furthermore, the game has a tutorial mode that teaches you the basics and gets you off to a good start.
Since the game is multiplayer, you can also engage in friendly competitions against other players. Sometimes these competitions can be quite intense, especially if you happen to have a powerful PC version running at a decent frame rate. If you happen to win a round, you move to the next round immediately and continue the battle in whatever form you wish. Some versions allow you to put yourself into a specific player’s shoes, so you can try to understand how they fight and use your own skills against them to your advantage. However, most people prefer to get into a competitive frame of mind in their PC games, so this might not be an option for you if you want to enjoy Maelstrom for the full length.
As mentioned above, one of the biggest reasons why Maelstrom has received such positive reviews is the stunning visuals it offers. The vibrant colors and the overall atmosphere create a very vivid and engrossing experience. The stylized 3D models are remarkably accurate and provide a wonderful degree of realism. The action is frenetic and fast-paced, and there is no doubt that you will be impressed by the fluidity and realism of it all. You can’t help but marvel at the fact that it’s possible to perform each of these actions in first-person, as if you were actually on the field.
Although the single-player mode offers a slow pace and somewhat more traditionalist approach to gaming, Maelstrom offers something more interesting: massive maps that can be customized with almost any type of terrain. In addition to the large maps found in the single-player campaign, players can also engage in capture-the-flag competitions online or even take on other human players in head-to-head competitions. If you’re looking for a unique perspective on the computer game genre, then this could certainly be a possibility.
In terms of actual gameplay, Maelstrom follows in the footsteps of some other well-known computer games. The fact that it follows in the footsteps of some well-established PC games may come as a surprise to many, especially given the fact that the game is available as shareware. Even so, there’s no denying that the original game is quite enjoyable. Although it doesn’t offer as much as some of the more modern PC games out there, for whatever reason, it still manages to offer an entertaining action-adventure with fantastic visuals.
When you have enjoyed the stunning visuals of the original Maelstrom video game, you will probably want to dive into the more positive reviews of the PC version. With a bit of help from downloading software, you should have no problem getting the game running and ready to go. If you haven’t played it before, however, you may want to start with the free trial before you decide whether or not you want to pay for the full version. You can also find good old games reviews on the internet that will give you a good idea as to whether or not this PC game lives up to its claims of being like the classic Maelstrom.