Back in the days where Tomb Raider was a no.1 seller alongside Crash Bandicoot and Abe's Odyssey, when people could be content with owning the legendary Demo One, arrived a fantastic new game.
Without doubt one of the strongest games on PS1, The Unholy War is a decent fighting game with a splash of tactics thrown in as well. You can choose 'Mayhem' Mode either controlling one of the two armies known as the 'Teknos' - A Race consisting of several alien kinds melding with machinery, flying suicide bombers, razor-blade demons and vortex laying bugs make this side vast in cool abilities and tactics. The 'Arcane' and the creatures of the invaded world, mystical animals, flaming witches and fallen angels make up a powerful adversary. The other option is 'Strategy' mode where you face the computer or friend on a plane of hexes, finding gold, building an army and utilizing special abilities to destroy your opponent. Each character has unique moves, traits and costs, some ideas never seen before in gaming such as the shield produced by 'Quicksilver' to deflect any kind of attack or projectile, 'Ecton's cage attack that traps the enemy who is required to button bash their way out before he consumes the life of the creature for his own benefit, or the insane kamikaze move by 'Killcycle', flying up out of the map only to fly at high speeds downwards aiming for a direct hit on the despairing opponent.
Strategic elements may be rather basic but can severely alter the way of battle with techniques such as overloading, madness, spawning, teleporting, meteors, nukes, healing and traps of razorblades and fire. With the diverse amount of playable characters, Unholy War boasts an impressive multiplayer experience as anyone who takes the time, will find their ideal monster, a flyer, powerhouse, trickster, speedster. There are several maps with 2 unlockable, 16 creatures to choose from 8 each side with 1 bonus character for each side if completed on Hard mode. A challenging game that's time has sadly passed, barely any negatives except lacking depth or story. It was released quietly in its time and remains relatively unknown, but would make a best selling arcade game on xbox live or psn.
The unholy war was developed by toys for bob and published by Eidos Interactive for the playstation one. It was released in 1998. It is a fighting game where characters fight using melee and magic attacks.
The Story: The game is based on the planet Xsarra. On the planet there are two forces at war. The Arcanes who are the planets original inhabitants. The others are the Teknos, who crash landed on the planet and are now trying to take over.
There around 8 playable characters in each force each containing different skills, containing different elements and fight moves. A monster Prana devil can respawn so they all help in different ways in the maps.
There are two ways of play, meyhem and strategy mode. Meyhem mode is where you fight one on one battles. You pick the character you want to fight with and the fight against the computer or player who also may chose.
The aim of strategy mode is to destroy all emeny attackers and there base. You are on a mam which is made of interlocking hexagons. A base is in one hexagon at the end of the map on each side for each force. At the base you can buy or sell units, you do they buy collecting AUR. You start with a certain amount but can mine more by standing on a hex that contains it, gaining more with each turn. The turns are turn based and each character is only allowed 3 moves. You can only move once and use a characters special moves once. To attack an emeny you must get on to an adjecent hex and confirm an attack, you then enter battle, the losers character is then wiped from the board.
You win the game once all the enemys players have been destroyed as well aas the base.
I like the game very much, the only thing that is really bad about it is waiting for the computer to finish it turn, though its not that bad to be honest. As well as that its also graphics but its an old game its to be expected. the game always kept me entertained especially when you play against other people. Though if playing with one player against the computer it is quite short.
'Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum' - Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus. In English, it translates to "If you want peace prepare for war". Peace had prevailed for thousands of years on the planet Xsarra - it's inhabitants, the Arcane, were prepared for war. But when the 'cybernetic conquerors' Teknos threatens to take Xsarra's resources for themselves, thus was the time for the unholy war. Peace? They wanted in on a piece of the action!
The battles in this game are in real-time and are all one-to-one affairs. There are two game modes in The Unholy War: in Mayhem Mode, two teams fight it out in an elimination format; whereas Strategy Mode is a turn-based wargame on a hex-board where only adjacent units from opposing sides can then engage in such battle. War is costly, but the resource management in the latter is made straightforward, with those on AUR-rich hex mining ingots of AUR per turn for spending on special warrior moves and new warriors. Because of their size, the jumbo-size Jaeger (Teknos) and big Brontu (Arcane) can mine twice the amount, but bigger does not mean better; the warriors see to a rock-paper-scissors system; the interface for this game is spot-on, and whom each is strong/weak against can be checked quickly.
The real-time battles are of a free-roaming style, but in a limited arena; the combat is at it's worst when the two combatants are failing to land blows to each other. As suggested by the rock-paper-scissors, the fights can be one-sided but it's not too imbalanced. For example, with an exception, the aerial units require to land on ground to replenish the energy which is required for the execution of moves. Having gotten to grips with the warriors to make the most out of their mayhem moves, and indeed the camera, taking into account the arena and power-ups available, some of those whom they are supposedly weak against can be overcome. It is recommended that players get a feel for the characters and the controls in Mayhem Mode, but I managed fine going straight into Strategy Mode (on Normal difficulty).
In the Strategy Mode, the twelve scenarios are similar for both sides - many of the maps have been designed with symmetry in mind, and it's a case of switching sides depending on whom you select. I felt there were questionable manouvres out on the hex-board from the computer AI on Normal. On Hard, the AI was noticeably tougher in the real-times battles, with the difficulty setting also determining the starting numbers in the scenarios. None of the scenarios lasted that long, but players can save mid-game.
I have had a bad glitch once happen. The computer AI had Dark Angel use it's teleport spell, but they had insufficient AUR, a message stating this was shown, and play did not continue, so I had to quit. What makes up for it though are the modest unlockables and that two players can play in Strategy Mode as well as in Mayhem Mode.
I dig turn-based strategy. The real-time fighting fits in well. Presentation-wise, it's fine. Only if turn-based strategy and free-roaming fighters do nothing for you give it a miss - The Unholy War has my recommendation.
Oh, and for value-for-money, featured on the same disc is a playable demo of 'Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver', also developed and published by Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Interactive respectively.