The Final Conflict logo

Wie immer man zu sogenannten Konfliktsimulationen auch stehen mag - auf "Meisterwerke" wie das neueste Sandkastenspiel von Impressions kann selbst der härteste Betonkopf leichten Herzens verzichten...

Wenigstens bleibt uns hier mal die pseudo-historische Hintergrundgeschichte erspart: Es geht einfach nur darum, irgendwo auf der Welt einen Krieg anzuzetteln, wobei der Computer den Part des Gegners übernimmt.

Im Anfangsmenü wird die gewünschte Konfliktregion und das angestrebte Ziel (Gegner zerstört, oder die ganze Welt unterworfen) festgelegt. Anschließend pickt man sich auf dem Hauptschirm, einer stilisierten Weltkarte, mit der Maus ein paar Länder heraus und schickt seine Truppen und/oder Raketen dorthin. Zwei weitere Screens zeigen die wichtigsten Daten der einzelnen Länder und die Flugbahnen der Raketen.

Schließlich gibt es noch einen Clone des vorsintflutlichen "City Defence" als (Arcade-) Zusatzspiel - unglaublicher-weise sieht das Ding noch älter aus als sin betagtes Vorbild!

Und das war's dann auch schon im wesentlichen: Die Anleitung erzählt zwar noch einiges über Wirtschaft, Diplomatie und Spionage, aber davon ist im eigentlichen Spiel herzlich wenig zu bemerken

Die meiste Zeit sitzt man einfach bloß da und wartet darauf, daß einem der Computer mitteilt, wie's denn gerade steht. Abgerundet wird diese einfallslose, langweilige und hoffnungslos überholte Kriegsspielerei doch mäßige Grafik, magere Soundeffekte und eine ziemlich umständliche Handhabung. Nö, da bleiben wird doch lieber friedlich.. (wh)

The Final Conflict logo

Wargames are normally considered suitable fodder for train spotters and callow youths in anoraks. I can never understand why this image persists. While 'normal' games players are zapping a couple of aliens from Quogfan Minor, the wargamer is sitting at home deciding the future of the world with his funger on the 'nuke' switch and the fate of millions in his hands.

Final Conflict is one of a select few wargames that attempts to be user-friendly. The presentation is up to scratch, with nice graphics and easy-to-use icons. The scenarios are fairly modern with a unified Germany and a Middle East conflict option.

There's also a Missile Command style nuclear defence screen, where you have to shoot incoming warheads, and which adds a bit of variety to the traditional wargame.

Whatever the scenario you'll usually find yourself squaring up against another powerful contry. You can use diplomacy to make them see your point of view or attack them which, fo course, carries even more clout, though it can be costly on your country's resources.

A country's armies are divided two section, infantry and armoured. Because the game is set on a global scale there are no individual regiments in the usual wargame sense. Creating new infantry units depends on the amount of people of conscription age in a country. The number of personnel and the amount of raw materials available varies from country to country, so on a protracted campaign it make sense to try and capture an area with good potential for manufacturing war materials.

There's always the nuclear option. This can backfire, however, leading to severe ecological problems, such as starvation or the onset of nuclear winter. Other countries will react if you fire nuclear missiles willy nilly, so the nuclear card needs to be played with care.

Final Conflict is occasionally too simplistic for its own good. Set against that there are some attractive graphics and a design system which adds to the game immensely. I don't feel there's enough in there to keep dedicated wargamers happy; it's more like an advanced computer version of the classic board game, Risk. Worth checking out if you fancy your chances at world domination.

Giving out an order is simply a matter of clicking on to a country, followed by an order icon, and possibly another country if your sending troops there or working a diplomatic miracle. It's simple command systems like this that open up war and strategy gaming to people who are normally put off by long streams of complicated and laborious commands. The only drawback with this system is that a serious wargame fan might want a more developed control system capable of manipulating individual combat units and offering detailed logistical information.