Questions Raised, Questions Answered
Ever since Hasbro Interactive's acquisition of Microprose, a lot of questions have been raised regarding the new publisher's commitment to making games that appeal to the hardcore audience. After all, this is a company that has released more games like "play by email Battleship" lately than conventional computer games like Mechwarrior 3. They've also come under fire for discontinuing the development of the ground breaking Falcon series. Combine that with losing the Mechwarrior license to Microsoft, and you see that two of Hasbro Interactive's biggest and most hardcore franchises have slipped out of their hands. Topping that off, the founder of Hasbro Interactive, Tom Dusenberry, is giving a speech at the upcoming GDC next month entitled, "Making Fun for the Masses: We've Just Scraped the Surface!"
Not to worry
What are we to make out of this situation? Is Hasbro abandoning the hardcore market? Can hardcore gamers like us look forward to any adrenaline pumping, fascinating titles out of Hasbro/Microprose in the future? Actually, the answer is yes! Despite the bleak situation outlined above, last week's press event in San Francisco showed us that there's a varied and strong lineup of Microprose games which will appeal to hardcore gamers. Specifically there were five games in Microprose's 2000 lineup that caught our eyes: Squad Leader, Gunship!, B17 Flying Fortress II, Majesty, and X-Com Alliance. There were a couple of other Microprose games slated for 2000 that brim with promise as well - unfortunately these two weren't shown at the event. One is a real time strategy based on Starship Troopers. The other is Tank Platoon!, a modern tank simulator that will directly link up with the Gunship! simulator.
What are we covering?
We already talked about Gunship! in our recent hands-on preview
, so that leaves us with the four games covered in this article - Advanced Squad Leader, B 17 Flying Fortress 2, Majesty, and X-Com Alliance.