Shadez 2: Battle for Earth


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Rating: 4.5/5 (97 votes)
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Shadez II: Battle for Earth

MarcusA number of genres are heavily represented in the browser-based gaming realm. Physics games are everywhere, puzzles are a dime a dozen, and you can't toss a mushroom without hitting a platformer. But one genre that has been somewhat neglected is the real-time strategy game, a void Shadez II: Battle for Earth aims to fill. Those familiar with the RTS genre may not recognize Shadez II for what it is at first, but once you do, you'll find yourself looking at it from an entirely different angle.

Shadez II: Battle for EarthYou are in control of a mercenary force of military units with one goal: eliminate the enemy presence on planet Earth and save every man, woman, child, and bunny rabbit. The enemy is a race of machines that seems to have no other goal but their own survival by means of eradicating all life on Earth. They have ravaged the planet, and for whatever reason, the governments of Earth have entrusted you with the only means to defeat them. No pressure.

The military power at your fingers is varied and impressive. You have access to a number of ground units, including infantry with guns and rocket launchers, and covert ops specialists that can go behind enemy lines and plant C4 on structures to take them down. Light and heavy tanks are also at your disposal, along with APCs and mobile missile launchers that provide armored support. In the air, you'll control Apache gunships, Blackhawks, and Chinook transports as well as Tomahawk and Patriot missile strikes, battleship bombardments, and more. You can also call in a "Broken Arrow" which basically gives you every strike at once in one area, for those times when things get really desperate.

Of course, none of this can happen without resources. The main resource you'll collect is ore, represented by yellow deposits above the ground. It allows you to build units and call in strikes, but electrical power keeps things running. You have to generate this for yourself by building power plants. The more buildings you have in your base, the more electricity you need, and the more power plants will be required to supply this electricity. You start out with the basic power plant, which provides enough electricity for simple base operations. Once you start building tanks and helicopters, you'll need to start constructing nuclear power plants to supply the electricity demands. Keep an eye on your power meter, because if you go over, everything in your base shuts down.

This all sounds very familiar, and anyone who has played Command and Conquer will find it extremely easy to grasp. That is, until you realize that the game is presented in a 2D side view instead of the usual over-the-head map view. Kinda changes things a bit, doesn't it? While in many ways the side-view simplifies the gameplay, it also gives it a new perspective. Many of the strategies that are employed in other RTS games may not work, or may have to be adapted to the new style of gameplay. Also, units cannot block each other; if two units meet, they simply pass around the other, exchanging fire the whole time.

Shadez II: Battle for EarthAnalysis: Shadez II is an excellent example of what can be done to add interest to an established genre. By putting all of the action on a 2D plane, it changes the way you approach the game. Many of the same strategies will work, like creating an overwhelming force to obliterate the enemy, but others, such as the classic "divide and conquer" are not easy to pull off, if even possible. Sean has come up with a number of interesting and unique terrain and unit placement scenarios which help to capitalize on the 2D nature. Impassible ravines, bases surrounded by enemy units, and civilians that must be rescued from the other side of mountain ranges are just some of the scenarios you will face during the game.

As you progress through the campaign missions, you slowly unlock units that can be used in future missions, skirmish missions, or should you decide to go back to a previous mission you have already played. These units can be upgraded using experience points that you collect after successfully completing a mission. There are six levels for each unit, and each level slowly increases that unit's effectiveness. Once you hit some of the later campaign missions, and especially the skirmish missions, you will be in need of units that have been significantly upgraded.

One important fact you need to know before jumping into Shadez II: it's not free. That is, not entirely. You have access to several campaign missions and a couple of the skirmish missions right from the start. If you want access to the full game, however, you need to purchase MochiCoins.

Along with purchasing campaign and skirmish missions, you can also purchase Expert Mode. Expert Mode unlocks all units and upgrades them to level six and gives you access to advanced configuration of the skirmish missions, allowing you to tweak enemy AI, the types of units it has access to, etc. This makes pretty much all of the campaign missions a cakewalk, so if you want to preserve more of the challenge for the campaign, hold off on Expert Mode until you're finished, or at least until you get absolutely stuck. Once you activate the Expert Mode, you cannot deactivate it.

Aside from the fact that the Expert Mode makes the campaign too easy, the other complaint that I have about the game is the way in which you have to scroll the screen. In your standard RTS, moving the mouse to the edge of the screen scrolls the game field in that direction. With Shadez II, you have to use the arrow keys. It's really not that cumbersome once you get used to it, but I found myself constantly moving my mouse to the sides in an attempt to scroll before realizing, once again, that I need to use the arrow keys.

Sean Cooper put a lot of work into Shadez II, and it shows. The production values are very high, almost to the point that the game could pass as a downloadable title. The unit silhouettes are detailed, well animated, and move smoothly. Explosions are nice and explodey, with debris flying everywhere. The sound is top-notch, with excellent background music and event sounds that mimic those from the original Command & Conquer games.

If you are looking for a break from the standard RTS fare, or just want to play through a really well-made game, then look no further than Shadez II: Battle for Earth. There is enough strategy, explosions, and alien killing machines to keep most RTS fans busy for some time.

Play Shadez II: Battle for Earth

30 Comments

I dig this game. Even though I can complete most missions with just marines and rocket troops.

I'm on the level called "The end of civilization", but for some reason the mission abruptly ends and I don't know why. I wish the mission objectives were a bit clearer, because if I'm failing because of neglect, I'd like to know what I'm doing that's wrong.

Anyone know what's going on there? I get about six or seven minutes in and I fail the mission. I don't think I'm letting any civilians die.

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Looking forward to the public release of this one, the first game was a pretty big hit. Good stuff.

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I liked the first Shadez, and this one is pretty cool also. Just wondering, how do you use the Chinooks? It's not too clear for me.

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> Just wondering, how do you use the Chinooks? It's not too clear for me.

Let them land; civilians will automatically run towards the Chinook and hop in. To get your own units inside: select them and hover over the Chinook till you see a green dot appear, then click

Same method for unloading

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I understand the style choice of creating just the outline of your sprites but for the love of Pete please use different colors for the buildings and the combat units (buildings black, your units blue, enemy units red for instance).

My only complain on an otherwise enjoyable RTS.

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i would enjoy this game a lot more if it was more clear as to whats going on at all...

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I hope this game is more difficult than the last one, but it was pretty addictive. i hope this one is too.

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To Eric C. - unfortunately it seems to get easier as it goes along. In later missions you're given a pile of cash and a pre-built base, making it almost ridiculously easy to win quickly. I was sad that a lot of the fun of an RTS - base-building strategy - was missing in these missions. I had the most fun with 'Twin Peaks', though some of the paid ones at least look interesting.

My biggest problem was dealing with 'deselection'. Sometimes I'd forget that the cursor is still active after issuing orders, and miss-click a building, sending my units into retreat. The push-button repair/sell idiom is also kind of annoying. I almost never want to sell more than a specific building.

But the pacing and unit balance really is a lot of fun. An improvement but not a major change from the first one, which I also liked.

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I think that the main problem with 'Shadez II, Battle for Earth' is the fact that the type of people who play it, are not taking into account the fact that there is a deep, strong, storyline behind it, and that it is not just a game.
I think people should understand that 'Shadez'
is a battle between life and death

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SnackTastick Author Profile Page September 23, 2009 5:38 PM

This game is a cool as it reminds me of my glorious CC days. Alas I cannot get past the twin peaks. I have killed all the gun towers on the second peak :

by moving my entire contingent to the top of the first peak with the Apache BEHIND the main force slightly. Then stringing watch towers to place one right in the middle of the ore field in the saddle of the peaks and then placing a mini-gun just to the right and a missile to the left. this kills the first tower and pretty much sets you up to mine the saddle and mass some troops. Then I have been able to swarm the next three gun towers with around 12~18 gunning marines, but this seems hit or miss and I usually die soon after


the Apache helicopter is a pretty tight weapon,

but lasts only seconds in the heat of battle, don't rely on it

as for the enemy base

I tried to use Watch towers, miniguns and missles but the slope doesnt let you place them other than at the top and the bottom GRRR

So any help would be appreciated. Do i realy need a balanced force? and finally how do you get the good stuff? the xp upgrades dont seem to do much, but maybe i spread them out too much?
Thanks

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Now that I've played this, I don't like it compared to the original. The original game, (and Age of War) are this addictive mini game where the only choice is what type of unit to make. (I don't know what the genre is, but I love it) This game I had to collect ore, build a dozen different type of bases, and figure out how to control my units. It got way too complicated way too quickly.

I want to tell casual game designers: if your game needs short cuts, it probably isn't casual. Like other tower defense clones that involve in depth tutorials, I don't have the time.

For the next shadez: make it free, make it simpler, make it harder, but in a good way. (also, the screen was too small.)

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A pretty solid game so far, pretty good. I did miss deselecting units (how about pressing the space bar? using the repair button as a workaround is clumsy) and grouping units (you know, Ctrl + 1, double-tap 1 to center on your group, etc). Oh, and the upgrade buttons were a little odd: if a button is half-filled, does that still improve stats? Either way, I prefer a single-click, single-upgrade approach (click once to improve the level).

That, and I felt that this game is quickly outgrowing it's one dimensional gameplay. But it's still fun, so yeah. :)

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Why the heck isn't it free? Also the civiilians level is way too hard, i lose when i can't see why...
Not as good as the first.

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I think the game end's there because it's a beta, and maybe he haven't realist all the lvl's yet.

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Anonymous :D October 25, 2009 11:07 PM

At the rescue the Civilians mission.

Get your Marines at the Chinook and place them at the end of the village. The marines will hold the enemy giving you enough time to transport the Civilians.

And when passing the peaks don't stop. The missiles have only little chance of hitting you.

at the end there will be 2 Civilians left. Pick em up and get your boys out of there.

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having problems gettin past twin peaks - any advice?

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scrub last comment, its the last level, battle for earth i need the advice for

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having problems gettin past twin peaks - any advice?

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I loved the first one but once you know how to beat it then it was too easy but S2 is hard.

I love the new enemy and how they move it's kinda spooky.

If you select to play on easy then it should be.... easy.

The main screen is too small.

making an extra ore machine will speed up your cash flow

first level is easy enough.

The civilian level, load up the marines and fly them over to the peak close to the ground enemy and leave them there. Quickly pick up and drop the civs at the smoke, the marines will take care of the enemy when they attack then bring them home.

the level next to this (i forgot the name) keep repairing your turrets and slowly build a large army up then send over few gunners and tanks and take out enemy turrets on the bridge once done then send over the rest of you arsenal and finish them off.

twin peaks, just keep then enemy off your butt with some heavy tanks and rockets as you build up a large force then keeping your tanks and rocket men together take out the turrets by huge force then advance on the base.

just started the white house one but i didn't finish it yet, i think you need the special ops guy to blow up the force field then attack attack attack before you run out of money

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ok the white house level.....

there is a weapon that shields the bases and eff up anything that comes near it with one shot but if you bombard it at once with everything your guys will knock it out

the later level where you have to kill everything and not let civ get killed or any civ structures get destroyed (sorry for not knowing the name as I'm at work and I can't play it here)

ASAP!!!! build tanks, rocket guys, and rocket launches and send them over to the right side of the human town ASAP!!! cause anything none military dies or get blown up you fail. you can use the chopper they give you to remove the humans running around if they get in the way

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how do u save game? March 5, 2010 7:48 PM

how do you save your game? please i need help, and i hate restarting every single time i play

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if you go back to the same web page it should save it but if you have a your browsers privacy up high then it will delete it OR you can look at the web info on your browser(or temp history folder) and save the swf file and play shadez2 offline, and it should save it.

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This game is cool but I still have the old C&C Tiberium Dawn and i played them within 20 minutes of eachother and saw so many similarities its not funny. the harvests the move icon, the chinooks and minigunners and all units are copies. i like the game but only a 2/5 for originality

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im playing the game, but i got 2000 ore and just the base and the enemy has set up a siege!!! HELP ME!!!!

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trust me i am 11 and that game gets way more hard maracas but use the Chinook and a heavy tank you should know what to do

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Major 1st Class September 3, 2011 5:46 PM

it's there any hack to get all game missions and items without buying mochigames coins ?

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It's a good game and all but I can't get the hang of the first evac mission. Can anyone help me?

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