Review: Earth 2140

Earth 2140 is the first game of a real-time strategy series, made 1997 by the polish game developer team TopWare Interactive. Earth 2150 and Earth 2160 followed later. Each decade of the story is separated intro three parts. Main-Game + 2 Add-Ons with the same large content of the main-game. Only E2160 consists of one game with three large campaigns.

Story

The Story in E2140 so far: As the third World War from 2084 ended, two governments remained. USA and Southamerica were controlled by the „UCS – United Civilian States“ while wide areas of Europe and Asia fall under the reign of the „ED – Eurasian Dynasty“. Global Meltdown sunk most of earths landscape and as a small Commando of UCS forces infiltrated and tried to steal critical data from one ED outpost in 2150, a fourth world war began. Its a war for territories and resources.

Gameplay

Earth 2140 is just a basic clone of the worldwide successful C&C series and didn’t improved the typical RTS gameplay from its time period, but got many interesting design changes according to create a more realistic battle experience.

  • Structures are no longer build and placed by a grid to define their locations on the battle field.
    Refineries, Mines, War Factories and even Defensive towers get first build as mobile construction boxes that then need to move to the desired location to get constructed at place.
  • Mines will be build over small or large resource fields that can only be located on the mini-map.
    A Refinery and Cargo-Transporters are needed nearby to gather automatically in crates packed resources as containers.
  • The player also controls sea and air units. Sea-Transporters now only can hold one vehicle and several soldiers below. The player can load transporters with tanks and place them before the enemy coastlines, making the tanks force enemy units under heavy fire.
  • Foot troops can be seen as useless, but they can infiltrate enemy structures to take em over and, if the player wishes, start the self destruction.

Releases

Earth 2140 (1997) 

  • 2 campaigns with 40 missions each
  • game soundtrack on CD as CD-Audio
  • Two Generals for Defensive and Offensive – let the computer control your units!
  • hide your armies with the Shadow Tank
  • take over enemy units through Plasma Foodtroops or Tanks
  • Never seen artificial intelligence that challenges you in every mission
  • LAN or direct connection for multiplayer matches

Earth 2140 – Expansion Pack 1 (1997)

  • 40 new missions for each side
  • difficulty selection for the new missions
  • difficulty selection for the maingame by using command line parameters
  • a new game soundtrack on CD as CD-Audio

Earth 2140 – Expansion Pack 2: Final Conflict (1998)

  • 30 new singleplayer missions for each side
  • another new game soundtrack on CD as CD-Audio
  • new units and structures
  • 1 new terrain
  • 10 new multiplayer maps

Earth 2140 Gold

  • Maingame + Expansion Pack 1+2
  • same difficult artificial intelligence from the other releases

Earth 2140 XP (2006)

  • Maingame + Expansion Pack 1+2
  • only 9 original game music tracks in very low quality
  • reduced SFX audio quality (VDMsound needed for old quality)
  • patches needed to play Expansion Packs
  • removed multiplayer compatibility (never fixed)
  • Generals that control your units for you don’t work anymore (never fixed)
  • crippled artificial intelligence that sits down and does nothing (never fixed)

Conclusion

The game was first released as PC DOS CD-ROM and had a very high difficulty that only could be changed after the release of the Add-Ons by using command line parameters. Many fans criticized and even honored the challenging and sometimes as too brutal and unfair declared difficulty.
As TopWare got bankrupt, Zuxxz took over the rights and re-released the game, working under Windows XP, but in the same time censored the difficulty which resulted into the AI to no longer build structures or armies. With that decision, the game lost it’s charme and now is just a mere shadow of its former self.

Buy the DOS version on e-bay or amazon, since the XP release is a smack in everyone’s face that knows the original AI of the CPU enemy. Don’t buy the on GoldOldGames available Earth 2140 Trilogy – It just includes the crippled XP release.

About acantophis3rd

My name is Joey and I'm an active Lets Player on Youtube for more than 8 years now. I'm playing and writing about games of my childhood & sometimes even step into the world of modern gaming.
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