You haven't seen real-time strategy combat until you have witnessed what Cossacks has to offer. This remarkable game literally sets the new standard for games like 'Settlers', 'Age Of Empires' and more. Cossacks puts you in the commander seat of 16 rival nations that battled it out during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Get prepared for a history lesson as you move through the game because you will find yourself in control of many historic battles that actually took place, which means you can effectively change time and create historic battles of your own. Cossacks also has its own comprehensive encyclopedia on all the wars, units, technologies and more.
The battles in Cossacks are unlike anything I have seen. Never before have I had so much fun battling it out over water, I mean, where else can you direct a whole fleet of monstrous sailing ships armed with cannons along each side through treacherous seas, whilst being on the lookout for the enemy and the occasional band of ruthless pirates that will not stop until your ships lay on the ocean floor. Keep in mind that in missions, once you conquer pirates, you take their booty and anything useful on their ship (Treasure Maps).
Are you sick of repetitive strategy games that make you feel like you are still using the same tactics that you mastered in 'Command and Conquer'? Cossacks changes all that, it creates a whole new type of combat that you will just have to master. Did you like the opening scene to the movie 'Gladiator' or the battle scenes of the movie 'Braveheart'? Because Cossacks allows you to move your men into formations just like that. You can attack with your archers, sending burning arrows flying through the sky (which is a good way to set buildings on fire, the fire then spreads and burns the enemy to the ground). You can hide a group of men on horses and watch as they come dashing in with speed and take down a whole army of confused enemy troops. Don't let civilians get in your way as you can crush them easily and make them apart of your colony. This and much more awaits you in this enormous game.
The graphics are stunning to say the least. Cossacks contains some very unique features like their ships, which are pre-rendered in 64 directions, resulting in smooth 3D animation and turning. The quality of these ships will have you sitting their admiring the work of art in front of you, rather then concentrating on how much resources you are supposed to be collecting. The buildings are incredible, you send a few peasants to make whatever you want and then the building literally grows in front of you in a number of stages. Cossacks contain these monstrous castles that tower over everything, once you compile your men in a formation outside your castle and they wait for your next command, you really feel like you are the nation's leader.
The countless maps that are available are simply beautiful. There is nothing like watching 100's of men pile off a ferry while the waves crash onto the shore beside them, only to have the enemy surprise you with towers that cut down your men with cannon balls (trailed with smoke) which leave them lying dead on the beach. The maps also contain hidden interactive features that you have to find yourself, for example, you might be sailing smoothly heading south, when you pass a certain island, and all of a sudden a message box pops up telling you that there are pirates in the area, and you can either fight or throw them your treasure.
You can be sure to find all the usual options, save, load, auto-save, etc. Plus you can battle it out all over the world, literally, with up to 7-player multiplayer over the net. You can choose from over 85 missions or make your own with the map generator. Cossacks contains an option that I feel is worth a mention, you can actually configure the game to only play music and themes that are native to the country you are in control of, now that is cool!
Overall, I would recommend this game to all 'Mature Gamers'. By that I mean basically anyone who is 15 +. Simply because some of the missions require countless hours of colonizing and strategizing and you will find most young gamers who are brought up on games like 'Command and Conquer' will be bored within the first hour and will waste time by fighting first and thinking later. You could get around this by creating your own maps and skirmish's I guess, but it all depends on how much you want to get out of the game. If you like the 'Settlers' series then this game is a must have.