Maelstrom delayed until Feb

Codies sends campaign details and shots to say sorry.

Codemasters and KDV Games have delayed real-time strategy title Maelstrom in order "to realise the game's ambitious design" yadda yadda. Anyway, it's not due out in February 2007.

But, on the plus side, we now know a bit more about the single-player campaigns that tell the tales of the repressed, freedom-loving Remnants, the haughty tech-slinging Ascension and the alien invaders the Hai-Genti. And we have some pretty new screenshots. So isn't that nice?

As you might imagine based on previous descriptions, the Maelstrom campaigns tell the story of a world (this one) ravaged by battles between the tech-loving future-headed Ascension types and the hardened, ex-military people and survivalist fellows that make up the Remnants. And as they fight, the Hai-Genti, who sound like something Frank Herbert would've approved of, turn up with the express aim of wiping out the humans so they can flood the place, pump it full of mutagen and swim around happily forever.

The Remnants, being a bit less technologically savvy than their human counterparts, take a while to wise up to the Hai-Genti threat, but they do spend a lot of their campaign, the first, slugging it out with the Ascension. They may not have lasers and so on, but they can modify old US military equipment, and capture technology from their enemies - like the Ascension's terraforming techniques.

The second, Ascension campaign meanwhile is much more quickly immersed in the struggle with the Hai-Genti, but the Ascension have some game too. They can use "mechamorph" technology to transform buildings and vehicles into other things - tanks into planes, buggies into guns, prams into Mars Bars, etc. - and also have some spiffy lasers, the terraforming kit the Remnants seem happy to pinch, and excellent-sounding cryogen guns. The problem for them is, by the sound of it, that their leader Arlan Khan goes a bit loony in his obsession with the new aliens, with "drastic consequences".

To round things off, of course, there's the Hai-Genti campaign, where things are a bit more ordered and it's genocide for breakfast, lunch and tea. The humans are ruining this nice green and blue planet, basically, and they're not having any of it. And - they probably love this - fortunately for the Hai-Genti, the mutagen, which they want to pump into the water so they can enjoy its nutrients, also happens to be violently poisonous when applied to humans. What larks!

Goodness, but if throwing mutagen at them doesn't work of course, there's always the other technologies - genetic engineering has made up for an absence of big scary guns by allowing for "formidable creatures", and if that fails they can always summon floods, meteor attacks and tornadoes, which sounds like a handy card to have up your sleeve.

So anyway - expect to see more of Maelstrom closer to release or, if you haven't already, you can check out a two-level demo, marvel at the trailer on EGTV, or go and ponder all those screenshots. Until February.

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