Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 22
  2. Negative: 5 out of 22
  1. Maelstrom can't even get the basics right, and the few features that sound interesting on paper end up being completely useless.
  2. The good story, nice graphics and solid gameplay will keep you going for some time. However the questionable AI and “same old, same old” feel might keep some gamers away.
  3. There's absolutely no reason to put up with the frustration of doing the simplest of tasks in order to check out the futuristic abilities that you'll eventually command here. [Mar 2007, p.105]
  4. It's a great playground of war - one that would be done more justice by a better game for sure, but the exaggerated entertainment value of the Ascension and Hai-Genti factions go a long towards making up for Maelstrom's shortcomings.
  5. Although the terraforming can become a bit tedious at times, the campaign missions are engaging and challenging.
  6. There's a lot to appreciate hidden behind Maelstrom's ugly exterior. With any luck, KDV Games will be greenlit for a sequel and will have the opportunity to polish up the aesthetics to match the good gameplay.
  7. 60
    The main problem with Maelstrom's design: Tons of options don't equal tons of useful options. You can rip off every successful RTS convention in the known universe (and developer KDV Games obviously tried), but the final product won't necessarily add up to the sum of those parts. That's not to say Maelstrom is a bad game - just one with a pie-full of flaws.
  8. Maelstrom will practically feel like a nostalgic trip down memory lane with all of the bugs you knew and loathed.
  9. 80
    KDV clearly went the “gameplay first” route, and the result is a surprisingly absorbing strategy mash that no one’s really heard about...but should.
  10. Don’t come here expecting one of the wonders of the gaming world, just a solid RTS that delivers what it has to and no more than that. [Apr 2007, p.115]
  11. If you stick to multiplayer Maelstrom has a lot to offer but an abundance of basic flaws mean it's no challenge for the big boys of the genre.
  12. Maelstrom isn’t original or perfect or devoid of problems, but it is innovative and fun, which should be what matters. And it should provide a nice alternative before that other game (hint: rhymes with . . . uh . . . okay, it’s Supreme Commander) comes along and wipes the floor with everyone.
  13. The word Maelstrom's Danish roots mean "to grind" or 'stream'--I'll let you guess which one of those definitions is most applicable to this ponderous RTS. [May 2007, p.69]
  14. 30
    The bottom of the barrel for real-time strategy games.
  15. KDV and Codemasters has a lot to be proud of in their latest creation, Maelstrom is a beautiful game filled with a lot of strategic talent and plenty of room for big pretty explosions, and squirtings of blood. If you love a royal RTS experience then grab Maelstrom and plunge in.
  16. Maelstrom had great potential to be a strong strategy game, but the bugs make it far too frustrating. The developers should have programmed a fourth faction, the Earth itself, to swallow up the Remnants, Ascension and Hai-Genti, because none of them have the brains to inherit this world.
  17. There are some nice innovations, but it ultimately falls short due to poor gameplay mechanics.
  18. An amateurish mess with a painful campaign mode and only a few novel ideas to be proud of.
  19. You've played it before. [Apr 2007, p.96]
  20. A largely by-the-numbers real-time strategy effort that twinkles but never shines. It's just a little bit too irritating to score highly. [Apr 2007, p.63]
  21. 50
    Somewhere under the flawed exterior there are some good or even great ideas buried inside but these are sadly let down by some unforgivable glitches in the most fundamental parts of the RTS mechanics, problems that are thrown into sharp contrast when experienced through the unforgivably dull campaign mode.
  22. Maelstrom is certainly interesting, but it just lacks that magic spark needed to transform a collection of ingenious ideas into a thrilling RTS experience. Innovative? Certainly. Thrilling and essential? Not quite.

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