Total Annihilation Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 116 Ratings

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  • Summary: Long ago, the galaxy had known peace. Paradise was ruled with the hand of science, and the hand was that of the galactic governing body known as the Core. Ironically, it was the Core's ultimate victory, the victory over death itself, that brought about the downfall of its paradise and started the war that would decimate a million worlds. The immortality process, known as "patterning," involved the electronic duplication of brain matrices, allowing the transfer of consciousness into durable machines. Effectively it meant immortality, and the Core decreed the process mandatory for all citizens in order to ensure their safety. However, there were many citizens unwilling to toss aside their bodies so casually, many indeed who regarded patterning as an atrocity. They fled to the outer edges of the galaxy, forming a resistance movement that became known as the Arm. War began, though it was never officially declared by either side. The Arm developed high-powered combat suits for its armies, while the Core transferred the minds of its soldiers directly into similarly deadly machines. The Core duplicated its finest warriors thousands of times over. The Arm countered with a massive cloning program. The war raged on for more than 4,000 years, consuming the resources of an entire galaxy and leaving it a scorched wasteland. [Cavedog Entertainment] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. This is the best, most fun game I have ever played. It represents everything that a five-star game should be. It's different, original, and most importantly, solid. I could find no glaring omissions, or bugs, or problems that indicated that it is a rushed product.
  2. It has beautiful graphics, eerie music, and a very low learning curve. Each level is different enough to keep the gamer interested.
  3. Cavedog has done a commendable job of taking the basic mechanics of real-time strategy and using them to create something new: A game that relies less on constant mouse-clicking than careful planning and strategic thinking.
  4. As a game of resource management and tactical combat, Total Annihilation is not fundamentally different from anything that has come before, but it is nonetheless an evolutionary leap for the genre of real-time strategy.
  5. An impressive contender in the real-time strategy genre. An easy-to-use interface, coupled with intelligent AI, establishes the game as one of the best of its kind.
  6. Total Annihilation lacks one critical element that would have put it on my all-time list, and that involves immersion. In other words, the storyline and between-mission cinematics (which were somewhat lacking) did not suck me in as C&C did.
  7. The fully three dimensional landscapes are stunning, and animation is equally so - units move around the area with superlative realism, and weaponry is as full of life as a piece of machinery can be.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Feb 25, 2011
    I'm surprised so little is said about this game, the amount of mods that were available and the amount of fun I had playing this game is crazy. Even 13 years after its release, and I haven't had as much fun with any other RTS, not even SC2! TA is great by itself, but when mods are added, the gameplay changes so much, so many more units are made it's insane. Even the graphics are good, explosions are awesome, they feel so much more intense then in all other strategy games. This is easily one of the best games of all time. Expand
  2. Oct 7, 2010
    This game opened my eyes to the fun of creating sandbox style RTS with tons of units. This is responsible for many days of sleep deprivation, others mad that the phone line is tied up (dial-up), and excessive amount of money for fast PC to run it smoother.

    After some patches and new unit releases and ultimately when the Core Contingency expansion was released, all those issues in the past just became even more severe. That and hygiene and diet suffered--the house was being neglected and junk food became the primary choice of sustenance. No other game has done this to me. EverQuest comes close though.

    This led me to follow Chris Taylor to his other games, though SupCom FA is the only thing that has come close to recreating the experience of Total Annihilation. Got to love the old MPlayer crowd. TEN was cool for rankings, though I didn't do as well as I thought I should've (1900s). Heat was nice for casual games, but ELITE clan battles were pretty intense. Only remember Lazeroo and (can only think of a bear for some reason). I was always coming up with crafty stuff like Rapier rush comm snipes and was accused of cheating on more than one occasion. The truly good players focused on tactical micro such as early bombing runs on low resource maps like Coast to Coast. I always did well with macro, spamming the heck out of Hawks, Vamps, nukes, artillery, etc on a such a large scale...

    Ahh, memories.
  3. Nov 15, 2012
    Amazing, there are no other words to describe this game and its expansions. If you are an rts gamer through and through and have not played this game then you then you are missing out big time. I have played all the old rts games and a lot of the new ones and none of them compare to this. This is how i rate the game Music/Sound 10/10 unit diversity 10/10 graphics for the time 10/10 originality 10/10 game play 10/10. This game has next to no flaws and i rate it the best rts ever. Expand
  4. Mar 9, 2011
    Sweet mother of god, this game is marvelous. Yes, it is a bit aged in the graphic department, but it makes it up a hundred times by the gameplay. I only picked it up recently, but I didn't have so much fun since the classic rts games from westwood of old. Add to that really nice pathfinding and unit behavior, bullets and missiles being actual physical obiects with calculated trajectories, great music, atmosphere and two buckets of awesome, and you get this game. Expand
  5. Jun 13, 2012
    Nothing quite like it, before or since. Massive RTS with huge replayability value; add to that the sheer amount of customisation that can be done (the mods, the extra units, maps, etc which are all easily downloadable) and you've got a game of legend. Expand
  6. Apr 8, 2014
    This was a fantastic game in it's day. I grew up with this and still regard it as a fantastic game even after the many games I've played thereafter. It set the bar for future games. Even silly things like 100 stacked construction planes made the game awesome. Almost as awesome as being the guy who blows them all up with an AE shot. Played this on a 200mhz and it's in my heart and soul forever. Expand
  7. Feb 1, 2014
    Ahead of its time, and utilizing a unique resource model that monitored rate of resource gathering as well as total reserves, allowing for deficit spending of previously gathered surplus. However as officially released it did suffer from key flaws that reduce its score. The developer clearly had a bias in favor of the ARM faction, as there are many CORE units in critical roles that are clearly inferior whereas the few units that CORE has an advantage over the ARM are in less vital roles. There are also a lot of redundant or useless units that sound nice in theory but are obsoleted in competitive play by far more cost efficient units or units that require less micro-management. Expand

See all 33 User Reviews