FutureTech has been a busy little beaver in the time between the first game and the expansion too, creating some brand new and utterly distinctive types of weapons for each army. Thus, there’s a wide selection of new units and buildings for each campaign.
The new unit types range from tiny tank fodder to stunning new super-weapons too. In fact, some of the new superweapons are blatantly game-breaking, judging from what we saw.
That said, the new mega-units are pretty interesting from a design point of view. The Soviet army for example gets a new type of tank, called the Grinder. While it, like all of the other mega-weapons, take an awfully long time to build, the devastation on offer is well worth it.
Big, red and slow, what makes the Grinder unusual is that it doesn’t actually have any offensive powers of its own. There’s no lasers mounted to the turrets, no turrets mounted to the chassis and no shark-firing cannons that can be fired to support your bear cavalry. That’s a line we’ll probably never have a chance to say again in our entire lifetime.
What the Grinder does have though is huge tank treads that lay waste to anything it touches. That goes for infantry, rival tanks and even buildings. If you can get a Grinder tank into an enemy base then it’ll effortlessly mow down all the sentry guns and power stations as it closes in on the construction yard. The only problem is waiting long enough to build it and move it there.
The Allies however, who are forever the most boring of the sides (but, thanks to Gemma Atkinson and Holly Valance, also the most buoyant) don’t get anything so cool as a Grinder tank. Instead, the Allies get a new gunship called the Harbinger, which boast incredible firepower. The Harbinger was one unit we unfortunately didn’t get to see for ourselves, but we were assured by EA that it was one of the deadliest flying units in the game.
The new unit that really caught our eye however was the new Imperial mega-weapon – a convertible behemoth that can fire from all sides at once. Dubbed the Giga-fortress, this amphibious tank/gunship resembles a giant mechanical lotus flower when it is first built. Not a flower you’d want to pick though – this one has a huge laser cannon on every petal.
Though it can move over any surface, the Giga-fortress isn’t exactly the most manoeuvrable of vehicles, which is why it also has an airborne mode.
Switiching to airborne mode with the Giga-fortress takes only a few seconds as the lotus petals fold themselves in and the centre of the flower slides up and out. When the transformation is complete, the Giga-fortress most closely resembles a giant floating head. It’s as if Megaton’s skull were drifting across the battlefield – another phrase that we’ll never have a chance to use again.
When it’s up in the air, the Giga-fortress is even more of a force to be reckoned with than before, with all of its laser cannons now mounted in one spot. As soon as this massive floating head opens its mouth it just demolishes whatever it is above – the only limiting feature being a very short range.