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Hidden Gems: Total Annihilation

by Joey Davidson | June 2, 2011June 2, 2011 7:30 pm PDT

In this weekly column, we’ll be selecting inexpensive, discarded titles from still playable consoles for your perusal. They may be games you’ve heard of and remember playing, or they may be games that have flown completely off of your radar. Just know that we love them and they’re available on the cheap. That’s a bonafide win/win situation.

If you have any favorite titles that you consider hidden gems, let us know in the comments below and we might feature your pick in the weekly column.

Total Annihilation
Platform: PC
Original Release: September 30th, 1997

Forget Starcraft, this was the space-based realtime strategy game that brought me up from my brood. Total Annihilation was Cavedog Entertainment’s greatest game developing accomplishment. It was a brilliantly crafted RTS that took the best parts of the genre, highlighted them and expanded on their many facets.

The game had planes, nukes and all sorts of incredible robots. For its release period, Total Annihilation was really something special. While the story was lacking and the cutscenes were non-existant (if my memory serves me correctly), the game did deliver a really unique gameplay mechanic that set it apart. Each player had a commander in his ranks. There was only one commander per team and that particular robot was given the ability to build, repair and attack with a ton of damage. The game was over when the commander died, but killing him was tough.

Beyond just the campaign, the skirmish mode will deliver an endless amount of entertainment for your RTS needs. You’ll be able to choose from a ton of maps, though there is no builder, and tweak your starting resources, allies and enemies.

This is honestly one of the best RTS titles ever made. And, odds are, you’ve never even heard of it. Find it for PC on the extremely cheap at Amazon or even GOG.com. Actually GOG has the Total Annihilation: Commander Pack for, I kid you not, $5.99.

Be sure to check out our ever-growing list of Hidden Gems.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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