Warzone 2100 is an open source real-time strategy and real-time tactics hybrid computer game, originally developed by Pumpkin Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It was originally released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation, and is now also available for Mac OS X, Linux, and other operating systems.
Warzone 2100 was released as a properietary commercial game, but on December 6, 2004, source code and most of its data was released under the GNU General Public License. On June 10, 2008 the license of the game was clarified, loosened and distribution of films and soundtrack was permitted.
In the late 21st century, the world's civilizations are wiped out by a series of nuclear strikes. While most of the survivors form scavenger bands to survive, one group of people, who refer to themselves as "The Project," seeks to rebuild civilization using pre-war technology.
The game begins with The Project sending three teams to gather technology that would help with reconstruction; the player assumes command of the team in Arizona. While gathering said "artifacts," the Project fends off attacks from an organization called the New Paradigm, which is under the command of an organization called Nexus, which is actually one man responsible for the nuclear war. In the final campaign, the Project launches a full-scale assault on Nexus, destroying it and thus removing all significant, organized barriers to its reconstruction of the Earth.
The game is fully 3D, based on the iViS games and 3D graphics engine developed by Sam Kerbeck of Eidos. The terrain is mapped by a grid; vehicles tilt to meet hilly terrain, and projectiles can be realistically blocked by steep mountains. The camera is free-moving and can zoom in and out, rotate, and pan up or down while navigating the battlefield.
In the game, units of different factions are painted different colors. The New Paradigm, the Collective, and Nexus are the enemies of the Project in the campaign, and they can be seen attacking Project forces as well as Scavengers, survivors of the nuclear fallout.
Units can all be customized according to: chassis (which, for example, takes weight and power into account); drive system (such as wheels or tracks); and mounted object (such as a weapon, or one of various support tools). Units can level up from ranks such as Rookie to Trained and Professional.
Warzone 2100 places an emphasis on sensors and radar to detect units and to coordinate ground attacks. Counter-battery sensors detect enemy artillery by sensing their projectiles and firing arcs and pinpointing their location to coordinate artillery strikes against enemy artillery. VTOL sensors work like basic sensors, only they coordinate VTOL attacks. VTOL counter-battery sensors coordinate VTOLs to find and destroy enemy batteries.
There is an emphasis on artillery: although many direct- and close-combat weapons and anti-air weapons can be researched and deployed, artillery is a staple of assault on enemy bases and outposts. While the technology tree is clearly defined and consistent, it never appears in-game and, therefore, the player can be left guessing as to what technology is next in the tree. Technology can be acquired by gathering artifacts left behind by certain destroyed enemy structures or units. Researching is composed of largely small and incremental advancements over existing weapons, armor, and chassis types.
Every level, excluding the first and last, has a time limit. This gives a sense of urgency and keeps players from waiting very long to gather more resources for unit construction. However, in Away missions, the player must select a limited group of units to transport to a territory completely away from the original base.
All of the terrain throughout the campaign is essentially composed of three areas, with different sectors for Away missions and other such levels; upon progression, previous maps simply expand and the player's original bases from past levels are maintained. Also, its resource system is quite different from mainstream RTS games; Oil Derricks are established over specific, scarce locations which constantly provide a slow, fixed rate of income. Combined with a mission time limit, this resource method makes it generally infeasible for players to utilize certain traditional RTS tactics such as "turtling" (fortifying one or more bases against enemy attack, while stockpiling resources with which to produce a massive army).
However, there are certain missions throughout the game that do not have a time limit, and in these missions it is possible to use more traditional RTS tactics to prepare for subsequent timed missions.