Dark Reign: "The Future of War" is Auran's first published game and was released in September 1997. It has gone on to become one of the top selling games in the RTS genre and one that many have praised as taking the genre to the next level.

Dark Reign features some of the most incredible technology seen in a strategy game to date. By making use of the revolutionary 'Tactics Engine' developed by Auran, Dark Reign gives players an amazing level of detail and customization never before seen.

Take a look at these features to find out more:

Imperium vs Freedom Guard
The two sides at war in Dark Reign, the Imperium and the Freedom Guard, have unique units and a mix of offensive and defensive systems. Two other sides, Civilian and Togran, exist in the game, allowing for a diverse array of units and increasing the richness of scenarios.

Unit Types
More than 40 different unit types exist in Dark Reign, including infantry, medics, spies, snipers, mechanics, saboteurs and suicide bombers. There is also a wide variety of vehicle types including transports, amphibious tanks and spider bikes. Each unit has its own special attributes, and performs best in the situation and terrain for which it has been designed.

Building Types
Both sides have their own buildings, which provide different services. Basic production and resource gathering buildings are common to both sides; however, each side has several unique buildings which have special characteristics.

Unit Production
Unit production can be queued. Clicking on a particular unit in the interface will queue it for production.

This can be done from wherever you are on the battlefield. This allows you to have several units ready for production without even having to return to your base. These features relieve you from the micromanagement of units which is often necessary in other games of this genre.

Some units can morph into terrain objects, like trees or rocks. This camouflages the unit so it can sneak into the enemy's base undetected. Watch out for stray trees running across the battlefield! Other units can morph into certain enemy units, rendering them indistinguishable from an opposing forces' team, allowing you to wander around their base with the perfect camouflage.

Phasing is a special attribute possessed by several units in Dark Reign. It enables units to slide themselves under the ground, where they are hidden from enemy eyes. This has many applications in battle: players can make sites seem undefended, when in fact there are a horde of soldiers and tanks waiting for an attack. Underground transports can move troops and tanks undetected into an enemies base.

Terrain Effects
Unit movement is affected by the terrain they are crossing. For instance, infantry can travel through mud but it will slow them down. Steep hills and cliffs pose a problem to heavy vehicles. Terrain can also have damaging effects - leave some infantry on a bridge when it is destroyed and they will die when they fall in the water.

Repair Units
In addition to a repair bay and field hospital, there are mobile repair and healing units which have the ability to go out into the battlefield and repair vehicles and treat troops without having to return them to a base.

Unit Orders
Each of the units can be assigned with one of three standing orders scout, search and destroy, and harass. Three specific unit behaviours can also be controlled: Pursuit Range, Damage Tolerance, and Independence.
Combinations of these settings allow the user to specify many different behaviours for any number of their units. You can set your own default or use one of the two available pre-sets, Guard and pursue.

Dark Reign has an extensive waypoint system. A specific path can be mapped out for either a single unit or a group of units to follow. Paths can be named and saved ahead of time so that a coordinated attack can be planned. Units can be set to follow a path once, or keep moving around a path forever, or to travel to the end of a path and then retrace their steps. And by changing the unit settings, you can configure how you want the units to behave when they come across an enemy while following their path.

Real Elevations
The engine used to power Dark Reign allows designers to set real elevations in their scenarios, which in turn allows for true line-of-sight calculation. This means that you can sneak along valleys, or on top of mountains without being seen by your enemy. Units can hide in forests or behind boulders, creating opportunities for ambushes and surprise attacks.

There are two resources in Dark Reign. Water provides money, with water wells existing at various points over the map.

Taelon is the other resource, and provides power to operate a player's facilities. Both resources have to be mined. However, after the initial establishment of the operations they will manage themselves - until your mining facility or any of its related units fall victim to enemy forces.

Multiplayer Games
Dark Reign includes extensive multiplayer support: up to eight players on an IPX LAN, four players over the Internet (TCP/IP), and two players over 14,400 baud modem. Multiplayer games have the ability to have human and AI players in the same game.

Allies and Enemies
Dark Reign supports true alliances within multiplayer games. By default, all multiplayer games begin with all players neutral so as to avoid an all out battle right from the start. During the game, alliances can be changed at the discretion of the players. Players can give each other units and credits from within the Communications menu.

Allies can share certain resources and also share their viewpoint of the map.

Unlike other games, allies can defeat the enemy as a team and enjoy a team win. Teams may be set before the game, and can't be changed once the game begins. This makes it less likely that allies will cheat each other and a stronger attack can be planned, without the fear of your allies turning on you. If you prefer, you can use alliances instead, which allows you to make and break alliances during the game - and backstab your best friends…

Training Missions
There will be two sets of training missions - one for beginners who are not hard core strategy gamers, and one mission for more advanced gamers who just want to learn about all the cool new features of Dark Reign.

Both provide a learning experience that allows people to become familiar with the ins and outs of Dark Reign.

The missions have been designed to avoid tank and grunt rushing. Complex end conditions can be set to force the player to accomplish several tasks before the mission can be deemed complete, allowing for a wide variety of mission objectives.

The interface of Dark Reign has been designed for ease of use and practicality. A powerful right mouse button scrolling feature exists, which allows players to scroll around the map quickly and easily - without needing to reach for the keyboard, or click on tiny scroll button arrows. Shortcut keys exist for most common unit command features, again saving you valuable point-and-click time.

Construction Kit
The construction kit for Dark Reign operates very much like a paint application. The kit allows players to create their own maps very quickly and easily, while at the same time retaining the power to make complex, graphically rich scenarios. After painting on the terrain and adding in altitude, there is a wide range of overlays to throw in. Then you can add the buildings and units you want to have at the start of the mission.

Everything in the construction kit is configurable, allowing for the easy addition of new overlays, tiles and buildings, which are able to be distributed via Dark Reign's packed file format.

We've got heaps of Dark Reign information, downloads and features on this site, and we hope you'll take the grand tour.

Minimum System Requirements.
IBM PC compatible computer
Pentium 90Mhz processor
Windows 95 operating System
16mb of RAM
Double speed CD-ROM
60Mb Hard Disk Space
PCI video card with 1Mb of RAM

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