Review: History Channel: Bull Run
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Installation, setup and interface
As with most WinXP based games,
installation is straightforward and simple. Installation is
as simple as placing the CD into the CD Rom drive and letting
the game install. The game fired up easily after install.
The game also appears to be stable, running for several hours
without a crash. I have yet to hear of any major complaints
of game crashes or other difficulties from others who have
System requirements are fairly steep
for a budget game but generally most game players
shouldnt have too much of a problem running the game.
The game has a minimum of a 1 GHz PIII as a minimum requirement
as well as a 64 Meg DX video card and 256 Megs of RAM. My
system far surpasses these requirements, even the recommended
specs, so I cannot comment on how the game runs on less than
Options for setting up the game appear
to be relatively limited. You have the option to set the game
up for low, medium or high settings but I havent found
any way to change specific graphic levels or change the overall
resolution levels. While the game runs fine at 1024/780, it
would be nice, especially for those of us with larger monitors,
to change the overall resolution viewing the battlefield
would be easier.
Controlling the game is achieved via
a simple point and click interface along with several keystrokes
that can control your troops or move them around the battlefield.
In addition movement can be achieved via your mouse. In essence
you will end up using all manners of control in the game to
achieve your objectives.
The game comes with a multitude of
single player scenarios along with the grand campaign
type of scenario where you get the opportunity to control
the entire Grand Army of the Potomac or the Rebel Army (eventually
to be called the Army of Northern Virginia). Commands range
from as low as Brigade Commands all through Division and Corps
level. Artillery command is also available for those who want
to man the 6 inch Napoleons.
Most units are controlled via a combination
of button clicks followed by map clicks. If you want your
unit to move to a spot, you click on a button that corresponds
to the action, then follow with a double click to the new
position on the map where you want the unit. "Turning
units", "fall back", "charge", "limber"
and "unlimber cannon" are among the other activities
selected by button clicks. The order buttons can be somewhat
cryptic although you do have text bubbles appearing over each
button displaying the commands.
Overall the interface looks much like
similar real time strategy and wargames. It is laid out in
the traditional manner with the action window encompassing
the main part of the screen with the menu or list of command
buttons beneath it. There is nothing in the interface that
someone with a minimum of knowledge couldnt figure out
within a few hours.
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