Games of the Year

S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster

S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster Screenshot 1
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S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster is the new edition of the challenging classic strategy game S.W.I.N.E.! 18 years after the release of the original, the filthiest of all wars between the Rabbit and the Pig armies will inspire both new and old fans of sophisticated real-time strategy with completely revised textures, support for todays resolutions, detailed unit models, a 16:9 adapted interface and an extended zoom. About S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster In S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster, you'll fight challenging tank battles on the sides of both the Rabbits and Pigs in two extensive single-player campaigns as well as in furious multiplayer battles! Use various tanks, scout vehicles, artillery, rocket launchers, and air support to help your side win. Choose from a variety of upgrades to upgrade your units and equip them with special abilities. Features No tedious base building, just WAR: Assemble your army, plan carefully and plunge directly into battle in two challenging single player campaigns with a total of 22 merciless missions! Looking just swine: You can expect modern resolutions of up to 4K, a 16:9 adapted interface, an extended zoom, revised textures and detailed unit models! Battle your friends: Exciting multiplayer battles for up to 8 players await you in the revised multiplayer mode, both via LAN and the Internet!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

The dialogues are witty.
The pigs all sound like Nazis.
The rabbits all sound like Inspector Cluesau.
The difficulty spikes are literally game breaking.
The campaign is impossible without cheats.
Just as I remember it form my childhood.

Review from Steam

Wonderful remaster of a flawed classic
When the original went free in 2005 it instantly became one of the highest profile freeware ever to release. Perhaps to date even. At a time when the best free alternatives were exclusively simple 2D adventures made with AGS, we were suddenly graced with a high quality 3D RTS. With such price tag it quickly gathered popularity in my corner of the world. Although at first glance it may look like a cheap or shallow RTS parody it is actually one of the most polished game in existence. With one major gameplay flaw I'll talk about later.
Campaign features two opposing sides with near identical mirror armies (common practice in those days) technologically placed in WWII era. Rabbits are voiced with exaggerated French accents while Pigs are done by Germans and this is also reflected in their armies where former are less armored but faster and vice-versa for latter. Each side has one unique unit to further solidify that difference. There are 22 missions in total (R-12/P-10) with unusually realistic objectives of strategic importance - securing resources, production facilities, destroying enemy industry, and so on. In stark contrast with game's aesthetic but it works well to sell the war.
Main twist from contemporary RTS was removal of base/unit building and introduction of light wargame elements as seen in Panzer General. Every unit has two extra stats next to classic HP - fuel & ammo bars, which can be refiled with specialized supply carts. In addition every unit can attain 2 promotions giving them slightly boosted stats while all surviving units carry over to next mission (except carts). New mechanic is very easy to get used to, more so with slick UI support that allows pausing the game to give out orders at own pace. Highly missed feature in most RTS if I do say so myself.
Game is highly polished so here's a quick rundown of rarely seen features:
havok physics (units sway as they move around, fire and take hits)
wheeled units respect turn radius while tracked can turn on the spot
short pre-rendered comical movies after nearly every mission
minimum and maximum weapon range on unit hover
beautiful maps, detailed objects, destructible scenery - all viewable at any angle with adjustable camera
3D terrain can be used as shelter against non-hitscan projectiles and enemy vision
fast-forward speed in addition to pause
briefing and purchase screens between missions where you spend Strategic Points on new units and upgrades (with 3 out of 11 possible modules, depending on unit)
wide unit variety unlocked over the course of campaign - all beautifully drawn, animated and soundified
formation is preserved in one direction if move order discipline is exercised, and path is light on obstacles
separate visual menu theme for each side
HD Remaster stuff
super smooth performance powered by proven DX9 tech (game consumes only 300MB RAM)
wide screen support, higher resolution textures and increased color saturation
near instant quick save/load! - I won't be able to play RTS without it anymore
actual save filenames attain Unix Time Stamp, first time I seen that outside specialized programs
* * *
When it works SWINE is wonderful to play, unfortunately a lot of times it is not the case despite deluxe polish treatment. Problem is balance after the first few missions on each side. Difficulty is such that it requires trial & error by repeating whole missions until stars align so you: chose correct path to objective + take correct army composition (and upgrades) + cheese every little encounter + still fail because broken difficulty will suck you dry. Probably the only game I played where save/load cannot overcome the fail state I unknowingly unleashed upon myself before even starting the mission. Briefing screen doesn't even come close to illustrating the hell game is about to unleash upon you.
What I mean by that is not having enough supply to finish the mission (running out of ammo/fuel half way through), excessive amount of enemy units appearing from map edges due to hidden triggers, bullet spone units taking exorbitant amount of hits to destroy turning fights into a slow but chaotic slug-fest, and literary zero tolerance to own unit losses.
Result is extremely repetitive tedium where other lesser shortcomings join the party. It lead me to looking up walkthrough videos in advance to avoid mistakes, excessive use of cheap tactic by exploiting AI, and in the end - cheating. Difficulty is really that broken. I HIGHLY recommend playing on Easy to reduce (but not eliminate) tedium. Luckily there are no difficulty related achievements.
In last few campaign missions there are clear signs designers began to realize how broken the missions have become so they put bread crumbs on your path in form of pre-placed supply crates to guide and refill your army. Those are in fact the best missions but they come too little too late.
Aside the elephant in the room you should be aware there are no sea, air or infantry units in the game, only vehicles. Although this sole branch is pretty varied you'll mostly be using the better half of the available arsenal and same old tricks time and time again.
The last quirk is of technical nature where most of destroyed scenery objects are restored after a reload. Building, trees and such get rejuvenated but it's minor annoyance except in one case there mission critical structures need to be destroyed - you'll need to do both without reloading in between (R-11). Also, game runs in borderless window and sometimes gets randomly offset when started up. ALT+F4 quickly solves that little issue as it never happened twice in a row.
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Gameplay could be significantly improved by rewarding extra points for capturing objectives, making all units at least x3 time more lethal, and most importantly reducing artillery pathfinding hitbox. Might as well add robust formation movement support. Only mentioning this since I heard SWINE 2 is/was in distant planning stage so who knows, maybe Iron Tusk sees it and approves.
In the end I must have switched between Yes/No half a dozen times so it's hard to imagine seasoned RTS player enjoying it for long. After watching their 'Making of...' video in bonus folder I had no choice but to give in and settle on cautionary Positive. Guys tried and are still enthusiastic about their all gown up baby so what the hell. Give it a shoot and see how you like a bit of unconventional old school oozing with charm, I'm willing to bet younger ones will like it just as we once have.

Age Verification
To be able to see content under adult tag.