Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri

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Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri (1996)
LookingGlass Technologies
Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri is a 1996 tactical first-person shooter video game developed and published by LookingGlass Technologies. Set in a science-fictional depiction of the 24th century, the game follows a faction of humans who colonize the Alpha Centauri star system to escape from the Hegemony, a totalitarian Earth government. The player assumes the role of Nikola ap Io, the leader of an Alpha Centauri military unit, and undertakes missions against pirates and the Hegemony. Terra Nova has been cited as one of the first squad-oriented games with three-dimensional (3D) graphics; the player is often assisted by artificially intelligent teammates who may be given tactical commands. Conceived by Looking Glass after the completion of their first game, Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, Terra Nova was subject to a long and difficult development process, caused in part by the production of its full-motion video cutscenes. The game's TED engine can render 3D outdoor environments and simulate physics; the latter enables such effects as procedural animation. Terra Nova's critical reception was highly positive. Reviewers praised its tactical elements, and several compared it to the 1995 video game MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat. However, reception of its graphics was mixed, and many noted the game's steep system requirements. Despite critical acclaim and sales in excess of 100,000 units, the game was a commercial failure: it did not recoup its development costs. While it was intended to be the first in a series, its low sales led the company to cancel plans for a sequel.