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Sieg ohne Krieg

Cardinal of the Kremlin logo

Der kalte Krieg mag offiziell ja beendet sein, aber einen alten Falken wie Tom Glancy stört das wenig. Kein Wunder, wenn auch in der jüngsten Versoftung einer seiner Romanvorlagen wieder die Toen den Schwarzen Peter hähen.

Cardinal of the Kremlin Handelte z.B. “Hunt for Red October” noch tief unter dem Meeresspiegel (wo man U-Boote halt findet), so geht es jetzt hoch hinaus. In diesem Solo-Strategical soll der Spieler mittels SDI den Ausbruch des dritten Weltkriegs verhindern. Dazu muß an der Leistung der Satelliten gebastelt werden, auch die benötigte Software und das Zielsystem harren der Verfeinerung. Darüber hinaus darf man sich als Spion oder Diplomat versuchen, allerlei Kram in die Umlaufbahn schießen mit dem Präsidenten plaudern oder einen Rambo-Verschnitt namens Archer auf die Gegenseite loslassen. Bei alledem hat man nicht nur mit den bösen, bösen Kommunisten, sondern auch mit der unerbittlich verinnernden Zeit zu kämpfen.

Von der Präsentation her wird eine erfrischende Abwechslung zu den üblichen Achteck-Verschiebenreien geboten: hübsche (teilweise sogar animierte) Grafik, wenig aber gute Sound, sehr übersichtliche Menüs und zoombare Karten. Auch die Maussteuerung geht voll in Ordnung, und daß jede Option eine eigen Help-Funktion hat, ist mindestens so erfreulich, wie die abspeicherbare Highscoreliste für dieses Genre ungewöhnlich ist. Lediglich die eingestreuten Actionsequenzen, insbesonders die Auto-Hatz, sind ziemlich daneben – sowohl was die Optik, als auch was die Handhabung (Tastatur) betrifft. Insgesamt aber eine sehr spannende Angelegenheit! (mm)

Amiga Joker, October 1991, p.78

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"Cardinal of the Kremlin ist Strategie mit Hochspannung!"

Amiga Joker
Cardinal of the Kremlin
Grafik: 59%
Sound: 50%
Handhabung: 75%
Spielidee: 79%
Dauerspaß: 76%
Preis/Leistung: 75%

Red. Urteil: 73%
Preis: ca. 69,- DM
Hersteller: Capstone/Accolade
Genre: Strategie

Spezialität: Deutsche Anleitung, Codeabfrage, Spielstände speicherbar.

Cardinal of the Kremlin logo  cu amiga screen star

Cardinal of the Kremlin
A nyone who has read a Tom Clancy novel will be aware of the author's obsession with the Cold War. It comes as no surprise, then, to discover that the latest Clancy book t be converted into a computer game involves the two Superpowers in a race against time to develop the first laser missile system.

Cardinal of the Kremlin is Clancy's third novel to make it onto the home computer, following in the tracks of Grandslam's The Hunt for Red October and MicroProse's Red Storm Rising. The complex strategy simulation begins with a US spy satellite report that the Soviets are building a sophisticated laser defense system close to their border with Afghanistan. Although the project is still in its infancy, it represents a powerful threat to the balance of power and world peace. With the approval of the US President, it's up to you to hinder or disable the Soviet project while overseeing and coordinating the United States own defence programme.

To win the game, you'll need to delay the Soviet programme long enough for US technology to catch up and deploy a fully functioning laser defence system of its own. It's not as easy as it sounds; however, as there are a myriad number of tasks to be completed before such a system can be put in place. An experienced development team needs to be recruited and a vast number of laboratory and field tests carried out. As well as all this, a network of CIA agents have to be assigned to the Soviet project to leak information back to your scientists and the FBI called in to set up security at your own research and development labs.

Cardinal of the Kremlin Once you've received a briefing from the US President, you're on your own. The first thing to do is to recruit department heads for each of the three main areas of 'Star Wars' research: Power, Software and Targeting. There are five eligible candidates for each department, so their past records have to be carefully vetted before a choice is made. Once the departments are up and running, you'll then have to call in the FBI to enforce security. This can range from very lax to oppressive – the higher the security level the less chance of secrets being leaked or the KGB kidnapping a department head. However, if it's set too high, the scientists will become disheartened and their work rate will drop. This will also happen if you push the scientists too hard – there's only so many hours in a day and if you ask too much of them, their productivity rate will dwindle and the department head will suffer 'burnout' and have to be replaced.

Each department needs to conduct a number of experiments before its work is complete. After each test, the working knowledge of each department is suitably expanded. For later tests you'll need to deploy a number of satellites into orbit. It's important not to test when the Soviets are showing an interest in the project, indicated by a small bar on the screen, as they'll learn most of your technological secrets.

While testing is in progress, your CIA operatives will be in the field trying to infiltrate the Soviet project and gather information. You have a total of nine agents at your disposal, each of whom has their own personal dossier. From time to time, it will become necessary to withdraw them from active service if the KGB are showing too much interest in their activities. The more agents you assign to each of the Soviet research areas, the more info the agents will collect and the greater the disruption to the Soviet project.

While all this subversive activity is going on, both Superpowers are busy trashing out an arms limitation treaty. To help stall the Soviets, if they look like they're ahead in the game, it's wise to push an arms treaty. This will delay the Soviets, giving you time to catch them up. If you're ahead, then it's best to press on regardless.

Cardinal of the Kremlin Another valuable resource is The Archer, a hardened Afghanistan freedom fighter, who is kept supplied with arms by the CIA. He can be ordered to attack the Soviet's Bright Star project, thus rendering the plant inoperable for a set time. Attack too early, and the Soviets will be able to rebuild fairly quickly; but if you wait too long, you could be too late to stop their defence system from being deployed. Unfortunately, The Archer is only human so you can only use him once.

Cardinal of the Kremlin is a very complex and involved game. There's rarely a moment with nothing to do – surely one of the litmus tests of a good strategy game. The main screen, The Strategic Control Centre, gives access to all the other sub-screens with the information presented in the forms of icons, graphs and neatly presented reports. The graphics are as polished as Virgin's top-rated Supremacy, and the game is equally as straightforward to play. When testing a program or launching a satellite, special animation sequences show you the results.
Even better, the strategy elements of the game are broken up by interactive arcade sequences. These take the form of a car chase when attempting to rescue kidnapped department heads from KGB operatives or a shoot 'em up attack on the Bright Star Complex. The graphics here would not look out of place on a Spectrum, but help to inject a bit of fun into the proceedings.

Capstone have come up with a top-notch strategy, which is both engrossing and topical. The scenario might seem a little dated, what with the dismantling of the Iron Curtain, the disbanding of the Warsaw Pact and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, but the game is nonetheless a finely crafted simulation.
Dan Slingsby

CU Amiga, August 1991, p.p.64-65


Tom Clancy wrote Cardinal of the Kremlin in 1988. It was an immediate best-seller with advance orders for over one million copies. Although the game follows the basic plot of the book, and principal characters such as The Archer and the Cardinal make an appearance, the outcome of the strategy is squarely in your hands.
As well as being fabulously rich and successful author, Clancy is also a die-hard computer games fanatic. It's little wonder that three of his books have been turned into computer games with more to come! Indeed, Clancy's first novel, Red Storm Rising, took its inspiration from Mirrorsoft's Harpoon. Strategy games are definitely Clancy's favourite games and, to illustrate the man's obvious good taste, he also has a two-year subscription to CU Amiga.

The Cold War's back and it's a bit of a hot item.