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The game is fully 3D, based on the iViS 3D graphics engine developed by Sam Kerbeck of Eidos Interactive Ltd. The game world is mapped by a grid; vehicles tilt to meet hilly terrain, and projectiles can be realistically blocked by steep mountains. The camera is free-moving and can zoom in and out, rotate, and pan up or down while navigating the battlefield. In the game, units of different factions are painted different colors. The New Paradigm, the Collective, and Nexus are the enemies of the Project in the campaign, and they can be seen attacking Project forces as well as Scavengers, survivors of the nuclear fallout. Units can all be customized according to: chassis (which, for example, takes weight and power into account); drive system (such as wheels or tracks); and mounted object (such as a weapon, or one of various support tools). Units can earn experience. Earning experience cause units to level up from ranks such as Rookie to Trained and Professional. Warzone 2100 places an emphasis on sensors and radar to detect units and to coordinate ground attacks. Counter-battery sensors detect enemy artillery by sensing their projectiles and firing arcs and pinpointing their location to coordinate artillery strikes against enemy artillery. VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) sensors work like basic sensors, only they coordinate VTOL airstrikes. VTOL counter-battery sensors coordinate VTOLs to find and destroy enemy artillery batteries. There is an emphasis on artillery: although many direct- and close-combat weapons and anti-air weapons can be researched and deployed, artillery is a staple of assault on enemy bases and outposts. While the technology tree is clearly defined and consistent, it never appears in-game and, therefore, the player can be left guessing as to what technology is next in the tree. Technology can be acquired by gathering artifacts left behind by certain destroyed enemy structures or units. Researching is composed of largely small and incremental advancements over existing weapons, armor, and chassis types. Videos frequently appear during gameplay. This image depicts a dropship transporting the player's forces towards the campaign's first Away mission. Some levels require you to achieve the objective within a time limit whilst some without these limits can be used to gather "power". In Away missions, the player must select a limited group of units to transport to a territory completely away from the original base. All of the terrain throughout the campaign is essentially composed of three areas, with different sectors for Away missions and other such levels; upon progression, previous maps simply expand and the player's original bases from past levels are maintained. Also, its resource system is quite different from mainstream RTS games; Oil Derricks are established over specific, scarce locations which constantly provide a slow, fixed rate of income. Combined with a mission time limit, this resource method makes it generally infeasible for players to utilize certain traditional RTS tactics such as "turtling" (fortifying one or more bases against enemy attack, while stockpiling resources with which to produce a massive army). However, there are certain missions throughout the game that do not have a time limit, and in these missions it is possible to use more traditional RTS tactics to prepare for subsequent timed missions.
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