Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Thursday, 05 July 2007

Glest is a free 3D RTS that looks like something from Blizzard, we tested it on a rainy day in July, here is our verdict.


In Glest magic have existed for centuries, there are magic forces and mages all over the world. Some of the mages turned rouge and did evil, which made the authorities to ban magic and hunt down mages. The ban triggers a war between mages and forces relying on technology.
The Glest story is among the most comprehensive stories I have ever seen for an indie game. It’s much longer than I described above and is much more detailed. It’s a pretty good read if you are in to fantasy.

The concept in Glest is pretty much as in any other real-time strategy game; gather resources, construct fortifications, build units and attack. So if you are looking for a totally new experience you will be disappointed. However if you played Warcraft III Glest will feel right at home, the game even looks like Warcraft III.

Glest uses OpenGL for rendering the 3D-objects and landscapes in the game.  The engine features real-time shadows (and beautiful they are), a particle system and free camera movement. The particle system is very impressing, it can rain, snow or even rain fire. At times you might find the engine too slow, the game almost freezes when placing new buildings even on a fairly good system.

Another interesting part of the game is the customizability. It’s possible to change most of the things in the game, and it might even be a good start for developers. Developers promoting customization often gets games that will last long with a number of interesting modifications.

Playing Glest is straightforward since the interface is very much like other RTS-games. Playing as mage is a little bit different since you summon things most of the time (there are a couple of basic battle units as well). The AI is actually quite good and the enemy manages to produce a significant army quickly with units supporting each other in battle. We did not notice any AI flaws when testing the game.

A significant downside with Glest is the lack of a story driven campaign, preferably one for each side in the game.  Instead the games are played in skirmish or custom games. The lack of a campaign also means that Glest doesn’t go that deep; it won’t get your emotions going.
When playing for a while you will rather harshly notice that there is no save option. This reminds me of Command&Conquer Red Alert, 11-years ago. There is no excuse for not having a save option in the year of 2007 even if the developers have equipped the game with a pause option. If you are looking for a good online game you will also be disappointed in Glest since it is lacking a multiplayer mode.

The soundtrack in Glest is pretty catchy; it will probably not win any prices but adds some medieval spirit to the game.  Some players might find the tracks a bit depressing though.

I was kind of surprised when first playing Glest; a free RTS-game looking like Warcraft III with no catch? As it turned out there are plenty of catches, no save option, no multiplayer and no story driven campaign. This game has potential but it is not there yet, however the game is fun to play and that has to be worth something.

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Related: Knights&Merchants, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Myth 2
Website for Game:
Publisher: N/A
O/S: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista, Linux
Where to get:
Download here (
Year of Release: 2004

Pentium 4/Athlon, Open GL 1.3 compatible video card
Tested on:
Intel Core2Duo 1,86 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Windows Vista


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