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Tom Clancy's ruthless.com is a game of economic intrigue and corporate maneuvering. As the new CEO of a software company, you must scheme and strategize, form and break alliances, undertake sometimes nefarious deeds and generally do whatever else it takes to get your company to the top and keep it there.
Playing in a board-game-like environment, you can choose to play any of six individual scenarios or a full campaign. The scenarios each have fundamentally different parameters, starting you out at an advanced point in the action with opposing corporations already established and a small history already in place.
The campaign is more freeform and starts you out with only one building and three departments with no immediate opponents. While objectives vary for the scenarios, in the campaign game you must control seventy-five percent of the market for four turns.
Setting up a game involves determining how long you'd like it to last -- between 20, 40 or 60 turns. You also choose the level of AI you wish to play against, novice, intermediate or expert. Lastly, you set your own difficulty level that indicates how far you can go into debt before losing (bankruptcy). On the easy setting, you can incur debt up to $10,000, medium $5,000 and hardest $2,500.
Other selections include naming your corporation and selecting which CEO you'd like to use. Each CEO has a unique benefit that he or she brings with labels like "Talented," "Whiz Kid" or "Banker." These benefits add, as examples, five percent per level to all computer points generated (Whiz Kid) or let you go twice as deep in debt before becoming bankrupt and losing the game (Banker).
Gameplay in Tom Clancy's ruthless.com is turn-based. Each turn, you give your CEO two orders, choosing from the Corporate, R&D, Marketing, Admin, Human Resources, Acquisitions, Legal, Security and Computer groups. Each group contains action orders such as "build new department" and "build new product" in the Corporate group, "executive training" in the Admin group and "assassinate executive" in the Security group.
At the end of each round you get a comparative report that informs you on any newsworthy events such as how well (or how poorly) each company's stock prices are doing and any tragedies or executive promotions. As your executive(s) (you can hire more as the game progresses) gain experience, they're considered higher-level and sometimes gain additional traits (bonuses like the ones they start out with -- as a Banker, Whiz Kid and so on).
Each round you must do your best to acquire a larger portion of the market (represented by tiles on the game board). Doing this involves carrying out your sometimes innocent, sometimes dastardly executive orders and negotiating to acquire the start-up companies that occasionally pop up around the game board.
Tom Clancy's ruthless.com is mouse driven and makes relatively light demands on your computer. You'll need an Internet or LAN connection for multiplayer play but the game is available on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone, ATT Worldnet and Mplayer.
One more thing you'll need for either the single- or multiplayer game is a cunning sense of ruthlessness that will keep you swimming with the sharks that populate the corporate waters.
Tom.Clancys.Ruthless.com.[RIP].(1998)-PARADiGM.ace [32.62 Mb]