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Another entry into the PCs gigantic back catalogue of real time strategy games. Armor Command tried to mix things up by adding 3D views for each unit, allowing you to experience the combat from a more intimate perspective. Unfortunately, issues with control when using the 3D views means players will probably spend most of their time on the more traditional overhead view.
The game should install without any major problems on modern PCs. Simply place the CD in a suitable optical drive and follow the on-screen prompts. If the games installer does not start automatically, browse to the CD-ROM in Computer/This PC and open the “Armrcmd” sub-folder. Inside this folder is a program called “Autorun.exe”. Double click on this to start the installation process.
When the installer asks you what type of installation to perform, choose “Complete”. Do not install DirectX or Direct Media when given the opportunity to do so.
There were a total of six patches released for the game during its lifetime. Patches-scrolls.de has patch 1.03 to 1.06, but curiously patch 1.00 to 1.03 is nowhere to be found. If you have these patches please do get in touch so that we can re-upload them and link to them here.
Running the game
To run the game on a modern PC you should use the dgVoodoo2 DirectX wrapper software. You can find a tutorial on how to use this software here. Armor Command supports both DirectX and Voodoo/Glide cards, but seems to work best using DirectX rather than Glide. dgVoodoo2 requires a graphics card with DirectX 11 compatibility. If your card is a little older, you can try running the game without the wrapper software, but you may find it simply crashes when it tries to play the opening movie.
The first time you run the game, you will need to set various graphical options. Make sure you configure the options as follows:-
API 3D – Direct 3D
Settings – Generic Direct 3D
Screen Resolution – 1280×1024 (or the highest your monitor can comfortably handle)
Once you have set these options, choose the “Test settings” option. The game should display some 3D models. Press Enter to confirm that they displayed correctly.
Tweaking visual quality
There are a few other settings you can tweak before hitting the battlefield. From the games main menu, choose “Options”, then “Graphics” and then “Performance”. You will then be presented with a list of graphical enhancements that you can toggle on or off. Set all options to “On” for best results, with the possible exception of “Half Size”, as we’re unclear what this option is supposed to do.
Troubleshooting and known issues
This game uses the now obsolete DirectX Media standard to play its video cut-scenes. Because of this, videos simply will not play on more modern versions of Windows. You should hear the audio from the video but no actual image will be displayed. There is no known fix for this and the only workaround is to hit the Escape (Esc) key and simply skip all of the cut-scenes. Obviously the movies are a key part of following the games story during the campaign missions, so not being able to see them significantly degrades the experience. You can browse to the movie folder on the games CD (in the Armrcmd\Movies sub-folder) and play them manually in any suitable media player, but that’s hardly the same.
Some other minor issues we encountered are listed below.
In-game keys not working – Several of the keys mentioned in the in-game help menu don’t seem to work. Perhaps this was fixed in a later patch?
Installer does not start/open – Software designed for Logitech keyboards or other peripherals can conflict with older installers, preventing them from launching. Try exiting such software or, if that still doesn’t work, temporarily disable the program completely (prevent it from loading at startup, if necessary) and restart your PC.
Music sometimes randomly stops – During gameplay, sometimes the music will randomly stop. The cause of this is unknown. Running the game using only a single CPU core may help.
Other notes for armor commanders
Since we’re running this game using dgVoodoo2, it’s possible to use tools like Nvidia Shadowplay or Evolve. There was no official support for the game in Evolve at the time of writing, but we’ve submitted a rule and support should be added soon. Although the in-game overlay worked with the game, unfortunately when we took a screenshot, all we got was a completely black image.
Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.