Total Annihilation

  • Developer: Humongous Entertainment
  • Genre: Strategy/Wargame
  • Originally on: Windows (1997)
  • Works on: PC, Windows
  • Editor Rating:
    Total Annihilation Rating
  • User Rating: 8.0/10 - 6 votes
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Game Overview

As one of the all-time classic strategy games, Total Annihilation is always a game that I am very excited to talk about. Originally released in 1997, even 20 plus years later this is a fantastic strategy game to play, especially if you love your strategy games to have an awesome sci-fi setting to them.

Core vs Arm!

The story of Total Annihilation is pretty awesome and surprisingly deep for a game originally released back in 1997. The game is set in the far future and there are two warring factions, The Core and the Arm. The Core decided that everyone turning into robots was a good idea and the Arm did not…. Even though the Arm use robots.

The conflict between the two is pretty awesome and the story is better than I am describing here. The game actually has a really cool intro that gets you pretty pumped up for the conflict between the two. The fact that Total Annihilation looks amazing does also help drive home how awesome the story is. For a game from 1997, Total Annihilation has held up very, very well.

Simple, But Fun

What I really like about this game and what has kept me coming back to it all these years later is the gameplay. It is one of those games that is very, very easy to get into. It teaches you very quickly about what you can do, what units you need to use, how to gather resources and so on. It teaches you all of the basics very quickly and then from that you can start to develop your own strategies when it comes to the actual battles.

The number of units that you can build in Total Annihilation is just staggering. There are the basic cannon fodder robots, but you can build ships, planes, towers, tanks and more! Total Annihilation has an extra element of strategy in that the terrain can also affect the battle. There is a nice selection of maps and this can greatly alter the kind of battle you will have. For example, if a map has lots of slopes on it, unless your tank, for example, is all-terrain, it will not be able to go up it. Things like this really keep you on your toes and force you to keep gathering resources so you can improve your army.

The campaign is a great deal of fun. You also have a skirmish mode that lets you tinker with various things such as difficulty. This is a great way to learn how to get better at the game. there is also a multiplayer aspect of the game too, but I am not entirely sure how the servers are for this game these days so that is something to keep in mind.

The 90s was a real golden age for RTS games and I would actually put Total Annihilation close to the top of the list. It would certainly make my top 10 of all time! That is how much fun this game is. Even for a game from the 90s, the presentation has actually aged really well. Add to that the fact that the gameplay is easy to get to grips with, but very in-depth and you have a truly awesome RTS game.



  • Tons of units to make use of
  • The game eases you in very well
  • Hours and hours of fun to be had
  • The story is pretty awesome
  • The graphics still look good


  • Not sure what the online aspect of the game is like now
  • It can get very addictive

Open Up To The New Landscape of War

In a distant part of the Galaxy, the Core and the Arm continue a thousand year battle over long forgotten ideals, destroying everything in their path...

Total Annihilation is a real-time war game featuring true 3D terrain and run-time generated 3D units. Tanks drive up and over hills, tilting and rocking with each bump in the landscape an impact with enemy weapons. Battle on diverse landscapes, including lava worlds, ice planets, desert valleys, alien tundra, towering mountain peaks and vast island-dotted oceans. Build defenses high in the hills for a better view and a better shot. Giant Bertha cannons pound the enemy from across the world. Planes bank and dive in intense air-to-air combat. Amphibious tanks drive into and dive under water for surpris attacks. Download new reinforcements from the web and swarm the enemy with hundreds of ever evolving units.

Total Annihilations 3D landscape is a revolutio that demands deeper strategy and generates more realistic game play. Mobilize your forces anc experience the new landscape of war!

It's been well over a year since Cavedog unleashed Total Annihilation on an unsuspecting real-time strategy world, and rival publishers must now be fed up with their latest offerings being compared to what is effectively old software. The thing is, the reason TA is still a yardstick is the same reason Quake is still a yardstick - it craps on everything else from a great height.

But before we continue our assessment, Cavedog deserve a special mention for the support they've given TA players via their website - new units, maps, editors, upgrades and utilities dished out free to anyone who wants them. Compare this commitment to Westwood and to Blizzard, and you'll see why you-know-who scoops all the press and reader awards.


The key to the TA experience is its logical interface and the ability to stack orders. Click to store one command, then hold down shift and click to store any number of others - your units will then complete them in sequence. This may sound humdrum - after all, it sounds a pretty bloody obvious way of doing things - but Cavedog's interpretation of it is both unique and a total joy to use.


At the start of each scenario, you take control of a Commander - a big-bastard robot who's able to create structures anywhere on the map using a process of mixing metal with energy. The trouble here is that a lot of the game's ballyhooed technologies (eg line of sight) tend to go right out the window in favour of maximum firepower.


Multiplayer TA is a frantic succession of laser bolts, missiles and massive explosions that rattle the whole screen. Brilliantly, the game features 'proper' teams, meaning you're able to share your resources automatically, hand over redundant units, and even build things together. Once you've won a co-op game against a team of vicious-bastard computer players, everything else in the genre pales by comparison.


TA has all the elements of every other title here, and if you were to describe it in a sentence you'd wonder what the hullabaloo was all about. But wait. It arrived at a time when the genre was overcrowded and stagnant, and was the first to introduce polygon units on true 3D terrain. It also offered authentic intelligence derived from real-life military tactics, line of sight, and delicately balanced action. Today, all these elements still gel perfectly to form the most exciting and most rewarding experience yet.

Strategic Appeal

When compared to the likes of MechCommander and Age Of Empires, strategy is not M's strong point. Many units are too similar, meaning the commonest attack is with the largest number of most heavily armed troops. Also, where Dark Reign and Red Alert have you thinking hard about where you're going to get your next dime from, TA positively swamps you with resources. Nevertheless, it is still possible to plot your attacks, with ground, sea and air forces all playing a part, so the planners and schemers among you will not be too disappointed.

Download Links

System Requirements

Processor: PC compatible,

OS: Win9xWindows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.

Game Features:Total Annihilation supports single modeSingle game mode

Total Annihilation Screenshots

Windows Screenshots

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