Total Annihilation is a real-time strategy video game created by Cavedog Entertainment and released on September 30, 1997.
Total Annihilation is set in the far future in the midst of a galactic war, with battles taking place on the surface of planets and moons. The efforts of the player are centered on constructing a defensive base and an offensive force, and conquering opponents. The player is also concerned with gathering resources, reconnaissance and stealth, and evaluation of units and terrain. Battles take place against AI in a story-driven campaign, with the option of playing against other players in a skirmish mode.
When starting a new game, the player normally begins with a lone Commander. The Commander is a powerful and irreplaceable unit that has a number of unique abilities such as a destructor weapon that vaporizes anything it hits, the ability to use cloaking and become invisible, and the ability to travel through bodies of water. Construction is governed by the possession of the game’s two unlimited resources, Metal and Energy, and can be undertaken by factories or mobile construction units. Every unit belongs to a level of technology (tech level); the higher the level, the more advanced the unit and the more resources and thus time required to construct it. A feature of the game is the ability to easily “queue” the many commands for a unit or group of units, with types of commands including patrolling a route, constructing a defensive group of structures and attacking enemy units. Once given its commands, the unit will go about them automatically thus minimizing the need for the player’s attention to small, repetitive tasks. The victory conditions of a multiplayer game generally involve the elimination of all enemy units, but the aim of single player campaign missions can be more specialized.