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The Most Anticipated Video Games of Winter 2007 E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Games
Written by Yaniv Perry & Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
The Most Anticipated Video Games of Winter 2007
World in Conflict
Medal Of Honor: Airborne
Unreal Tournament 3
Crysis
Assassins Creed

World in Conflict

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Published By: Sierra
Developed By: Massive Entertainment
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Release Date: October 2007
Official Website: http://www.worldinconflict.com/index.html
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Real Time Strategy gamers out there (myself included) have all the reasons in the world to be cheerful lately. A wide range of RTS titles hit the market in the past year, each with its own uniqueness and innovative features. With huge names like Company of Heroes, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars and Supreme Commander, you probably feel you saw everything. Well, those were my exact thoughts when I first heard of World in Conflict, which will be released this October. But as I went deeper into the details (and participated in the open Beta), I understood that World in Conflict brings something truly different to the RTS genre.

World in Conflic

World in Conflict's developers decided they want the storyline to be something that was never used before in a video game and yet, something relevant and somehow authentic. What's better than taking the cold war and twist it's ending a little bit, escalating the dispute between the United Nations and the Soviet Union? The alternate cold war plot starts with the Soviet Union threatening to invade Western Europe unless the United Nations immediately helps restore its shaky economy. When the UN ignores that request, the red army executes the threat and actually assaults destinations in Europe. NATO tries to respond but encounters yet another huge assault, this time on American soil - in Seattle. You take the role of an American or Russian field commander, utilizing the best weaponry available at the time in order to break your way through enemies' forces.

World in Conflict

The revolutionary thing about World in Conflict is definitely the game play it offers. When you come to play any RTS nowadays, you look forward to the action scenes, the adrenaline, the tactics, the explosions, the assaults, the tanks and the thrilling moments that these situations create. But then, you find yourself popping out workers / peasants / harvesters / engineers one by one, stabilizing your economy, build your base, train units and only then, you get into battle. Each game, you'll need to start it all over again. This is where WiC changes the rules, big time. WiC does not force you to manage your resources or build your base from scratch. Instead, it puts you right into battle with non-stop action and no delays. Each player has a certain amount of points as he starts the game. Those points are used to call in reinforcements. Each unit in the game will cost you a certain amount of points, which makes you think and plan ahead in order to create a powerful, yet diverse army. Once a unit is destroyed, the points you spent on it will slowly regenerate and you will be able to call such unit (or any other) with the accumulated points you have.

World in Conflict

The main objective is to capture as many key areas as you can across the map. Annihilating all enemy forces will not guarantee your win, as your enemy is able to drop reinforcements and have all his units back in no time. Each key area is represented by at least 2 connected control perimeters. You will have to place your units within all the perimeters in order to control a key area. Lose control of one of the connecting perimeters and you will lose control of the whole area. When the clock runs out, the team controlling the most areas is announced as the winner. Once you control more key areas, your drop zone can be moved into those areas, which will save you the time and headache of crossing the whole map with your units (especially infantry) in order to get to the front line and engage your enemy.

You will experience fast paced (10-20 minutes) multiplayer games with up to 16 players. Just join a server, choose your side (USA or Russia), and start bombing your enemy! Once inside, you will select one of four optional battlefield roles: Air, Armor, Infantry or Support.

  • Air will let you command transports, scouts or combat helicopters. Very powerful against armor, but their weak point is the anti-air units. They also can't capture perimeters and hence, can't control key areas by themselves.
  • Armor will enable you to call in the heavy tanks and armored vehicles. Very powerful against artillery yet vulnerable to dedicated infantry and air assaults.
  • Infantry commander has infantry, snipers, anti tank and anti air squads at his disposal. Those squads are vulnerable when out in the open but are dreadful when garrisoned in buildings or hidden in forests.
  • The fourth role is Support, which lets you use artillery strikes and call in heavy anti air units. Support units are very powerful and long ranged but are very weak to anything that approaches them face to face.

Besides all that, WiC also features Tactical Aids (TAs). It is a type of support feature you can use to aid your troops and allies during battle. Tactical Aids include artillery barrages, air strikes, tank busters and, of course, nuke! TAs are based on a point system, where every TA costs a certain amount of points according to how powerful it is. You gain TA points when you do something beneficial for your team. Such actions might be taking control of a perimeter, kill enemy units, repair units and so forth. Once you gain enough points, you can deploy a certain TA and place it where you want on the battlefield. Executing a successful TA action will reward you with more TA points.

World in Conflict

The world is definitely the most detailed world I ever came across on a game from this genre, and this is a huge achievement when you have Company of Heroes as a competitor. Explosions look amazingly realistic, forests go up in flames, buildings crumble to dust after being bombed with artillery strikes, units are highly detailed and impressive and so on. In addition, everything is destructible, which is just a great feature. You start the battle in a peaceful town, with a river crossing it, colorful houses inside and birds singing. When you're finished, the land is scorched, housed are no more, sky is darker and the birds, well, if I was a bird, I'd get out of there ASAP!

I feel, based on the open beta experience, that WiC might be a huge success. Massive Entertainment has an extremely ambitious and revolutionary title in development that is capable of leaving all other RTS titles behind. If the developers will manage to keep it stable and implement all their interesting ideas, I can promise you a very warm and exciting winter!

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