World in Conflict
There aren’t too many games with the correct course of the Cold War as storyline. After all they would be quite boring since politics would take the upper hand above bloody action. Still it’s time something else would appear next to the standard scenarios of games anno 21st century so Sierra and Massive Entertainment came up with World in Conflict.
“The American Nightmare” is stated on the back of the box and it’s a true saying. Even better would have been “The Cold War Gone Wrong” as the game brings a cold war with a very bad twist for the Americans. The Soviet Union attacks the American mainland and kicks ass as no other.
The storyline of the game is very immersive. It’s so well put together and is so well portrayed that you would sometimes almost forget that the Soviet Union has fallen apart in seperate countries, one being poorer than the other. It sounds so realistic that it could be true. The missions are put together by movies of in-game quality. They’re dressed up nicely but usually come down to “put your units there, attack that, defend this place”. This isn’t bad of course, there’s little more to be done with a strategy game.
With World in Conflict the RTS genre is brought to a whole new level. I would personally think up a new name for it as it doesn’t look at all like Starcraft, Warcraft or Age of Empires. Forget building structures and intensively upgrading your units. The action is focused on a small amount of soldiers/vehicles/choppers that you constantly have to watch. You also have to keep moving or you’ll be mowed down by a plane. The best way to describe it is “Battlefield from Above”.
As commander of your army you get a certain amount of points that you need to use to buy units that will be delivered at a drop spot of your chosing. There are plenty different units possible, going from infantry, anti-tank units and snipers to vehicles like transport trucks, tanks, artillery and helicopters. A balanced combination is the best you can do as an overkill on one type of units won’t bring you far.
Next to this normal army you can also call in help from different external powers, like an A-10 to kick tank ass, an extra large artillery barrage… These attacks require seperate points that you earn by killing enemies and taking over checkpoints.
Graphically the game looks terrific. It’s ridiculously heavy but if you can run it you’ll get every penny’s worth for your money. When you zoom in completely (and that’s to the soles of your soldiers’ shoes) it looks like Battlefield 2, only now you’ve got dozens of men below you in top-down view. The details like dust clouds and footprints really finish the game. You can also move your camera in such a way that the game in combination with fraps and some editing tool perfectly can be used for making Hollywood-like war movies.
Also the sound is beautifully done and nicely coincides with your camera movement. From up top you won’t hear much, but near to the ground the bullets and shouting of your troops will sound all too convincing. The voice-acting is amongst the best we’ve ever heard and as cherry on the pie we get Alec Baldwin.
An important part of this game is the online multiplayer. Here you don’t have all the units but have to choose from classes: Infantry, Air, Support and Armor. You only need to occupy yourself with your class which means there has to be a lot of team work between the players, something you’ll sadly enough won’t spot a lot on public server. I do see great possibilities for clan-based communities. The comparison with Battlefield doesn’t stop, the game offers a similar ranking system and a terrifying stats page that really keeps track of everything.
The conclusion is short and simple: buy this game. Finish the great single player mode as soon as possible and enter the online battlefields, where you’ll truly find out how challenging this game is and how much practise you’ll need to become really good. You get off on graphics, single player experiences, online battles, …? World in Conflict has it all!