Friday, September 20, 2019

Ubisoft’s End War

November 17, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Ubisoft Entertainment

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I recently bought the new Xbox 360 game from Ubisoft, End War (also available on other platforms).

It takes place in the not too distant future when we’re running out of oil (Frontlines Fuel of War anyone?) and countries and Allies go at each other to control what’s left of the world.

The game itself is no different than any other RTS game in that you are a commander and you have troops at your disposal. As you may know, however, a limitation most games of this genre have on the Xbox, is the lack of keyboard control necessary to manipulate many troops at a time.

This makes games of this genre quite a challenge to manage if you have many groups of different types of soldiers. Command & Conquer did a good job of helping you through these sorts of things, but it also didn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of how to interact with the game.

End War did just that. Brought something new and fresh to the genre. Voice Control.

First, let me focus on the bad. I’ve only made it to mission 4, but it seems that in order not to drive you crazy, you can’t have more than 5 total types of troops at one time. I can’t imagine what it would be like to try and talk through 12 or more different troops telling them each what to do.

Secondly, and this is perhaps something I haven’t figured out how to do yet, is grouping troops to all do something at once. I seem to have to tell each unit individually to do something.

However, what changes is how you feel when you play this genre. Talking to troops gives you a whole different take on the game. You feel it personally. You get frustrated when they don’t understand you (when you speak too quickly) and the sound of your troops communications are not piped through your TV, but through your headset, making the experience feel personal to you as a commander.

It is hard to say that the game does anything else that is marvelously different from other RTS games other than the voice command, but the combination of a decent story and cinematics + the voice command make it an immersive and emotional experience.

Update:

After having gone up a level, I can see now how you aggregate troops into groups, but it doesn’t work so well. It is better to move troops by type. I also get frustrated from time to time with the interface lag, but it’s acceptable.

I also now have access to the eagle eye tactical map which can make it very easy to manage the area, otherwise the chaos of the battle can make it very difficult to deal with.

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