But it's not all Independence Day-style landmark bashing. There are a few generic areas, such as the Russian Tundra or the Egyptian desert. The opening mission is a small-scale incursion into an enemy camp in the jungle. It serves as an education into how the details alter the game.
Buildings are occupied with enemy forces, so I send my troops in and a video screen pops-up in the top corner, showing off the fighting that's going on inside.
Then as my troops make their way to the roof, the leading terrorist does a runner out the other side. A chase ensues through the encampment, slickly drawing me straight into the heart of the level; my goal being to capture the leader rather than slaughter him. His men, however, are fair game.
The game strongly reflects the current balance of power. The US Air Force inflicts devastating damage, just as you'd expect and AoW focuses on the air-to-ground battle with relish.
As in reality, the main resource in Act of War is oil. Fuel for the world economy and fuel for war. In the bigger battles and skirmish mode, pockets of oil litter the maps where your base sprouts, but it's a finite resource.
Boosting a dry oil well is necessary, with secondary assets adding to the strategy brew.
Human resources surprisingly turn out to be a valuable commodity. Injured enemy troops are left lying where they fall and they can be converted into cash when captured.
Naturally, the booty for bodies scheme works in reverse, so you have to engage in search and rescue missions to pick up your captured comrades.
OK, so this isn't purely a humanitarian effort, but it adds an exciting 'man down' element to the game. It might also encourage tactical creativity beyond sending wave after wave of men to their death.
The other major resource to worry about is cash. Spreading your military wings all over the globe requires financial support and the most convenient source is the nearest bank. Think of them as large cash points which can be diverted straight into your weapons and research schemes.
A game this media-centered is likely to court some controversy. C&C Generals famously stepped over the boundaries at the time, but with a story penned by one of America's top techno-thriller writers, Dale Brown, and the terrorist actions focusing on multi-national conglomerates rather than specific races and ideologies, Act of War impresses in all the right places.
Act of War Direct Action is out for PC on 18 March