Desktop generals have been treated to some spectacular new RTS games recently. But despite the successes of Supreme Commander and Command & Conquer 3, we haven’t seen anything that will really push the strategic warfare genre forward - past bigger maps, larger numbers of units, and better visuals - until now.
Enter Tom Clancy’s EndWar, Ubisoft’s latest stab at injecting something new into the diet of micromanagers. “It’s ‘real-time’ and it’s ‘strategy,’ but it’s not like a PC RTS,” said developer, Ubisoft at a recent press event. And it’s true. Despite its RTS elements of resource management and selection of rock-paper-scissors units - that are strong against some while weak against others - EndWar looks like one of those rare games that dares to carve its own path through the medley of “me too” reiterations of classic RTS gameplay with visual makeovers.
Although a tactical map, which shows the state of the battlefield, is available, EndWar breaks ties with the traditional bird’s eye view common in RTS’, and brings the camera to the ground level. From there, you’ll assign orders to your units and have them capture zones or call in air strikes. You’ll also have the option to play through the entire game by issuing these sorts of orders via your head set and mic.
Inspiration for this unique gameplay scheme comes from an unlikely source, the Madden football series. As with Madden, you’ll call out plays on the fly while maneuvering your squad through EndWar’s war torn urban environments. By bringing you down into the trenches and forcing you to constantly adjust your tactics in response to the enemy, EndWar looks like it’ll avoid the sense of detachment that comes with commanding masses of soulless units from far above.