World in Conflict - hands-on

Easily one of the most unique games on the show floor at E3, World in Conflict is a real-time strategy title that has a metric ton of pick-up-and-play potential. The modern-day setting is Cold War gone hot; the conflict between the USSR and the US comes to blows, with conventional and nuclear weapons causing the chaos.

While we won't be replacing games like Mario Kart or Halo on our party game rotation anytime soon, we really liked WiC 's point-and-click simplicity made for online teams of eight-vs-eight and four-vs-four. We were able to jump right into the battle, and in little time were mixing it up and making a difference. The easy-to-understand territory bar at the top of the screen was also a welcome addition. This horizontal icon was a visual representation of the tug-of-war that was happening on the ground.

Joining the fray was easy; we just picked a class specialty and started loading out our forces with infantry, armor, air or support vehicles. We could cross-build with a vehicle or two from a different class, but this came at a higher cost. This emphasized our specific role in the war machine rather than forcing us to command a disjointed multifront battle, as most RTS games do.

Like classes in team-based military shooters, these different roles highlighted the importance of the rock-paper-scissors game balance. For example, we blindly entered into the game and chose the armor class without really looking at the build-out of the rest of our team. Top-heavy with armor, the enemy wiped us all out with a single formation of tank-busting Apache helicopters. Whoops.