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Mercenary's menu World War III

Real War













Strategic game "for age from two to five"
for true American military men.

Real war? Isn't that a too ambitious name for a strategic game, is it? So, I've got hold of one of these "true wars" of Real War. To be honest, I've expected much more from this project as far as it is so much advertised in the Western press. But it happened that my expectations were as big as my disillusions later. For developers, making a hundred percent clone of Command & Conquer in the beginning of the 21 century, the clone in every aspect: I think means simply not to respect themselves!

I do not even know what should I start with blaming this game, perhaps, with cut scenes. I've got to hand it to the animators - they'd excellently redone NATO's dashing advertising cinematics turning them into spectacles game cut scenes. The only problem - just after my first look at the game I was disappointed with it. The war is too serious stuff, to let a girl with sickly-sweet voice tell how cute that the US has unleashed war in pursuit for resources. It's done so tasteless that it's hard to take it seriously. Though, at least, these cinematics are interesting to watch!

This version presents just a couple of missions for US and for USSR, and one 'Skirmish' map. The author with conscientiousness played through the offered missions for both sides. That's why I, being competent, can declare that there is no balance in the game at all. Perhaps, it's just a drawback of the beta-version, but one can easily notice that the developers are prone to making one side stronger and another one weaker. For those who haven't yet guessed - I mean apparent advantage of the US over Russia. But, let's leave aside balances of units.

The engine gives rise to conflicting feelings inside me, moreover, it does not surpass the one of the first C&C with any parameters. Landscapes are designed poorly and are not dynamic at all. There are no shell-holes after explosions, units are being exploded not naturally somehow, and the main, there are no proportions between buildings, infantry and units. If one places an infantryman next to a tank, then one can think that he/she is playing something like Star Wars with huge walking tanks. A big disadvantage of the beta-version is a low quality of sprites for buildings. While building the base it happens that one building can be superimposed on another one, and units, to shorten the way, can partly pass through them. So, to understand what the game is, you should just add glaringly white landscapes and terribly green prairies with water of the marsh color to all these.

I cannot say that the game is absolutely untalented. There are some novelties and some nice stuff in it. For instance, units change their coloration depending on the landscape type. I.e. if a mission takes place on the snowy terrain all tanks will be painted white. Units are being destroyed in a funny way - an explosion throws a unit up, then it turns: and, as it were done with a magic wand, the sprite of the tank that was hit disappears. Well, I like that! But that's just a half of a problem. The fact that when the tank rolls over an infantryman his corpse does not stay under the tank - it floats over the tank's turret. Of course, it's a bug, but the presence of such regrettable bugs spoils the already uncomplimentary general impression.

I hope heartily that the final version will have something like AI, as to the beta - I could find nothing but rudiments of AI. The enemy, as in old good times, produces one unit (starting a production line) and sends it to fight against the player. Moreover, I've witnessed more then once how a lonely enemy unit, in attempt to get to the player's base, tries to get through the column of the attacking armored units. It requires nothing but the clinical therapeutic trial!

As you might know, there is a possibility to fight not only on the land, but also in the sea and in the air. But the developers have not elaborated these strategic elements. The aircrafts can be useful, but naval forces can be used only on the proper maps and when the scenario requires it.

Economic side of the game is nothing but building numerous versatile factories. In general, the progress of the game hasn't moved further then blind cloning of C&C. The main is quantity, not the quality! Also, units are built in the line, with chronometer that counts the time, and all this is designed perfectly the same way as it was in C&C.

The game is declared as a REAL WAR, but it's just impossible looking at the majority of units presented in the game to draw an analogy with real ones. It's also very easy to become confused with tens of buildings. They do not have any distinguishing features, and as to me, I was confused with them all the time. And in the heat of the fight it's kinda dangerous to waste time for searching the necessary facility. As I've already noticed one can easily see an apparent preponderance of Yankees in the game, but with all my sincere esteem to the Americans, I hardly can call that a true state of affairs.

The way the missions are build is worthy of a separate discussion. Briefings are excellently forethought! Here the developers did their best. They are quite vivid and full of information and are accompanied with interesting propaganda clips. But as to maps: as a rule they are nothing but labyrinths of Christmas trees and other natural growth - and you need to take the column of heavy units through them. The enemy will constantly destroy bridges and you build them again. And the one who has a bigger amount of cannon fodder and bigger caliber, but not the one who can prove his/her talent of a true strategist.

So, that is the way the REAL war is from the point of view of the developers from Octagon Entertainment. The main feature - this game has been developed as a strategic simulator for American military men. So, if that's the true, then I do not worry who would win in case of probable armed conflicts between Russia and the US (Oh God, save us from that). American men of war are in reliable hands! :)

For now, let's wait for a final version to make a judgment?

Music & Sounds: 4/10
Interface design: 5/10
The level of graphics and effects: 3/10
Missions/maps design: 3/10
Level of AI: 1/10
Balance in the game: 3.5/10
Originality of the storyline: 0/10

Total rating: 2.35 (Almost failure)
(Expected rating - 6.5)

- Yuri Bushin (aga Yurg)

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