Real-Time Strategy Road Map 2007

It has been a good year for real-time strategy fans so far, and it's about to get better. Get up to speed on the most promising games of 2007.

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It has been a great year thus far for fans of real-time strategy games with the release of not one, but two highly anticipated games: Supreme Commander and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars. All this RTS goodness, and it's only April! Does this mean that the year is already over in terms of RTS games? No, there are plenty to look forward to—from World War III to alien invasions—and we've compiled a list of the major RTS games to keep an eye on this year.

Keep in mind that this list isn't necessarily exhaustive, and that it's possible for games to be have uncertain release dates (for instance, Halo Wars, the Xbox 360 RTS game based on the blockbuster Bungie franchise, has an undetermined release date that could very well be in 2008). That said, here are the RTS games that you should have on your road map for this year.

 


Supreme Commander

Publisher: THQ | Developer: Gas Powered Games | Release Date: Available Now

Supreme Commander was the first major real-time strategy game of the year. Essentially the unofficial sequel to 1997's Total Annihilation, which is often hailed as one of the greatest RTS games ever made, it offers a scale that's both breathtaking and challenging. With battlefields that are often 400 square kilometers or larger in size, the game gives you the room to be creative in terms of how, where, and when you attack the enemy. Now, you can rapidly transport huge armies to any corner of the battlefield to deliver a knockout blow from a surprise direction. At your disposal are futuristic armies, navies, and an air force. You also have mighty experimental units and nuclear weapons that can break a deadlock to turn the tide of battle.

The spiritual successor to a real-time strategy classic.

As a multiplayer game, Supreme Commander is fast-paced and cutthroat. You have so much tactical freedom at your command that, really, anything goes. The wild nature of the battles alone makes Supreme Commander ideal for multiplayer, but developer Gas Powered Games also delivered an excellent multiplayer browser called GPGNet that not only makes finding games a snap, but also lets you watch replays of almost any battle ever played so you can take notes and watch the fireworks happen onscreen. Put together the game's substantial single-player campaign, compelling multiplayer, and the sheer size and scope that its battlefields offer, Supreme Commander is a game that RTS fans simply have to play.

 


Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars
PC | X360

Publisher: EA | Developer: EALA | Release Date: Available Now (PC), May 2007 (X360)

In many ways, Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars is a state-of-the-art homage to 1995's classic Command & Conquer. Tiberium Wars captures all the elements of the original Command & Conquer—from the purposely cheesy live-action cutscenes to the fast-paced real-time strategy gameplay—but it updates the formula with HD-quality video and gorgeous 3D graphics. Fans of RTS games have a great deal of rich content to chew on in Tiberium Wars. The game's lengthy single-player campaign provides hours upon hours of gameplay. You control the armies of the Global Defense Initiative and the Brotherhood of Nod, as well as a new, alien faction, known as the Scrin, which takes an even faster approach to getting deployed and into battle that expert players will appreciate.

The triumphant return of a classic strategy series.

Along with the single-player campaign and fast-paced multiplayer, the game packs in 90 minutes of HD live-action cutscenes--a tribute to the cinematic sequences from the original C&C games that featured the likes of Michael Biehn and James Earl Jones. These feature a cast that includes sci-fi icons such as Michael Ironside and Billy Dee Williams, Battlestar Galactica's Grace Park and Tricia Helfer, and Josh Holloway from Lost. In the end, Tiberium Wars is all about delivering a fun, old-school RTS experience with whiz-bang production values. If you spent countless hours of your youth cutting your teeth on the original Command & Conquer games and want to experience that feeling again, all you have to do is pick up Tiberium Wars.

 


Sins of a Solar Empire

Publisher: Stardock | Developer: Ironclad | Release Date: August 2007

Conquer-the-galaxy strategy games tend to be turn-based mainly because the act of galactic conquest usually takes a long time. Sins of a Solar Empire looks to buck tradition by offering a real-time space strategy experience that's unlike anything seen before. While Sins of a Solar Empire represents the debut game for startup developer Ironclad, the developers there have a strong background and worked on the memorable Homeworld series--real-time tactical games that let you control starships in combat. Sins looks to extend that idea further by letting you command fleets and dispatch them to conquer or defend planets. From what we can tell, the developer is bringing its experience with Homeworld to bear in this new game.

This deep-space strategy game draws its roots from the Homeworld series.

Because multiple battles can flare up all over the galactic map, managing all this mayhem is an interesting challenge, but Ironclad seems to have developed a fairly elegant interface for this. It also helps that the game looks sharp, with battles that feature huge, lumbering capital ships, swift escorts, and plenty of fighter craft zipping by, as well as explosions all around. However, you'll have to balance your faction's research with the need to pump out as many warships as possible. New technology will let you build better warships or churn out ships faster. Meanwhile, a deep diplomacy system should let you stab friends in the back when they least suspect it. Altogether, Sins of a Solar Empire looks like an intriguing and innovative game that explores a subject rarely covered in RTS games.

 


Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms

Publisher: Sega | Developer: Creative Assembly | Release Date: August 2007

As far as expansion packs go, this is a big one. The Total War series has always featured a blend of turn-based strategy and real-time battles, but it's the latter that tends to get all the attention thanks to Creative Assembly's impressive graphics engine. Seeing thousands of warriors clashing on the battlefield can be pretty thrilling, after all. But it's the series' turn-based, strategic gameplay that always brings people back for more. With last year's Medieval II: Total War, Sega and Creative Assembly let you command any one of a number of medieval European kingdoms in the struggle for supremacy. In Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms, Creative Assembly will deliver not one, not two, not three, but four new epic campaigns, along with new factions, 150 new units, and much more.

One of the biggest strategy games of 2006 is about to get bigger.

Kingdoms will have a lot to offer. There's a Britannia campaign reminiscent of the Viking Invasion expansion for the original Medieval, where you'll play as one of five factions seeking dominion over the British Isles. The Teutonic campaign covers German history, as Christian and pagan factions battle for control. The Crusades campaign is set in the Holy Land, and you can play as either the crusaders or the Islamic defenders. And then, most intriguingly, there's an Americas campaign that introduces new Native American factions battling among themselves and against the newly arrived Spanish forces. All things considered, Kingdoms looks like a must-have expansion for an already excellent strategy game.


Share your thoughts on this year's real-time strategy games by leaving us a comment!

World in Conflict

Publisher: Sierra | Developer: Massive Entertainment | Release Date: Fall 2007

World War II has been the setting of far too many real-time strategy games, but not World War III. Of course, that's because the Cold War--the titanic showdown between the US and Soviet Union--never went hot. Still, the idea of two massive, modern militaries throwing everything they have at one another is exciting. World in Conflict promises modern warfare on a scale rarely seen before, delivered with a cutting-edge graphics engine that brings the destruction to life. By the time battles are finished, once-pristine landscapes are wrecked and ruined. World in Conflict's developer is no stranger to tactical games, having created the acclaimed Ground Control games, which featured futuristic armies battling it out on alien worlds.

World War III begins now!

Back in the 1980s, the US and USSR had planned to use combined-arms warfare against each other: units with different capabilities working together--the same kind of tactics you'll find here. Like Ground Control, World in Conflict won't have the standard resource-gathering or base-building found in most RTS games. Instead, you'll focus on maneuvering and conserving your forces. To keep the action flowing, World in Conflict's node-based battlefields will force you to capture strategic points. This forces you to to be aggressive, and this way even minor skirmishes can quickly evolve into full-fledged battles, complete with tactical nuclear weapons.

 


Universe at War: Earth Assault

Publisher: Sega | Developer: Petroglyph | Release Date: Fall 2007

The creator of Star Wars: Empire at War gears up for an all-out invasion of Earth.

Universe at War: Earth Assault is the newest game on this list because it was just announced in February. Still, it's not hard to be excited when you consider the designers' track record. Universe at War is the next game from Petroglyph, the Las Vegas studio formed by veterans of Westwood Studio's original Command & Conquer development teams. We're talking about developers who helped create and shape the real-time strategy genre as we know it. And Universe at War will be Petroglpyh's sophomore effort, following last year's excellent Star Wars: Empire at War, a game that proved Petroglyph could deliver something cool and uniquely original at the same time.

What we know about Universe at War so far is that the game is set in 2012. Multiple alien factions have arrived on Earth, and a war of the worlds has erupted. It won't be easy for humanity to survive, judging from what we've seen so far. For instance, the game's Hierarchy faction, an incredibly powerful alien nation, uses gigantic war machines known as walkers. These walkers can be customized with a vast array of weapons and technologies to make them slow, mobile fortresses that are also capable of churning out new units. On top of that, walkers emit radioactive goo that can be used as a weapon and that also contaminates the area around them. And, oh yes, Hierarchy units can also "phase" through solid objects, so they can walk right through walls and other defenses. Just the information on the Hierarchy alone has made us curious to see what the rest of the alien factions are like. This definitely isn't the last we've seen of Universe at War.

 


Empire Earth III

Publisher: Sierra | Developer: Mad Doc | Release Date: Winter 2007

After selling more than a million copies between them, the Empire Earth games have carved out a fairly large fan base. But if you're expecting Empire Earth III to be nothing more than a follow-up to the first two games, think again. With Empire Earth III, developer Mad Doc has basically rebuilt the series from the ground up. This is because the designers felt that the gameplay had become cluttered with too many similar-looking units, factions, and technologies, and that all these choices and options overwhelmed the player. The core idea of Empire Earth remains the same: You guide a primitive tribe through centuries of history, eventually culminating in the future, where giant robotic war machines and genetically engineered creatures battle each other. However, a lot of the underlying rules and mechanics have changed.

World history and future technology take center stage for a third time.

This new Empire Earth III is sleeker than its predecessors, jettisoning much of the fat and replacing it with more focus. All aspects of the game were rethought with the idea of distilling them down to the core functions while keeping as much of the gameplay depth as possible. Meanwhile, interesting new features, such as a dynamic "world domination" campaign and the idea of the "events" quest system, should offer some welcome variety from the standard destroy-the-enemy gameplay found in most real-time strategy games. It doesn't hurt that the game will also roll out a new graphics engine, which was much overdue. Empire Earth II looked dated when it arrived in 2005, and from the get-go, its muddled look made it hard to distinguish what was happening onscreen. With that in mind, Mad Doc is looking to add a lot more character to the units. Objects on the maps will be stylized and oversized to convey critical information much more easily. And the application of fancy 3D shaders and textures also helps make the action pop off the screen. Ultimately, Empire Earth III represents a bold new direction for an established franchise.

 


Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Publisher: THQ | Developer: Relic Entertainment | Release Date: Winter 2007

Get ready for more explosive action with this expansion to one of last year's best games.

Publisher THQ has announced an expansion pack for the game that GameSpot picked as its best PC game and best strategy game of 2006. Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts will return to World War II with new multiplayer modes and two new playable factions, the British 2nd Army and the German Panzer Elite squads. It will also provide two all-new single-player campaigns to liberate Caen, France, for the Allies and defend against an airborne assault known as the Axis.

The expansion will also offer improved artificial intelligence and better weather effects as part of an upgrade to Company of Heroes' Essence engine, and it should offer support for DirectX 10 graphics. Look for Opposing Fronts this holiday season.


Share your thoughts on this year's real-time strategy games by leaving us a comment!

Discussion

399 comments
DrPompo
DrPompo

i hate it that i dont find much age of empires on top 10 lists around internet.

im_hi
im_hi

i miss age of empires style... they need to remake that shyt

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

Finished World In Conflict about a week ago. Finished Company Of Heroes: Opposing Fronts today. 2 awesome RTS games everyone should play.... :) Edit: Lol! I just noticed my here back from 2007! Thankfully I now have a PC which can run these games. 8)

Apococlypse
Apococlypse

I'm getting World in Conflict and Sins of a Solar Empire next week can't wait.

Grandhand
Grandhand

just bought universe at war off ebay! :D

kweeni
kweeni

getting sins of a solar empire next week(cant wait!!), later i think i'll get kingdoms cus medieval 2 rocks, after that i might get c&c3, then i'll see...

sc_ajk29
sc_ajk29

I have two of these games, C&C3 and Universe at War. Both are awesome, and are two of the most underrated games ever if you ask me. I played the demo of World in Conflict, and it is pretty good. Hopefully I can snag the Collector's Edition sometime soon. Sins of a Solar Empire and COH look interesting, but I haven't played them yet. I have my eyes on Red Alert 3 and Kane's Wrath now. And I say, make BFME3, C&C Generals 2, and WarCraft 4!!! @Mooses_Rule: I agree, I wasn't all that impressed with StarCraft either. WarCraft III rocked though.

Zerosx3
Zerosx3

I played Sins of a Solar Empire... the game is good, but... you will get bored quickly because there is no campaign mode -_-U I still prefer supreme commander ^^

qioden
qioden

Waiting for Sins to come to NZ, waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting...waiting....................................

kokas92
kokas92

Very good indeed those games... I don't have any... but I think I'll buy medieval II...

travis_y
travis_y

ive got 2 of the games that r there Supreme Commander and c&c tiberium wars

kee101
kee101

y isint Universe at war here it totally pro and i havint downloaded it!the dude that did this list is loco!(plz tell me how to put pic on my pic place)(HALO ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!)(answer me plz!)

Vindictae
Vindictae

Too bad Kingdoms has more bugs than an anthill.... It has some great features if they actually work. Hot seat being the primary one. World in Conflict really appeals to me. No base-building is a nice touch, which some people won't like. I enjoy the focus on the action. And then there's Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. I still really enjoy CoH, and it's still a big hit in multiplayer with friends, so Opposing Fronts should only add to that. I hope they add more multiplayer maps though.

Hor
Hor

All rigth with them but Supreme Commander sucks is the old game with new graphics not bad not GOOD and the old problem of units without VOICES and Charisma and sides that play almost identical.

willazord
willazord

in my opinion, RTS games are the best out there. got medieval 2 kingdoms and its immense!

Mario21488
Mario21488

There are many RTS game to choose but I will choose Supreme Commander because of the experimental units and the huge battle map.

Mooses_Rule
Mooses_Rule

I can say that I am not looking forward to Starcraft 2 at all. All the ___Craft games are terribly overrated, in my oppinion. In fact, Starcraft was one of the least enjoyable RTS games I have ever played. But I am definately looking forward to Midieval 2: Kingdoms and CoH: Opposing Fronts.

goku12342004
goku12342004

i totally look forward Medieval II Total War: Kingdom can't wait for it!!

sloakz
sloakz

am well looking forward to 'opposing fronts'. i really enjoyed the original!

mhellwege
mhellwege

What happen to SoaSE at E3??

sdauz
sdauz

man company of heroes rocks - yeah and world in conflict, just forget everything else - Empire Earth had 2 games to get the gameplay right - ahhh no

amirtheonly
amirtheonly

Sins of a Solar Empire looks and sounds awesome. If done like it should, it will be greater than all others. Same about World in Conflict, though it seems to offer nothing new...

Nawras
Nawras

I've recently played a lot of RTS my head is gonna explode :|

blairstheman
blairstheman

OMG I am so lucky my computer can play all of these game because my uncle is computer tech guy and buys me video cards, ect. C&C Tiberium Wars= Greatness

Police08
Police08

just so you all know Company of heros is an awesome game and there is a new one coming out that's different from the first one that came out in 2006, just so you know

Furious1
Furious1

No one cares about CoH because is is a sh!t game

PhantomFury_
PhantomFury_

CofH looked good, but gameplay wasn't challenging enough. And it was a 2006-game, it shouldn't be on the 2007 roadmap ..

1q3er5
1q3er5

Sins of a solar looks like the best, but you know starcraft 2 will outsell it 10 to 1. :(

gamerkid99
gamerkid99

i'm suprised that no one cares about Company of Heros anymore

Beymaster1
Beymaster1

I'm not a big rts fan but world in conflict has caught my attention

FurirPK
FurirPK

Company of hereos s* big time! they did right not to take it in this set

durio
durio

Ohhh 1. Medieval II && 2. COH Exp && 3. World In Conflict shuld be the vest releases

Themaazandar
Themaazandar

I'm looking forward to Universe at War: Earth Assault. It sounds great

zellwwf
zellwwf

Where did you go with Company of Hereos? It should be the #1

peka34
peka34

1. CofH 2. World in conflict - It will be something new, i hope it will be a good game.

kantjd
kantjd

World In Conflict looks in many ways to be one of the most promising RTS games (in terms of both gameplay and graphics) EVER!

iamtrinity
iamtrinity

#1 Company of Heroes: OF #2 M2: Total war kingdoms #3 World in conflict

mathejas
mathejas

CoH O F will be the best i feel

td_tempest
td_tempest

Starcraft 2 will probably be released in 2008.

GeneralGeorge
GeneralGeorge

This has certainly been a great year for RTS. First, Supreme Commander. Total Annihilation is back, it's just a different plot and a different name. Can't beat that. Then Command & Conquer 3, after that the news got better and better. StarCraft 2, Empire Earth 3 (that one is actually a risk, it's gonna be either really good or really bad) and many other titles. What a grand year to be an RTS gamer.

danevader
danevader

I think that the strategy games for the computers are getting so much better in short time span. An example of this is that only afetr a few short years after Rome Total War came out Medieval II Tota War came out with even better graphics.

wotsit3
wotsit3

great year for rts gamers like me

LordLeckie
LordLeckie

What a great year for RTS lovers like me. except for the fact that my rig is old and sucks. Sigh lifes not fair.

Cristialex317
Cristialex317

For Me The Best RTS right now Is COMPANY OF HEROES!!!!! and SUPREME COMMANDER!! i cant wait till the Expansion of Company of heroes!!!

warrioremperor
warrioremperor

personally, no RTS game sucks, it is the ability to always have something new is what makes an RTS successful, which means I will have to play all the upcoming RTS games to judge :P (if the budget, one more time, allows lol)

Fable_Lord
Fable_Lord

C&C3 medieval2: total war CoH:O F .. have it. yes idd, it is a good year for rts gamers, if you have a verry strong PC :p

jimmehhh
jimmehhh

I look forward to many of these games, i don't know why supreme commander requires such a high spec machine, i played the demo on full graphics, without any lag, the graphics were nothing special, AoE III had better graphics, and the gameplay sucks aswell

cop3
cop3

they should put all real time stradergy games onto xbox360 because people wouldnt have to go and bye very expensive parts for there computers supreme commander would be awsome on 360

cop3
cop3

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