Tom Clancy's EndWar Hands-On

We got our hands, or rather voice, on Ubisoft's upcoming wargame.

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EndWar is an upcoming real-time strategy game from Ubisoft that takes a unique approach to war; it uses voice commands. At the recent Ubidays event, we gave our voices and this game a try, and we have to say that sticks and stones better watch out, because words can now officially hurt you.

If you aren't familiar with EndWar, it will feature two main modes: Annihilation and Conquest. In our preview of EndWar, we played a Conquest match, but this time we got to pit our vocal chords against the computer in Annihilation. Whereas Conquest is a large-scale battle with lots of players, Annihilation is one-on-one, with each player controlling six units and vying for control of six victory locations.

The battle was in Paris, and we played as Russia against the European Federation, battling back and forth across the Seine River for territorial supremacy. Voice commands aside, EndWar is a straightforward RTS game, with a very easy-to-grasp rock-paper-scissors dynamic. Tanks kill transports, transports kill gunships, and gunships kill tanks. You also need infantry to capture victory locations, and artillery can kill pretty much anything from a distance, or get killed by anything from nearby.

We began the battle with two battalions of tanks, transports, two battalions of choppers (gunships), and some troops. We immediately ordered the troops (who were group four) to capture Whiskey, the closest victory point. We said, "Unit four capture Whiskey!" and our troops immediately moved out to capture it. Meanwhile, we moved our tanks to a bridge crossing that we expected the enemy to try to cross. However, given that we had two groups of tanks and didn't want to issue two separate commands, we put our targeting reticle on the bridge and said "Calling all tanks, move to target!" And sure enough, all of our tanks moved there.

Considering that we weren't entirely sure what the enemy was up to, we switched to our choppers with the command "Unit three camera!" (We yelled everything, though we didn't have to), and moved them across the river to scout the enemy movements. We saw enemy troops capturing a point, and noticed that the troops had a number four under them, so we said "Calling all tanks, attack hostile four!" At that moment, we saw transports moving toward our gunships, so we moved the ships back to Whiskey with a simple "Unit three move to Whiskey!"

We battled back and forth, but by sending our tanks after their transports and our transports after their choppers, all the while capturing points with our troops, we managed to swing the battle drastically in our favor. With the enemy back on their heels, the match entered the "EndWar" phase, which gave them access to a WMD strike. They quickly hit us with a devastating attack that annihilated all of our transports and troops, who had been stationed at a base. Fortunately, we had built up enough points by dint of our victory locations for a WMD strike of our own, and the screen flashed white as we blasted an entrenched enemy stronghold in which infantry had been garrisoned in convincingly French-looking buildings.

Throughout the whole match, we never had a backfire for a correctly stated command, and the game took place in a noisy room. Although all of the commands and syntax will no doubt take some getting used to, from what we saw, learning to speak EndWar should be a uniquely entertaining lesson when the game ships later this year.

Discussion

128 comments
TheClown24
TheClown24

and JJpenguin this game may have an awsome multiplayer but it also has a great single player campaign for all 3 factions, with great length the fact that the first 10 levels of it are the tutorial says it all

TheClown24
TheClown24

got my copy pre ordered from play (with exclusive steel book lol) but OMG what a game!!! i want it so much... i love tactical RTS games and this looks like the best one ive ever seen

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

valttu, you can use the mic if you don't have XBL, but this seems to be a MP focussed game

eddieham13
eddieham13

Nathace: "hope it has nukes on it" it does have some powerful weapons such as WMD's different for each faction i think.

nathace
nathace

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

nathace
nathace

hope it has nukes on it !

emorainbo
emorainbo

Dude this is just like the book "Enders Game"

barrenkillakan
barrenkillakan

sweat man, it looks not only awsome and easy to pick up, but is very uniue, ive never seen a game controled by voice comands. im looking forward to play it

valttu
valttu

Can I use the voicecommands if I don't have Live?? I do have the phones with mic. Please send me a message if anyone knows. KILLER GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After this, they should make Tom Clancy's Endwar FPS game. WW3 from the eyes of an infantry soldier. That would be aaaaaaaaaaawwweeeeesssssoooooomeeeeeeeeee!

DannyDelorian
DannyDelorian

It's an RTS. It's basically like taking part of an army commander. You command troops to different locations and give them certain orders or goals. It is not a shooter, so you do not actually take part in the game as a solder. Unless Ubisoft throw in a few FPS levels, then that would be ace!

nightshadow275
nightshadow275

now is this is a strategy or a shooter? or what else? i didn't read the preview:P to lazy

arfo
arfo

I love this story at lest it is better than World in confilect and about command by voice, I think it 's very fantastic ,this is a reavelution and I just hope they can creaet this good .I dont want another suprim commander !!!.

RonTorque
RonTorque

This game looks cool especially with voice commands you get to order the troops with whatever you want.I always dreamed of a game like that...Thanks Ubi

Lord-Viru
Lord-Viru

Wow who would of thought that thermo-nucleic war would be so fun... or that I could fit this many O's and W's into a sentence!

athenian29
athenian29

Sounds to me like Ubisoft really nailed the voice commands. God, they stunk with Ghost Recon 2, though. Every time I said "Take point," a dude chucked a grenade. Not exactly the same thing...

PhantomRoy08
PhantomRoy08

play the game when brother is sleeping. YEAH!

ahmedbilal1993
ahmedbilal1993

I am not sure abou this. I dont think it would work.

LegendaryEpoch
LegendaryEpoch

Voice command. And the game play looks great as well. AWSOME! Definate buy for me! ;)

jeremey9905
jeremey9905

i know this game is going to rock so ill buy it as soon as it is released, one question is it entirely player vs player or maybe player vs computer A.I., along with player vs player.

Nop88
Nop88

i love it!!!

gunblade55hz
gunblade55hz

YES!!! i can't wait for this game!!!! i want it!!!!

osiris
osiris

This looks freaking sweet! Can't wait

Javico3000
Javico3000

Sounds great... it looks definetly worth buying!!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Ubisoft / TC brand / RTS / WW3, wot a great combination! cant wait for this!!

DeMoN636
DeMoN636

Im gonna get with out question!

beanies12345678
beanies12345678

i cannot wait for this game not only because of the voice commands but because from what i've heard the battles will be titanic, i just hope that the graphics are good, wich they probably will be

lilxharleyxbro
lilxharleyxbro

the voice command works pretty well from what ive seen. there was a preview video in R6v2 and the models weren't having problems from what i saw, and it seems quicker because you dont really have to scroll you just say "unit # capture bravo" and off they go. Im really excited for this game.

eliascastro912
eliascastro912

im interested in trying it but the voice command sounds kinda weird, with all the other voice command games ive played you have to say a very specific command for it to even work. To me it sounds like a world in conflict copy, which, as we all know, is a lot better.

brain20035
brain20035

I learned my lesson the last time I bought a game from Ubisoft Shanghai ( Splinter Cell Double Agent) : Never buy another game from this branch again! the game was full of bugs on the PC but they never fixed them!

alcari
alcari

For some reason, I don't really see this working. Voice commands will always be slower, and inferior, to simply using the mouse and keyboard. saying "Calling all tanks, attack hostile four!", is much slower then hitting the '2' on your keyboard and liftclicking the enemy. That asuming that the voice thing will actually work every time... I'm doubly afraid that, in order to make the voice thing work, Ubisoft will cripple the mouse/keyboard interface. And I really don't see people with their computer in the living room shouting into their mic, handhelds have the same problem. Still, it's nice to see people try something new. I really hope it works.

RyD3n
RyD3n

Is this game multiplayer only, or does it have a single player campaign as well? Not all of us have broadband ya know...

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

@MJ-X: Yeah, EA is going all simple and arcade with their games more and more. Except for some great titles like Crysis and The Sims and Spore. Of which the last two are also kind of simple and arcade. But it's not like taking a race-game such as Need For Speed, which used to be realistic-ISH in subtle ways and make it completely Burnout-arcade. But just steer away, Ubisoft are standing up like you said, and Codemasters are the masters of Racing-games. GRID totally bulldozes ProStreet into the ground, it's simply the good version of ProStreet, believe you me. Except for the lighter online-features, they should merge that with ProStreet's in that aspect, but nothing more. Oh, and the tuning, but yeah... GRID is an amazing driver... Etc. etc. etc... :P

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

OK... but I wonder how well it would work on the many variations of PC-setups. IF they didn't get to try this on PC that is... Because it's usually the simplicity/laziness of just using a console for reviewers.

War_Chiefs
War_Chiefs

it wud be better if you could actually control some of the fights yourself but still looks pretty good

vertigopm
vertigopm

hmm, well it would be nice for maybe one more faction, but otherwise well done. I hope the story is long and it is not too difficult, like c&c3 sort of was

Josepiphus
Josepiphus

I can't wait to command my army's by voice while gazing out over the battlefield on my new 90" hd projector. I really hope the voice command lives up to all the previews I've read.

KLONE360
KLONE360

Looks like sonething diffrent and maybe good

nicheleandjacob
nicheleandjacob

wow looks gay hehehehehehehehehehehhehehehehehehehehehee sike im playing

Mehzzz
Mehzzz

Looks pretty awesome, Not sure about voice command, will either be awesome or impossible but we'll have to wait and see...

cloudy14
cloudy14

theres not much point in doing anything except laying back and shouting out your commands

bigmick07
bigmick07

I hate RTS games, but this game actually sounds really cool because of the futuristic World War III setting and the voice commands

0felixis0
0felixis0

something new, voice commands. awesome but could backfire

MJ-X
MJ-X

this game sounds promising, even though the voice thing id kinda new to us but het tthis is Ubisoft... EA better watch out cuz ubi is focusing strategy....... note: EA sucks after ruining a number of gr8 games including C&C series and a number of overhyped games including the late NFS series.

Blade-of-Erril
Blade-of-Erril

A RTS with voice activation, a risky technical move for Ubisoft, but hey, they've taken risks before like Rayman: Raving Rabbids and the new Prince of Persia game. I have confidence in them.

clkid
clkid

This looks great. But I hope that there will be more than two game modes.