Tom Clancy's EndWar Updated Hands-On - Exclusive PC Impressions

We get our hands on the PC version of this voice-controlled strategy game.

Real-time strategy games have proven to be engaging experiences when played on computers--using your keyboard and mouse to give multiple orders to multiple armies while you build up a virtual conglomerate with hoarded resources. But things have changed in recent years. For starters, we've seen the emergence of tactical strategy games, which cut out resource-gathering and building in favor of giving you an army to start with and pushing you right into battle. And real-time strategy games have also made their way to video game consoles, though they haven't necessarily hit their stride yet. In 2008, Ubisoft Shanghai's console strategy game EndWar took a bold new step in console strategy control schemes, giving you a voice-control system that let you give orders to your armies by talking into your headset. The game was well received and supplemented with new maps and downloadable content, and now it's making its way to PCs with all that extra DLC in one box, plus a new interface built for PC strategy veterans, and we got our hands on it.

You may be unfamiliar with EndWar, but you're probably not unfamiliar with the novelist whose name graces the game's title, Tom Clancy. Clancy has made a name for himself creating action-packed, near-future scenarios where political intrigue leads to global war, and EndWar follows suit with a near-future conflict in which international tension over space armaments, oil, and nuclear weapons causes the world to be divided as the US and Europe take on the forces of an angry unified Russia.

Ever gotten so involved in a strategy game that you started yelling at your armies? In EndWar, when you yell, your armies actually do stuff.

Like the console versions of the game, EndWar for the PC will ship with a full single-player campaign, as well as options to play skirmish maps in either single-player or multiplayer. The PC version contains all the maps and upgrades from the original console game and from all DLC to date. Unfortunately, multiplayer isn't up and active yet, but we had a chance to try out the single-player modes and found that the gameplay has arrived on the PC intact. In EndWar, you start each mission with a handful of squads that you can select before you deploy, such as riflemen (which are useful against other infantry but poor against armor), tanks (which are useful against enemy vehicles but vulnerable to fire from helicopter gunships), and artillery (which are useful for long-range bombardment but vulnerable to close-range fire). Each unit has an easy-to-remember rock-paper-scissors relationship with enemy units that will require you to use mixed forces to neutralize and counter your enemies' attacks.

Depending on your mission objective, you then dive into the mission in search of control points to capture and enemies to destroy. Like the console versions of the game, EndWar for the PC offers four game modes: Conquest (a territory mode in which you must capture and hold all key locations on the map); Assault (a search-and-destroy mode); Siege (a map defense mode); and Raid (a sabotage mode). And before you deploy, you can also choose your army's task force upgrades, which include specialized bonuses for armor (tanks and ground vehicles), airborne (gunships), and tactical (artillery strikes).

Skirmish and campaign missions in the PC version of EndWar begin much like they do in the console versions of the game, with a short voice-over mission briefing that dumps you right onto the battlefield with your units. The PC game's interface has been reworked to seem a bit more familiar to PC strategy veterans; each of your battalions is listed along the bottom of the screen with status bars that indicate their damage levels and current activity, and each of your squadrons is assigned to a number key by default, which makes attack-move orders for your individual units much easier to give. The game's minimap has been placed in the lower-left corner of the screen and is clickable--you can right-click on minimap locations to give actual move orders to individual locations.

EndWar is scheduled for release later this month.

Also, the standard commands you'll need to give to your units, such as to force-attack the destination (that is, ordering your units to move to a location and immediately open fire) and to retreat when severely damaged or injured, are also tied to keyboard shortcuts. Some EndWar console players tended to find that the voice control worked quite well for the console versions of the game, though making use of the console controller in their hands ultimately gave players slightly faster and more-responsive control. We found that the PC controls gave even better control of our individual armies, and considering that PC strategy players live and die by their mice and keyboards, the added keyboard control options definitely seem like a welcome addition to the game's voice control, which seems to work similarly to that in the console versions.

EndWar for the PC will clearly offer a unique alternative to standard real-time strategy when it's released later this month.

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59 comments
redalertgamer
redalertgamer

ughh all of you guys are talking about the minimum sys requirements sure theyre high but this is how pc games work you gotta keep up. its not even that expensive for minimum systems to run games anymore dual cores are better suited for games and even the fastest ones arent tht expensive(unless your talking intel) and as for ram, well 30 bucks gets to 2 gigs so cmon ppl look at it for whats its worth and not whether or not your outdated computer can run it.

nyranasaurus
nyranasaurus

there was nothing really too world in conflct just airstrikes did look very pretty and were fun to execute the gameplay after awhile kind of got a bit stale for me. Rome Total War is my favourite of all time because theres more to it than just getting 25 airstrikes in a row and destroying everything and then next stage its exactly the same over and over and over. And Empire Total War is coming THAT is going to be King for me. Not to mention Company of Heroes had alot more going for it. ENDWAR will look great , run like sht and only the very best pc's will run the damn thing. After awhile the action will get boring as and it will be forgotten as was World In Confict. So World in Conflict? waht was that game again? oh yeah some game about Seattle getting blown up and some awesome explosions. Thats about it for WiC. It was fun for about a week.

hunkallicious
hunkallicious

I lost my enthusiasm 4 this game when it came out on consoles first

simonsworld
simonsworld

no thanks, ill stick to company of heros, this system eating whore just wont do, i like epic battles, not pretty ones

magma8112
magma8112

Great been waiting for this game for a long time now. Anyway, Does any of you know the Recommended System Specs?

prince_2009
prince_2009

Tom Clancy's EndWar for the PC and strategy game is very good and nice Picture and control game thinks.

Gamer-1024
Gamer-1024

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

emillime
emillime

no voice dosent work: it's like, sniper team move to c2,(they go to d7) "sonof@b1tch go to c2 goddamit!" then window pops up: ''sonofa@tch not recognised" lol....... and so on, but otherwise a good game :)

WNxUSA
WNxUSA

The voice com as a gimmic??? It works just as it says it does. Unit 1 Move to Unit 6 Unit 4 Attack Hostile 3, Unit 4 Secure Alpha Unit 3 Upgrade Zulu Air Support It all works. Reason why it came out for console first was because of the piracy plauging PC gaming not because PC Gaming sucks. =P It's made by the same people pretty much who NOW makes World in Conflict Soviet Assault sense they merged with UBI Soft (well, UBI Soft bought WiC creators but yea http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/news/ubisoft-acquires-world-in-conflict-developer-massive-entertainment/?biz=1 ) Game is one of the best RTS's that doesn't require building a base. (RTT??) You can use the voice command or you can point and click, your choice. Upgrades to your batallion are vast and impressive. US Riflemen upgrade gets them stealth and later on a long range sniper rifle attached to the squad and they later on learn Storm Building. US Tanks get quite a handfull of upgrades from higher armor to higher damage output to the BLOS Cannon (Beyond Line Of Sight) letting it hit far beyond what it usually is in range of. There are more than 5 upgrades for every unit in the game that has its own purpose. Online play is insane and engaging. Single Player is a bit of a disapointment as theres no strong story behind World War III however it's very tactical where u have to think strategicly or get raped.

zacho123456
zacho123456

Seems like PC gaming is really in trouble when strategy games come out first on consoles.

hairybeanbag
hairybeanbag

Looks a lot like world in conflict.Cant wait!!!

vomity
vomity

been waiting for Endwar for a long time now :D. Its amazing to see all this level of hate. I hated WiC for its rather bland simple gameplay and infantry (my fav unit) gets slaughtered rather easily. Judging by the Xbox, at least all 3 factions are quite different and very customisable and the infantry are something you expect from cutting edge infantry. WiC infantry were just pathetic.. plus, Endwar is every high-tech arm-chair's commando's wet dream :D

Kubilius
Kubilius

What a nice argument in the comments :) WiC is clearly NOT a strategy game, it's a TACTICAL game, some weird combo of Ground Assault and Counter-Strike... but it's a 9/10 game, one of very very few that I keep playing for a year every 3-4 days. So such games are kinda new genre, yet they are still way more applicable to strategy gamers than FPS :) I've been tracking EndWar for a while now, not sure if I'd want another WiC, especially when Empire:Total War is coming out and my limited gaming time is pre-occupied for next 6 months, but I'd give this game a chance (though really not sure if i'd be willing to shout out loud commands to my troops when my family is sleeping)

1q3er5
1q3er5

Please don't compare this ugly looking game to World In Conflict. Soviet Assault is coming soon!

nuconteaza
nuconteaza

OK, thanks for correcting me on the RTS thing. So it's not a typical RTS, it's a typical RTTS. You said it yourself, it's like WiC. Where's the "clearly unique alternative to real time strategy"? The voice thing sure isn't, cool as it may be. Just a cute little gimmick.

cool1929
cool1929

@ nuconteaza "EndWar for the PC will clearly offer a unique alternative to standard real-time strategy"; 'How is that not a lie?' How ? Like penguin said, its like WiC, not starcraft, not cnc, not dow. It's not technically a RTS, it is a RTTS. That's how Massive described WiC and that's how this plays out. That 2nd 'T' is for Tactical, as in, "here we give you this amount of units, and you figure out the best course of action." Typical RTS are: - gather resources - blob the biggest army

Penguin_dragon
Penguin_dragon

I can tell this game is going to get ALOT of hate for "not having strategy" just like WiC, (and from what I've seen DoW2). The thing is, WiC sparked an interest in "Action-RTS" (Their term not mine). No, it's not supposed to be full of super intense base building and thought out strategies; its supposed to be reaction based strategy. Please don't compare games like these to other RTS's; its like comparing apples and oranges.

jo_993
jo_993

no ty , imma get Dow II

jacob_angelus
jacob_angelus

I like thes game because we have a voice control

RonTorque
RonTorque

I was waiting for it for PC...Cant wait till the end of Feb.

JonhMan
JonhMan

No thanks... I'd rather have Empire: Total War.

Guy12
Guy12

Hey, its World in Conflict with worse graphics and terrible explosions!

gamehunter1991
gamehunter1991

i think Tom Clancy's End-war its could be much better then last one because its like strategy games and its complex

mehedee
mehedee

can this game be played without a microphone???

Salt_The_Fries
Salt_The_Fries

It's easy and entertaining to play, but little substance is to be found in here, in my opinion. I doubt PC users will look forward to it that much.

empror1
empror1

I'm more excited for other titles coming in 2009. Besides that the idea of buying a console port RTS makes me vomit. Good luck competing with some of these titles: Empire total war, Battleforge, Anno1404, Tropico 3, Dawn of War 2, Demigod, Starcraft 2, Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, Grand Ages Rome and Red Alert 3: Uprising.

nuconteaza
nuconteaza

After reading the first 2 paragraphs i was ready to rant how it's a sad day when RTS games are getting ported from consoles but... As everyone else noticed, it's just like world in conflict. Make a clone, it's ok but at least admit it. Don't throw a voice gimmick and expect to fool me. "EndWar for the PC will clearly offer a unique alternative to standard real-time strategy " How is that not a lie? I felt insulted by that last statement. I know gamespot in not independent and stuff but come on...put some effort there other than "this (generic game that fits perfectly in a well defined genre) will be really different from the rest of the games in this genre, honest it will!".

Roken1
Roken1

rock...paper..sci-okay you know what...they need to stop this kind of mockery and give us a game where every unit can hold off on their own instead of relying on the ancient combined arms doctrine. Modern Infantry are TRAINED AND EQUIPPED to take out tanks. Hell, even ghetto terrorists have a thing called the RPG. As for helicopters, no, if a 15 year old kid with a RPG that's 30 years old can shoot down a blackhawk, I'm sorry, a helicopter is not effective against infantry.

ShadowB86
ShadowB86

Piracy's always used as an excuse. It has existed since the invention of software, yet companies have only recently decided to blame it for their problems. If they can use an intangible, impossible to measure variable as a scapegoat, why admit screw-ups usually their own fault? And by the way, truth is X360 games get pirated at least as much as PC ones.

xmen1414
xmen1414

yea the demo for the 360 was alright, the voice thing was neat but when you were at war and messing up what you say you dont want to say 20 things all i want to to say is "YOU MOVE THERE!!"... *sigh* wheres the brain reading RTS when you need mov :/

h1dd3n5had0w
h1dd3n5had0w

Pft...they didnt want this one the PC due to piracy, now they want to release this to the PC due to poor sales on the consoles? Thanks but no thanks, I'll pass on this game. This is like a step on the face on all PC gamers.

phish999
phish999

i have this game on ps3 its good but gets boring after awhile the multiplayer is lop sided when it comes to the factions and stratagies

Cobretti1818
Cobretti1818

I loved World in Conflict, and am hoping this will be similar.

Lukemaneiro
Lukemaneiro

Innovation is something games need to grow. It may not be the best RTS out there, but comes packed with innovation, that I hope becomes standard on other future games of this genre.

lucky326
lucky326

Meh, I'll wait for World in Conflict: Soviet Assault which is pretty much the same time as this.

rogue81
rogue81

The one bad thing that keeps coming up is it's too simple. The rock paper scissors style doesn't give it much depth... I'm still tempted to buy this though. Always a sucker for strategy games.

Raime10
Raime10

I've been waiting for this game to be released on PC. I wonder how exciting multiplayer would be.

henrik02
henrik02

I'm not really exited about this, but I would want to try it out...

Pecone_Penev
Pecone_Penev

The game looks pretty cool. I have been fooled before, but I really thing that this one will be different. Lets hope so! I am getting it when it comes out. Kind of excited about it.

pb24dagrk
pb24dagrk

Meh. I don't like rock-paper-scissors style RTS games, that's why I stick only to Company of Heroes.

CRC000
CRC000

i sure hope this was designed for the pc, not a crappy console port. otherwise it's going to suck. i'm looking forward to seeing some reviews before i buy it... i'd love a 'realistic' rainbow6 type mmorpg. the battlefield series was ruined for me from the ability to respawn so quickly. :(

shimo1989
shimo1989

I can't see this not offending a lot people...

andrin_1177
andrin_1177

Well not always on the good side. Cheney was considered a Sith Lord for the longest time.

frogloe
frogloe

My friend said this was worth a try for the XBOX so I'll get it for the computer. :D

sakaiXxX
sakaiXxX

america alway on the good side huh.............and this bad..........

Syzgygy
Syzgygy

This game didn't impress anyone on consols, how will the PC version differ?

dejan-k
dejan-k

can't wait to play this!

hellhelix
hellhelix

Looks like a mixture of battle field 2142 and crysis only better cant wait for it to come out. hope it wont have any problems like assassins creed and others too