CES 07: World in Conflict Updated Impressions

This strategy game about World War III will feature some familiar faces when it ships later this year.

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LAS VEGAS--When we last saw World in Conflict, this beautiful World War III real-time strategy game was at the launch of Nvidia's latest graphics processor. Now two months later, Sierra and developer Massive are showing off a slightly more polished version of that same demo.

World in Conflict is a game about the Cold War ending in a world war rather than ending peacefully as it did in real life. You'll be able to command '80s-era militaries from both NATO and the Warsaw Pact as you battle around the world. And we were told at CES that Sierra recently licensed some footage from the BBC's news archives, so we can expect some good old-fashioned Cold War rhetoric in the game spouted by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premiere Mikhail Gorbachev.

The demo at the show focused on the same battle between US and Soviet forces for an American town located in the midst of a wooded wilderness. Again, we were captivated as we saw huge lumbering aircraft transports swoop down low to deliver reinforcements to the battlefield, and the demo showed Soviet forces moving en masse to capture the various strategic points in town. Soviet helicopter gunships swooped low over the town, only to be shot down by surface-to-air missiles. Then, American infantry came into view, and the demonstrator showed off some of the tactical support options that you can call into the battlefield. In this case, it was a napalm strike to wipe out the troops on the ground.

In terms of visuals, World in Conflict does a great job of rendering a modern war. The town being fought over looks fully detailed, and even better, everything can blow up in this game. One minute it looks like an idyllic place and the next it's a gutted shell. World in Conflict looks promising, and the game is scheduled for release this spring.

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