R.U.S.E. Multiplayer Hands-On

We took part in the Battle of Normandy in another hands-on with this exciting strategy game.

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Ubisoft was showing a new mission for R.U.S.E. at GamesCom, and we were lucky enough to try it out for ourselves. The new mission is based on Operation Dragoon, part of the Normandy invasion in World War II. Located in the south of France around the areas between the towns of Peillon and Gorbino, the map featured steady rain, dark clouds, and lightning, which certainly helped to create a sense of dread. We played as the British, whose speciality is air superiority. Germany, on the other hand, specialises in tanks and artillery, whereas the USA is an all-rounder. This mission was Britain versus Germany, but others will let you play as France, Italy, Russia, or the US.

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Ruse cards give you access to special abilities and make up a large part of the game's strategy. On this map, we relied on the blitz card, which speeds up your units in one of the map sectors. The map had around 23 sectors, and we used the card on the sector where our base was located, allowing our resource-collecting trucks to earn us money twice as quickly as usual. We also used the spy card, which exposes an enemy decoy card in any one sector. As its name suggests, the decoy card is used to create a decoy of fake units, which is useful when trying to mask genuine units. You earn one ruse point each minute to spend on any card you have, and you can reuse the same cards in a mission. The points accumulate too, so you might prefer to wait until later in the game and use the spy card on every sector of the map, for instance, before planning a mass assault.

Since the British specialise in air superiority, our plan involved building several air bases, with each supporting up to seven air units. An added bonus of the air superiority bonus is that air units are cheaper to build, and this made our job a bit easier. After the airfields were complete, we built an Avro Anson reconnaissance plane, to scout for enemy troops, and several Hawker Typhoon and Lancaster bombers. We also built some AA guns to take care of enemy planes, and some tanks to guard the road into our base.

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Rather than destroy the enemy's base, this particular game mode requires you to reach a certain score before your opponent by destroying as many units as possible. With a formidable squadron of bombers at our disposal, we set about destroying any convoys or troops we found and also used our recon plane to verify as many as possible. About 20 minutes into our mission, we finally defeated our enemy. (We later discovered that his strategy of amassing a large tank force had taken longer than he thought it would.)

From what we've seen, R.U.S.E. is looking like a very solid and addictive strategy game, and we're looking forward to playing it again in the future. R.U.S.E. is heading to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC later in the year.

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