Too slow paced for RTS players, and not realistic enough to be a simulation, Wargame creates its own original niche.

User Rating: 8.5 | Wargame: European Escalation PC
Wargame: European Escalation is a game that is full of contradictions. It wants to be a realistic military simulation, yet has resupply units that will magically repair, rearm, and refuel your army. It wants to be turn based, but wears its real time aspect proudly. It wants to be a deep strategy game, yet the orders you can give your units can be summed up by 'go there' and 'go there quickly'. As such, this game will not appeal to the Starcraft/clickfest crowd, nor the grognards. However, if you are able to look past these contradictions, you will find that Wargame EE is an original, unique, and fun to play game.

The game is strictly real time. You cannot pause the game, give orders, and have them carried out when you unpause. This was almost a deal breaker for me, as I hate frantically clicking on my units. However, on a 'frantic' scale of 1 to 10, I would give Wargame EE a 2 or 3. Ordering your men is more or less manageable, even for a fumble fingered clicker like me. However, in my opinion, pauseable real time should have been implemented, as Wargame EE is exactly the sort of game that would benefit from it. Order your men, then sit back and watch the pretty explosions.

Speaking of graphics, they are nothing short of astounding. You can zoom from a global view of the battlefield, with units represented by NATO symbols, all the way down to seeing the sun glint off the hull of an individual tank. Watching battles unfold is very satisfying visually.

Game play revolves around capturing valuable sectors. The more sectors you own, the faster your income increases, which will allow you to buy reinforcements. Sectors are captured by moving a special command unit to the sector. These command units are very expensive, and very weak. Hiding and protecting these units is of paramount importance, as is destroying enemy command units.

Each and every unit in the game has a ton of detailed stats. Armored units have armor values for front, side, and rear facings. However, here is where we see the contradictions I mentioned earlier. There is no unit facing command. Units will face whichever way they drove in, and there is no easy way to tell them, 'point this way'. Just one example of the game not being able to decide if it's a casual RTS or a strategy gamers wet dream.

Interface issues are one of the games biggest failings. Grabbing a bunch of units will put a display at the bottom of the screen of the units you have selected, but there is no way to identify the units aside from a tiny icon which looks kind of like a tank, or maybe it's a tank destroyer, or maybe an artillery unit. This is really off putting to new players who might have a hard time identifying the more than 300 units in the game. There is no big list of all your units, sortable by role. Trying to click and give orders at certain zoom levels can be downright painful.

Still, the one thing you can say about Wargame EE is that it's original. Half RTS, half military porn, half strategy game, and half military simulation, Wargame manages to be more than the sum of its parts, despite some interface issues. Thumbs up.