A solid Real Time Strategy game but the "Soviet Assault" part is a bit disappointing.
The original World in Conflict was well received. About the only complaint was the absence of a Russian campaign, and in fact, the Russians were playing the role of a soulless bad guy. Developers have decided to correct that mistake by adding an expansion. For those of us who didn't even care to buy the original WiC because of the lack of a Russian campaign (if you got a hunch by now, it is probably correct) this sounded like a good idea. How did it turn out? Well, the feelings are mixed.
Soviet Assault is apparently available as both an extension pack and a standalone game with the original WiC integrated. Having never played the original and not knowing what was added, I was nonetheless surprised to find myself suspecting that it was not a lot. The first and foremost clue would be that the Russian campaign is much shorter than the American campaign. It is also significantly less impressive. This is felt especially well since the Russian missions are stuffed in between the American ones. One could feel the dramatic thought process behind the story of the American campaign. The same could not be said for the Russians - still the strange bad guy.
Still, there are a lot of fun tools available to the Russian side and the initial Russian strike through the Berlin wall is an impressive event to behold.
The gameplay is balanced and fairly fast paced, although the presence of AI-controlled units on both sides in single player sometimes gives the player time to think his next move through. Use of different types of military units is required for an effective engagement. Apart from player-controlled units, player also has access to area attack tools ranging from a couple artillery shots all the way to a nuclear strike. In short, there's enough to do. Destroying enemy units and completing objectives gets rewarded with points which can then be spent on more powerful area attacks or new units. It's a fairly simple and effective system.
Once the single player campaign is over there is always multiplayer and co-op with an easy to setup mission menu. Here the new player will have to choose a role to fulfill on his team. On this will be based the types of reinforcements available and their price. Notable is the amount of customization of the AI behavior available at level setup.
Visually, ViC was meant to be an eye candy, and no screenshots can ever do this game justice because the main eye candy is in the effects rather than the setting. The area attacks turn your screen into a colourful mix of fire and flying debris. This does not get tiring.
The actors did their job well. The writers did too if their job was to make the characters sound tough without there being too much sense to what those characters actually say. The tacky and strange dialogue during cutscenes will surprise someone who tries to pay attention, but the rest of us should be able to swallow. The instructions given are clear. Sounds of battle is what matters the most anyway, and these don't disappoint.
20 bucks for the expansion pack in today's age is normal. The Russian missions could have been better, but all the pretty explosions will probably make you forget about the flaws anyway.