Sometimes a game comes out that does almost everything right. World in Conflict is one of those games. Developer Massive Entertainment made sure that everything in the game is polished to almost perfection.
World in Conflict takes place during cold war era but in alternate reality. Negotiations fail and World War 3 starts. NATO soldiers including Americans invade Soviet Union. While Americans are fighting Russians in Europe, Russian ships invade America disguised as Cargo ships. Due to surprise attack and lack of enough forces to defend borders, Russians successfully invade City of Seattle.
You play as Lieutenant Parker, tasked by Captain Banon to help civilians escape and leave the city to regroup in early hours of the game. As time goes by you meet some very interesting characters with great personalities. Unlike most other war games, here characters aren't one dimensional. Instead they have their own good and bad sides. And even though the game focuses mainly on survival of Americans during war, nothing in the game is portrayed as black and white. Instead, the game shows good and bad people on both sides (and the reason behind the way they behave), and how both nations are lead by brave soldiers who are not willing to fight each other but they are forced to do so due to politics.
If you have Complete Edition of the game, you receive 6 missions where you play Lieutenant Romano. These missions focus on Russian characters and just like the American side, characters here have deep personalities with great background stories and not even a single character is added to fill gaps. Everything comes together perfectly. Story is written by professional military Novelist and it makes you feel like Star of an intelligent Action Movie. The game is full of both Action and Drama. The game also has a satisfying ending.
World in Conflict is an Action RTS with both Single Player as well as Multiplayer. The Single Player Campaign can easily last over 10 hours and contains 14 missions. If you have Complete Edition of the game then it also contains 6 extra missions where you play as Russian. Both Russian and American missions are part of the same campaign and after every few American missions, you switch sides and see everything through the perspective of Russian army. The missions where you play as Russians are not tacked on. Instead all of them offer as much variety as the ones on American side, that were first released when the game originally launched back in 2007.
Speaking of variety, every mission in the game is beautifully crafted. There is not even a single mission that plays same as the last one. There is always some sort of twist in every mission that makes it different than the last one. In some missions, you are only given control over a small group of troops or vehicles that can be used for hit and run tactics. For example, in one of the missions, you are ordered to launch stealth attacks by hiding your troops in the forest. Your soldiers take out different enemies one by one and clear the area before your helicopters can send more engineers to recover a crucial data from crash site. Things like these are nice for the change from most other missions where you are given full control over your troops and the map.
Objectives in the game are based on story of the game and everything works perfectly. Nothing feels tacked on or forced. It's a beautifully crafted game with a lot of variety in missions, troops and locations. The user interface is very friendly and easy to understand, and tutorial is a great tool for new comers to learn the game before jumping in. Apart from Single Player Campaign, the game also features Multiplayer.
Multiplayer supports up to sixteen players and can be played on a LAN or over the Internet. Three types of maps are featured: domination maps, where players must control command points to win the game, assault maps, where one team defends a series of command points which the other teams assaults, and tug of war maps, where teams must fight to capture a series of command points on the front line, whereupon the line shifts towards a new set of points closer to the losing team. One side plays as either the United States or NATO, while the other as the Soviet Union. Neither side has any sort of advantage and everything is perfectly balanced.
World in Conflict plays differently than other Real Time Strategy games. There is no base building here. Instead the more focus is on Action itself. Sometime it feels more like a Top down Action game than a Strategy game but that doesn't mean that the game doesn't have any Strategy involved. It does Strategy part pretty well actually. Instead of controlling the entire battlefield, you control small squad and play your part in the war while things go boom around you when other soldiers are fighting each other. It's up to you what kind of troops or vehicles you want to use in your mission. You have number of different tanks, helicopters, troops, artillery, repair vehicles and so on.
Instead of building armies in your base, you are given Command Points. These points act as resources. Different units cast different Command Points. When you have enough resources to call units you want to see on battlefield, you order them and after few moments later they join you on the battlefield. After deploying units, there is a brief cooldown period, during that you can't call more units. When someone in your squad dies, his points are added back to your inventory which means you can call that type of unit again. But you'll have to wait before you can use those points again because the points you receive after the death of your units do not appear in your inventory at once, instead you receive them slowly one by one after every second. This forces you to carefully plan your tactic before sending your troops to be slaughtered.
Just like other Strategy games, you select your troops with LMB and order them by pressing RMB. You can move the camera by using WASD keys. You can also order each one of them individually, few of them or all of them at once. You can even assign them in different groups. For example I can select a Sniper and a Light Tank and assign them to group 1 by pressing Ctrl + 1 and then I can select my helicopter and rifle squad to group 2 by pressing Ctrl + 2. This will enable me to quickly select different groups quickly by pressing 1,2,3 and so on instead of holding Shift key and clicking on different unit cards on screen to select units necessary to perform certain task, over and over again.
World in Conflict offers a lot of freedom. You can order you rifle squad to enter a building and attack from there or you can order them sit inside a vehicle for faster travel before ordering them to leave the vehicle and engage in combat. You have plenty of room to flank your enemies and blow up buildings with your tanks, helicopters or artillery strikes to kill enemies in them. Not to mention, you also have air support which is extremely useful throughout the campaign. You can call for Air Support any time you want as long as you have enough points to call them or you are not in the middle of cooldown. So yes, just like reinforcements, to call Air Strikes you'll need their OWN set of Command Points. To get more points in both cases you'll have to complete different primary and secondary objectives that reward you with more points and in some cases, unlock new units and new kind of Air Support. The Air Strike/Support ranges from small laser guided missiles to mini nukes. Almost everything in the game is destructible, so never hesitate to call an Air Strike on a building.
As mentioned in above, there is a lot of variety in missions. And not all units will be available during one mission. Different set of units are reserved for different missions which depends on nature of your objectives for that particular mission. Some of these units also have different set of abilities. For example, Tanks can use smoke screen to hide from enemies (like a smoke bomb), or can use armor piercing rounds to cause more damage to some vehicles. Same is the case with other units like helicopters and repair vehicles (among other units) that allow you to launch flares to avoid missiles or repair other vehicles quickly respectively. Just like everything else, these abilities also have a cool down period, so you have to think before using them.
World in Conflict looks great till this day. It impresses even more when you take into account that it's a strategy game. The game supports both DX9 and DX10 renderer and despite looking great and having fully destructible map, it runs smooth as silk. This level of optimization is rarely seen in video games these days. The game has a lot of cutscenes and scripted moments, that are used to tell the story or explain objectives. Gameplay animations and cutscenes are done by motion capturing which makes everything feel more real. Acting in this game is really really good.
You can zoom in and see your troops running around, shouting at each other while fighting enemies (Same goes for your enemies). Everything looks great even when you take a closer look. When tanks fire, the sound effects and smoke effects that you experience are top of the line. Stuff like that is mostly heard and seen in movies only. When a soldier fires a machine gun mounted on a jeep, you can see the vehicle shaking when bullets are fired. When it moves, you can hear sound of its engine. Hell, when you are not engaged in the battle, you can even hear small conversations. These small things really immerse you, and make you feel like you are part of that battlefield or a gripping movie.
Voice Acting in the game is top notch and main narration is done by Hollywood Actor, Alec Baldwin. You can hear him telling the story while the game loads a new level in the background. Meanwhile, you look at series of different pictures that show location of current objectives. Just like everything else, soundtracks in the game are beautiful and memorable. Everything in this game is beautifully crafted.
World in Conflict is a masterpiece, that deserves a sequel as much as some other legendary titles such as No One Lives Forever 2, Half Life 2: Ep 2, Freelancer, Alan Wake and so on. Everything in this game is close to perfection. It's easily one of the greatest games ever made.
- Fast Paced and Tactical Gameplay
- Great storyline with deep characters
- Beautifully crafted Single Player Campaign
- Balanced Multiplayer
- High Production Values
- Excellent presentation and Great Acting
- Sound effects could use a bit more punch in some scenes