667th played so far

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Publisher: Sierra Entertainment/Ubisoft

See that number up there? Two thirds of the way through. Making progress y’all!

It feels like a while since we last covered an RTS. We’ve had some games, like the amazing Star Control 3, that mixed it with other genres, and there have been tactical games like Faselei! with a smaller unit count, but the last one focusing on large scale battles with plenty of units and unit building would be Age of Empires, maybe, although that too is focused more on the economy than games like this are.

It’s good to come back to it, though, as I do feel a lot of affection for the type of play.

Our Thoughts

World of Conflict is a game focused on tactics, dense with objectives – rather than the one or two I am used to from most RTS games, you have several per map as well as optional ones. There’s a feeling of this forcing you down a path at least, leaving no room for exploration, but that works with the setting.

Imagine if the cold war hadn’t ended, but instead led to a third world war. And imagine that in this, the US got invaded by the Russians. Here, you fight that off – working in friendly territory and, at least initially, your role is defensive – trying to stop the invasion and save civilians.

One of the interesting parts of this story is that you have a definite protagonist who shows up in in-engine cutscenes. Always from the back, mind you, so they can stay faceless, but it is interesting to actually see you get addressed in some way. It does well in setting up the illusion you’re dealing with something more real and personal.

So the game itself then takes place in these city areas and large towns. You don’t actually have to deal with the whole map at once – AI players keep the enemy at bay in other corners, while you deal with the problems in a specific area, shifting as the level goes on and creating multiple smaller sections that flow into each other. There’s no real base building – nor would there need to be – but there are varying options for reinforcements, which still gives you control over the units you use for parts of the game.

Final Thoughts

World of Conflict was a lot of fun to play, moving the RTS focus to strategy rather than economy while still creating the large scale battles I want from it. The setting feels a bit odd and too real at times, but it tells a decent story and lends it to far more variety that I would have expected.