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Act of War: Direct Action|
(hx) 06:43 AM EDT - Apr,03 2005
Act of War: Direct Action is a real-time strategy game that takes as its premise the notion that a shadowy Consortium, a secret group of petroleum company owners, is manipulating the price of oil (Americans pay $7 for a gallon of gas!) through terrorist attacks and military actions. As commander of the elite Task Force Talon, you must put a stop to the Consortium's sinister plans. If you fail in your mission the world will be a different and horrific place to live. Failure is not an option. Surprisingly, the storyline is very riveting and seems like it might be taken place out of a Tom Clancy novel. But what about the gameplay itself? Well let's take a look!
In the single-player campaign, you control the task force Talon, a "direct action" team reporting directly to the US president. These are the guys who have access to all the really cool high-tech stuff. In most scenarios, they're supported by the regular US Army, which uses a mix of weapons and equipment that's been around for a while and stuff that's kind of experimental. There's a nice assortment of military vehicles at your disposal. Goodies like Bradley fighting vehicles, Abrams tanks, RA66 Comanche Attack Helicopters, F/A-35 Joint Strike Fighters, and a nice variety of infantry, including the powerful S.H.I.E.L.D.S. unit (soldiers in mech-style exoskeletons armed with missiles and machineguns). The "bad guys" are a mix of terrorists, mercenaries, and locally recruited military units, and they use a wide variety of existing, mostly non-US hardware and experimental high-tech stuff. Of course, both sides have their own strengths and weaknesses so they're balanced in multiplayer. As in most real-time strategy games, Act of War also includes Super-weapons. Each side of the three (Task Force Talon, America's Army and Consortium) have something that can destroy these before it hits them. Of course, use of Super Weapons is limited. Each time a patriot missile shoots a nuke down the missile has to be replaced as does the nuke. Both take time. Place these out in strategical important areas and they will provide you with a really important shield. Like in other RTS titles, as the game progresses, you will be able to build advanced troops and buildings, plus you 'll get access to advanced technologies. When playing as the US Army, once you've got enough cash you can upgrade your base from Defcon 3 to Defcon 2, which opens up another branch of the technology tree and lets you construct more buildings and units. Upgrading to Defcon 1 then gives you access to some meaty Super-weapons. Your main resource is oil, but you have the chance to arrest enemy infantry units and get some money too - POW's grant you $500 per prisoner and allow you to interrogate them, revealing enemy troop locations.
There are 14 chapters in the single-player campaign, each with between one and four missions (over 33 missions in total). Most of the campaign takes place on US Territory in known places like San Francisco and Washington DC. Generally, the objectives are fairly straightforward, and can be won with techniques either subtle or overbearing. However, to be successful in the majority of the missions, it's necessary to have a good mix of infantry and vehicle types, not unlike other real-time strategy games.
At first sight, the game appears to be a Command & Conquer Generals clone. In many respects this is true, however, there are a number of differences. First off, the storyline is immersive and you feel that you are in an interactive movie - you want to finish each level if not only to view the next cut screen - something that I have not seen any real-time strategy do successfully before. Besides, these are little features that make the game a little more fun to play. For instance, you can storm buildings and occupy them which makes for an excellent advantage against infantry (just move your ass out of there if a tank comes by and flattens the place though), you can take over banks for extra cash, you can take POWs, instead of "upgrading" buildings you set your alert status at headcourters from Defcon 1 -3, infantry can sometimes be regenerated if you get a medevac helicopter or ambulance to the scene, "ambush" allows you to hide your men in cover of tree's making them harder to see, harder to hit and gives them a damage multiplier, "crawl" lets your infantry use a stealth approach, movement is slower but they are generally able to see and wipe out the enemy before they even know your around, etc.
Once you've finished saving the world, Act of War offers a skirmish mode (17 maps) as well as multiplayer support for up to eight players, allowing you to take control of Task Force Talon, the U.S. Army, or the Consortium. The multiplayer aspect offers absolutely nothing new, unique, but it appears solid and stable.
Overall, great game that I strongly suggest you get if you are into the RTS genre. Fans of the C&C games will be pleased, but those looking for innovation, huge tech trees and tactical gameplay may be disappointed. Definitely try the demo first if possible.
retail patch 1b
Minimum system requirements: Pentium 4 1.5 GHz or AMD Athlon 1500+ or higher (Pentium 4 2.5 GHz or AMD Athlon 2500+ recommended), 256 MB RAM (512 MB RAM recommended), DirectX 8.1 compatible 64 MB video card (128 MB video card recommended) with full hardware support for vertex and pixel shaders (i.e. not GeForce 4 MX), 2x DVD-ROM drive (6x recommended), DirectX 9.0c, sound card, mouse, keyboard, 6GB free hard drive space.
snd: 4/5 - solid, takes full advantage of 3D audio, mediocre voice-acting (fake accents will kill the mood a bit), decent music
gfx: 5/5 -
excellent, high level of detail on the units and the buildings, pretty explosions and fires, full motion video clips
playability: 4/5 -
enjoyable single-player mode, addictive combat, 33 SP missions, 17 skirmish maps, great story by Dale Brown, zero learning curve, too straightforward, oversimplified interface, slightly disappointing multiplayer (remarkably a few people playing online at the time of review)
|genre: real-time strategy|
release: March 2005
developer: Eugen Systems
the game is similar to: Command&Conquer Generals
|Anonymous||(07:15 AM EDT - Apr,04 2005 )|
|WilderWein||(09:26 AM EDT - Apr,04 2005 )|
|nope, they are as in the demo.|
|latenight6902||(03:27 PM EDT - Apr,05 2005 )|
|What happened to engineers and spys? Red Alert 2 was the bomb. Being able to not only destroy stuff but steal money and take over buildings and stuff is what this game needs. as well as a bunch more factions.|
|latenight6902||(09:03 PM EDT - Jun,16 2005 )|
|man scrap it, this games got oohh ahh graphics but cant measure up to 6 year ago design and playability.|