Being a fan of RTS style games, I have tried them all for the console in the hopes that one of these days someone will get it right. Game after game, they just never seem to nail the formula down. Some have good controls, but lack the right pacing. Others have the pacing yet lack the controls, and there are the majority that just seem to miss the mark across the board. That is until Tom Clancy’s End War hit the market.
End War in my opinion is the pinnacle of console RTS games. Graphically the game is great and holds it’s own compared to other RTS type console games. The unique 3rd person view, exceptional sound effects and voice work the game gives this game will pull you into the heat of battle quickly. End War offers all the bells and whistles including unit upgrades and differing tactics based on the battle at hand.
Lastly what makes End War so successful compared to its competitors is the control scheme. Finally, someone has nailed a control scheme that works for a console RTS. This control scheme is unlike any other considering it’s actual real time voice command. It works great. So well in fact that it’s almost impossible to play with out it.
So what is wrong with this game then? Why has it not sold millions and taken the RTS lovers by storm? I have asked myself that question many times. I read and listened to many others discuss their experiences with the game. One common theme that seemed to keep coming up was “It’s good, but there is just something about it that I just couldn’t get into”. Then it struck me as I played the game. I was alone. That’s End Wars biggest issue, it’s just a lonely game. The game requires you to constantly talk to your units so it eliminates the “social” aspect of gaming online almost completely. On top of that, you can’t really play it with someone else in the room with you, as again, you need to be speaking continuously in order to be remotely good. Forget about trying to play late at night if you need to be “quiet” and not wake others that might be sleeping near you. This game really does take that social feel of gaming completely away. Even with the co-op multiplayer, you will still feel isolated as you bark out commands.
So I guess to sum it up, I commend Ubisoft on creating a great RTS game for consoles. It’s fun, it gives me all the things an RTS and strategy buff like myself could want. I just wish I didn’t feel the need to be in an isolation booth to play it.