Game Review: R.U.S.E.
Release: September 7, 2010
Genre: Real Time Strategy
Developer: Ubisoft – Eugen Systems
Available Platforms: 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
Players: 1-4 depending on game mode
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Set in the European Campaign of the Second World War, you play as U.S. Major Joe Sheridan, commanding your troops through many perilous battles of wit and wager. Joe is on the hunt for Nazi General Major Erich Von Richter who is getting aid from a mysterious spy named Prometheus. This of course makes for a rough road ahead for Joe and his command. Luckily for you, British Officer Campbell is there with his men to back you up and give you just enough guidance to overcome the Nazi threat.
Developed by Eugen Systems, R.U.S.E is set to refresh the strategy genre, introducing deception techniques that will let you bluff your enemy in order to lead your nation’s army to victory. Camouflage your troops, lure your opponent with decoy units, sabotage his logistics: strategy is intuitive and carefully thought out at the same time. R.U.S.E. features cutting edge graphics and effects, the outstanding IRISZOOM™ Engine, immersive combat and a simplified interface that allows you to determine your nation’s strategy to defeat your enemies.
R.U.S.E. offers up quite a few game modes for you to try your command at. There is the above mentioned Campaign mode which follows the WWII story pretty close with it’s own twist. There’s also Battle mode which pits you against the computer A.I. in an all out war for supremacy, and Online which is the same thing but against real people. R.U.S.E. also offers up one other mode called Operation. This mode gives you certain battle conditions that must be met in order to win. It’s sort of like Campaign but without the story. All 4 modes offer hours of entertainment for the strategy fan, especially when you toss in the Ruses.
You also command a ton of different units that all have their strengths and weaknesses. Ground troops are great against other troops and light infantry units (such as anti-tank cannons), but are in major trouble pitted against a mighty German Tiger tank. Some tanks are built for mass destruction of any kind while others are only good at destroying other tanks. Recon units don’t do a lot of fighting at all, but will reveal hidden units in the area which is necessary as some units will not target an unknown unit. Your air support is awesome but also has it’s own achille’s heel. Anti-Aircraft guns are a quick way to send your pilots to an early grave and some planes are made for keeping the skies safe as well. The quickest way to end the battle is finding the right balance of bombers to destroy tanks and buildings, tanks to destroy the AA guns and other big threats along the way, and light infantry units to take out the anti-tank units. All while keeping your own bases protected. One nice feature I would like to quick remark about is that sometimes your light infantry can take down a hefty tank. This is done by placing your soldiers in hiding. You can do this by putting them in town squares, forests, and other areas on the map. Even though a soldier unit is easy work for a tank, if the soldiers are hidden, they will do a surprise attack on an enemy unit that gets too close. This will amount to a huge boost in damage dealt and is a great way to help defend your bases.
The Ruses are what makes this game shine though. They are a great addition and can really make a difference in determining whether you come out with a glorious victory or are defeated in shame. You can only activate so many Ruses at one time. As the time wears on, then the ability to activate more Ruses replenishes. The map is divided into many sections and you have to decide which Ruse you want to use in which section. You can send a spy into enemy territory to reveal which units they have. You can set up radio silence and the enemy can not see what your movements are. You can put up a net that will hide your buildings. You can activate Blitz and your troops in that section will come down hard on the enemy like the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense! Plus many, many more.
The biggest downfall to R.U.S.E. is the timing. Releasing it just before Halo Reach was a bad marketing move in my opinion. R.U.S.E. is an excellent game but will sadly get overlooked when pitted against the likes of Reach. I tried to play a multiplayer game online but couldn’t find anybody playing. It’s a shame too because it is an excellent strategy game. Otherwise, there isn’t a whole lot else wrong with the game. The graphics could be better, but they aren’t bad by any means and the difficulty is a bit tough, but that could just be that I suck. I honestly didn’t find anything wrong with this game other than the release date.
Brian’s Final Say: R.U.S.E. is a great strategy game. If you even remotely enjoy building up bases, gathering resources, and training troops, then this game is for you. It has great controls that are easy to use on the console versions (a big problem in the past with other RTS’s) and plays great as well. Using the Ruses really gives R.U.S.E. that extra oomph to make it stand out from the rest of the genre. But wait, my spy tells me the Nazi’s are packing some major tankage. I’ll throw out my Decryption and.. “Oh My God! They are attacking!” Excuse me now while I go into Radio Silence…………