World in Conflict

So on top of updating the website I downloaded the demo of the new Sierra game called World in Conflict. I mentioned the promo blurb about the game back in late June.

Real Time Strategy games are a funny genre as there are many elements that the developers need to get correct in order to achieve the right balance.
One such element is the GUI and how easy it is to manage using the interface during the heat of battle. If you make it too cluttered the user we be frustrated, if it's too basic and requires accessing submenus to perform an action the game loses appeal very quickly. Another element is the gameplay, if each mission is the same thing over and over then you are likely to get bored easily.

I'm happy to say I think WIC has all the right elements that make it a good game. The sound and graphical effects are outstanding, providing you with quite a decent immersion into the world and the storyline.

Also WIC uses a different system to those normally employed on RTS games, rather that having a base to manage and power you are given reinforcement points. You can use these points to purchase units and if a unit is killed you regain the points and can reuse them to purchase a unit that will aid you better in the fight.

Finally the multiplayer mode offers a choice of time of commander (air, ground, support, infantry), each with own benefits and pitfalls. You really need to work with others to use their strengths to cover your weaknesses.

So after plying the demo for a good few hours Dok and I both picked up a copy of the game in Cwmbran today.

I was quite surprised at the install speed it was nice and quick and i didn't have to mess around with multiple options when all I want to do it get to the battlefield. The game has artwork it uses for the time between missions so it cuts down on the load times massively, but if this is a storyline cut-scene rather than being a video that's played it's rendered in the game engine effectively reducing load times further still.

The game appeared to be a beast on the requirement side of things but it has run smoothly sofar.

Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows® XP, Windows Vista™
CPU: 2.0 GHz or faster (2.2 GHz for Windows Vista™)
RAM: 512 MB (1 GB for Windows Vista™)
Disc Drive: DVD-ROM
Hard Drive: 1.2 GB of uncompressed free space
Video: 128 MB video RAM, DirectX® 9.0c-compatible
DX9 minimum card: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6600 GT and above
DX10 minimum card: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8500 GT and abov
Sound: DirectX® 9.0c-compatible
Input: Keyboard and mouse
Internet play: Cable, DSL or better
Note: GeForce® 4 MX, Radeon® 8500, 9200 not supported

For those of you that fancy trying out the demo you can download it from the website below.

World in Conflict

Dok pointed out this new RTS game that is currently under development.

In this alternative history game, the year is 1989, in the middle of the cold war. Soviet forces move into Europe drawing the attention of NATO and their forces into the fray. Meanwhile a second front heads into North America. You job is to command the force hoping to retake the lost cities and suburbs from the Soviets.

The game uses the Massive MassTech engine, giving user complete control of the camera viewpoint. All game objects with the exception of terrain appear to be destroyable. Unlike other RTS games there is no resource to capture or money to allow you to expand your base, in WIC you start each level with a set amount of resource how you spend it is up to you. If your building or vehicle is destroyed you re-gain the resource to spend gain perhaps altering your choice will sway the battle to your favour.

Reading up the game it appear there is more to it that just a solo RTS, for instance in a multiplayer team game there are 4 roles that can be undertake by seperate teammates (Air/Armour/Infantry/Support), thus allowing for varied gameplay that can draw on each players strengths on the battlefield.

Due for release on 07/09/2007