The Soviets oblige in tearing down that wall, the Fulda Gap is filled, and Seattle goes sleepless as Shilkas and infantry pour onto the docks. Take that, Seahawks. Explosive downpour saturates cities bleeding with columns of refugees. Welcome to World in Conflict.
It's war theater by way of artillery barrages and tidalwaves of military meat and metal, but the thing that really sets World in Conflict apart is the relatable human face that comes out, when a soldier appears in the cutscenes, who, knowing his chances of survival are slim, phones his stepfather to reconcile before it's too late.
It would seem so obvious to acquaint the player with some of the thousands of troops that he'll be sending into certain death as the game progresses, and yet, it's something that pretty much never happens in real time strategy games. Tanya from Command and Conquer is a lovely girl, but she's not like any girl I know. That kid calling home, or the Soviet colonel torn between his duty and his common sense feel a lot closer to home.
The game itself delivers highly polished strategy in wave upon wave upon wave of perfect carnage, full of the little details that betray a labor of love. I don't know if this is art, but I do know that Massive Entertainment were among the few true artists in the studio system.
Had Sierra not fallen apart, and had Massive come under the guidance of someone with more respect for the medium than Activision or Ubisoft, who knows what might have been.
Everybody wants to rule the world, but as World in Conflict reminds us, they usually manage to burn down a significant part of it in the process.