An American geological expedition, under a UN mandate, assesses the natural resources in a distant part of Siberia, deep in the trackless steppes of Eastern Russia. But instead of oil, they discover a deposit of a hitherto unknown mineral.
User reviews: Very Positive (259 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 15, 2001

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Recommended By Curators

"If you like slower, strategic games, give this unique RTS a try. Finite unit count, story about time travel, adjustable vehicles and just...interesting."

Recent updates View all (2)

July 30, 2014

Original War updated to v + dubbings added

Once more, due to efforts of Stucuk from Original War gets a new update.

Added: Support for 22 Steam Achievements
Added: Language Pack Support
Bug Fix: Am02 - Mikhail is rather aggressive (Issue 4)
Bug Fix: Am07 - JMM dies but mission successful (Issue 5)
Bug Fix: Bloody valley tree gives exp multiple times (Issue 11)
Bug Fix: Polish "From the Future with Love" - %d and %t (Issue 19)
Bug Fix: Cornell appearance Am10_cont (Issue 25)
Bug Fix: AM15, Connie Traverse (Issue 29)
Bug Fix: RU14 generic characters (Issue 31)
Bug Fix: Am15 W. Gorky event (Issue 34)
Bug Fix: Bug/Exploit. Chatting as others in the multiplayer lobby (Issue 35)
Bug Fix: All soldiers don´t attack legion in 2nd attack 15am (Issue 37)
Bug Fix: Crash at Start of AM15 under certain resolutions (Issue 39)
Bug Fix: Ru02 - barracks (Issue 40)
Bug Fix: AM11 Scout (Yamoko) (Issue 43)
Bug Fix: Am15 "No loses" medal (Issue 44)
Changed: Multiplayer Protocol Increased (Incompatible with previous versions)

As part of this update we have also added dubbing in French, German, Polish, Spanish and Czech.

22 comments Read more

About This Game

An American geological expedition, under a UN mandate, assesses the natural resources in a distant part of Siberia, deep in the trackless steppes of Eastern Russia. But instead of oil, they discover a deposit of a hitherto unknown mineral.

American scientists working for Department of Defense find out that this mineral is in fact identical to the substance used to power an extraterrestrial artifact in their possession. This object is called the EON (Extraterrestrial Object Nexus).

It was found in 1919 by Colonel Emerson near the site of the Tunguska explosion. Emerson was the commander of a US military unit in charge of transporting US war supplies from the city of Vladivostok to the Eastern front during World War I.

DoD Experiments have shown that items placed in the capsule are transported hundreds of thousands of years back in time. The American scientists were not able to understand its construction, nor could they manage to synthesize its fuel. Eventually, the machine - classified Top Secret - was stored, pending further advances in human science.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 95/98/2000/XP/7 (Windows 8 not supported)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® III - 700MHz
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™2 - 32 MB
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 2000/XP (Windows 8 not supported)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium® IV - 2GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia® GeForce™4 - 256 MB
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
42 of 48 people (88%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
I have purchased Original War three times; first in a bargain bin in 2002, then on and finally on Steam. Let me tell you why this is one of the finest RTS games ever made. A truly exceptional example of the genre but mainly for reasons that set it apart from most strategy games.

Let's talk about what it does that may not be so different but is instead allows us a comforting familiarity with what we've come to expect from Sci-fi RTS games. As is a staple of the RTS Genre the single player comes with two campaigns, a Russian and American/NATO campaign. There is the cliché'd sci-fi super-rare-new-resource, and of course it's a green crystal.

What sets Original War apart from most RTS games is... Well, quite a lot actually. For one; it's set in a world where time-travel is possible. Russia and America are vying for control of a new-found substance called Siberite (known as Alaskite in the Russian campaign.) Both superpowers decide to use time travelling machines to go back and move all the green-glowing-good-stuff to their respective territories, so that when the future comes around they'll already be in possession of every valuable deposit of said resource. For the soldiers embarking on this mission; it means a one way trip. Speaking of soldiers...

Throughout the story you'll be given a single protagonist (American's get Macmillan, Russians get 'Gorky') and if they die, it's game over. The rest are cannon fodder. Likeable cannon-fodder. The problem with liking these human meat shields is if these characters die, that's it. They don't come back. Given that each character has stats based on what you had them do most (building vehicles, constructing fortifications, shooting enemies, or researching space-time anomalies) they get better at it through an EXP system. Even if you don't find yourself liking their dialogue (impossible), you sure as hell will miss their efficiency. Certain characters dying affects the story too, sometimes in a grim way (this is true of both campaigns).

This is but a brief overview of the game, there's a lot more off-the-wall design elements you should experience for yourself and for it's price, Original War will not disappoint. It's difficult to find anything to dislike; The RPG elements are unobtrusive, the cheesy dialogue is heart warming and with memorable characters such as Colonel Powell and Lisa Lawson (to name but a few) I cannot reccomend it enough.
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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
139.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
One of the most fun and conceptually interesting RTS games I've ever played. It's an Original War in more than name.

The Good Things:

Good mix of RTS and RPG mechanics. Humans are a limited resource, they do not respawn and you do not receive more than you start with. Each character can gain experience in 4 classes and can change between classes at any time in the appropriate building, retaining his experience. Some things (construction, vehicles, turrets) can be automated, removing the need for a human pilot, but computer-controlled entities are slower, shabbier and do a lot less damage than those controlled by a skilled human operator. You must always find a balance between risking irrepleaceable human staff and wasting resources on suboptimal AI control.

As far as vehicles go, you build your own by mixing together a chassis, engine, pilot (can be manual, remote or AI) and weapon. New components are made available by researching them and/or building addons for a vehicle factory, each of which can only accomodate five - and all factions have at least six possible addons that can be mixed and matched. While higher tech components are generally more powerful than lower tech ones, they never render the low tech ones truly obsolete, by virtue of costing more, taking longer to build and being more specialized (e.g. heavier vehicle turrets cannot rotate unlike lighter ones).

The game is in isometric 2D, but the terrain obeys the rules of 3D in a way no later games did - unit vision works as "rays" instead of a radius, trees and rocks obscure vision, units on high ground see and fire further, soldiers can go prone in tall grass to become virtually invisible, etc.

Terrain layout, elevation, trees have a real impact on gameplay. Infantry uses it as cover and to avoid vehicles, vehicles require a tracked chassis to ascend slopes, and the most powerful vehicle in the game is balanced by being too huge to climb a hill.

The two campaigns are long, varied and challenging. If you go for all bonus objectives on the highest difficulty, there's easily at least 60 hours of gameplay (though I clocked 120 due to leaving the game running in the background a lot). The American campaign is the best one, having a good story and characters.

The Bad Things:

The sound effects are bland and lack variety. There is only one sound effect for most actions.

The voice acting in the Russian campaign ranges from mediocre to terrible. This is specific to the English version only - the Polish and Czech versions actually have very good voice acting.

The Russian campaign feels drawn out and padded at times, and the Russian part of the story feels disjointed.

There is no campaign for the third faction (Arabs). You get many glimpses of clearly important Arab characters and see echoes of their ventures happening offscreen, but the campaign that was supposed to explore them in detail was never added since the publisher went bankrupt.

There is no skirmish for the same reason as above.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
36.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
This is my favorite game of all time. I found out about it through a demo disk that came along with a game magazine back in 2001 and was instantly hooked. I must have spent a good 50+ hours playing the demo alone before I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of the full game.

I still to this day bring Original War up regularly in my gaming rants about how unique and inventive it was, and how disappointed I am that it didn't get the attention it deserved. I'm glad to see it on Steam now and it's fun to see how pretty much everyone else that's played it feels the same way as I do.

Besides compatibility issues this game has aged extremely well. I still play it from time to time over 900+ other newer games I could be playing. While it is an RTS it actually plays quite a lot like an RPG, in that you don't mass produce anything and the few units you get to control all for the most part have their own stories and personalities. When they die they're gone for the rest of the campaign (unless you restart, which will become a habit if you're anything like me and can't let a single person die ever) which makes you actually care about who you send out and think more carefully about the most optimal ways to get all your soldiers out of each mission alive. A lot of official reviewers back in the day complained about the voice acting but personally I love it. Sure it's not super serious and amazing but I find that it adds more charm to the game, makes me laugh and makes the experience generally more memorable. I frequently find myself doing impressions of the more 'unique' characters like "Oleg Kazimirowicz Gleb" (you'll understand when you run into him) and lip syncing all the story dialogue when I go back and repeat playthroughs.

You have to assign characters to research new technologies for weapon, building and vehicle production as well as go out into the world and collect enough resources to sustain that production. In singleplayer it's all tied into the story very well. There are also dialogue options and decisions you'll get to make that strongly impact the outcome of your game and who will survive.

As far as I'm aware, the online community is still very much alive for the game however it still seems to be mostly Czech and Polish folks playing (as those two countries were basically the only places where the game was decently advertised). It's because of this that the first words ever I learned in another language besides English were polish, back in the GameSpy arcade days. They were swear words (go figure).

There's also a website called 'owsupport' that actively releases patches/fixes for the game and as their name suggests, provide support for the OWar community so if you ever need help that's the place to go.

Overall it was an underrated, poorly advertised game that deserved a lot more credit for it's ingenuity than it received and I highly recommend buying a copy and giving it a go.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
One of the best games you have never heard of. The story is very unique and overall fun to play. For $5 you can get many hours of gameplay with an active community despite the age of the game. Oh yeah it still gets updates and has higher resolutions available.
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18 of 28 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
You can have monkeys as suicide bombers

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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
59.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
I remember when the demo for this game first came out in an edition of Strategy Gamer. The concept behind it seemed simple enough but it was the story that piqued my interest.

Traveling back in time and changing history? First you had my curiousity, now you have my attention.

Then the characters began to grow on me. From the opening sequences as John I could already feel my heart pang for him as he finds the love of his life but it's already a million years too late...

Original War is a game where your soldiers as your most valuable resource. You are reliant upon only a finite number of troops and must manage these to the best of your ability and limit casualties. The game also features a bit of an RPG system where each soldier can develop as a Soldier, Engineer, Mechanic and Scientist where each class has its own strengths and weaknesses.

And these soldiers if they survive are present for the entirity of the campaign and depending on the choices you make, follow you to hell and back.

Overall I think Original War is a very fun and addictive game that never really got the attention it deserved when it was released.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
54.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
One of my favourite games of all times!
My top 5 would be (Original Wars, Fallout2, Jagged Alliance 2, Silent Hill 2,3, Grim Fandango)
Great Storytelling! Great animation sequences (both the Hand Drawn for the americans and 01's for Russians) I felt like I was there the whole time, replayed every mission several times, tried to take every medal without save in master strategist difficulty and unlocked all futures! This is a game where every choice you make counts! Full of great ideas and innovation! I played this game back in 2002 and I was really amazed by it! Now that I found that it is supported by steam it was an instabuy! Why this game is one of the best:
It is an rts with rpg elements! Different voice,face,background story for every troop you have! if you shoot with someone his soldier skills will improve, if you heal with someone his scientific skills will improve, if anyone dies, he dies forever!
You can make choices in the game that affect the future!
The american and the russian campaigns focus in the same story from two different sides, you have the choice to either stay loyal to your superiors in rank, defy them and take leadership or abandon the army focused factions and join the alliance of american and russian scientists! Each campaign has it's own feeling and both are amazing! In the american campaign you will search for siberite and blue will be your favourite color! In the russian campaign you will search for alaskite and red will be your favourite color!
*Spoiler alert* In the American campaign you can build your own base (Epsilon Base) from the scratch! Make the bulldozers clean the field from the rocks and trees and then start building your base! It will take you some time to built it but the buildings you made will stay in the same place you built them through out the campaign and you will feel like you are having an impact with the game! And after your Nemesis Gorky Burns your base down you will feel furious to see your creation destroyed! You will have choices like who will you appoint commander of the base when you leave, should you interrogate/kill/release a prisoner and should you go out of your way to help your friends or not?
You will also develop Bombs of mass destruction, train apemen to gather resources or make them soldiers or teach them to drive tanks or explode on enemies! or train them to be suicide apemen that drive tanks full of explosives! control tanks with remote towers or AI, hack enemy AI tanks, research alien artifacts with unique properties, become major, take the russian communist quiz to prove yourself an ally of the cause, kill endangered species millions of years before they become endangered, become invisible or shoot time alternation bazookas!
If you like hamburgers,time travel and/or mother russia, you will like this game.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
A great combination of RTS and RPG. With a nice original story taking place in the far far past. The whole thing becomes even more interesting in multiplayer as all three sides are very different and apply different tactics.

A pity the planned arabian datadisc never came out (officially, one can play the mod version), but you can still enjoy the US and Russian campaing which allow you to see the conflict from both perspectives and enjoy the twists and turns temporal travel has on history.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
96.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 7, 2014
This is just as fun as when I played it when it was new. I've gone through every mission of this game so many times, and now I'm playing it yet again. Ah, the memories...
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
35.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Most probably the greatest RTS I have ever played. With Steam support you're able to join battle in great redesigned multiplayer menu with IRC support and I would say that it's the biggest killer feature since it was the only weak point of the non-Steam version.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2014
Very Old game, got it when i was young, tough game, worth the cash since its cheap,espeically on sale,gurantee money well spent
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 5, 2014
Best game ever
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2014
Great old game. One of the best RTS game ever made. Buy it now or forget that you are RTS fan :D
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
30.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
Played it about 10 years ago on solid copy. Bought it, and got hooked right back - simple, intuitive mechanics offering multitude of possibilities, great story that still makes one play each and every mission to find out some more about it, plus well-written and played characters (even background ones). What's not to like?
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 19, 2014
I remembered playing this game when it first came out, but forgot the name of the game. I found it again some time ago and fortunately it was available on Steam, so I bought it and started playing.

It was even better than I remembered. This game is really underrated and offers a great RTS experience. At the time of its release it was really ahead of its time. I really like that the vehicles and buildings can be upgraded with different modules and configured as you see fit. I haven't tried the multiplayer yet, but I believe that the customizability will really add another dimension to the strategy.

The single player missions are very nice. Sometimes the full out heads on assault just won't cut it and you have to use your smarts to overcome the situation at hand. Very challenging at times.

Overall I suggest you try this game, should you like the RTS'.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2014
Good game
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
53.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 10, 2014
Cold war gone hot 2 million years in past? 10/10.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
40.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
10/10 great value, pretty unique game with good story line
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 13, 2014
some people are just graphic nazis i give it a 10/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
13 years after release - still original and great!
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