Tomorrow's War Is NOW Ripped from today's headlines, Act of War: Direct Action™ is a frightening tale of suspense, international intrigue and geopolitical military conflict. This real-time strategy experience puts you squarely in control of counterterrorist forces and delivers a first look at tomorrow's war.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (109 reviews) - 79% of the 109 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 14, 2005

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About This Game

Tomorrow's War Is NOW
Ripped from today's headlines, Act of War: Direct Action™ is a frightening tale of suspense, international intrigue and geopolitical military conflict. This real-time strategy experience puts you squarely in control of counterterrorist forces and delivers a first look at tomorrow's war.
The Situation:
A crippling energy crisis. Terrorist attacks. Massive strikes. Global instability.

The Enemy:
A shadowy Consortium of back-room conspirators determined to throw the world into utter chaos using widespread terror tactics.

The Heroes:
A new "direct action" operation known as Task Force TALON to counter massive military assaults, rescue hostages, conduct classified spy missions, take prisoners and stop an unpredictable enemy bent on toppling the world's governments.
  • Command ultra-realistic modern military units
  • Power-packed combination of high-end cinema, video effects and live action
  • Intense multiplayer operations for up to eight players
  • Real urban combat, including POW captures and landscape destruction
  • Gripping storyline by NY Times bestselling author, Dale Brown

System Requirements

    • Supported OS:Windows 2000/XP
    • Processor: Pentium 4 1.5 GHz or equivalent (3.0 GHz recommended)
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended)
    • Graphics: 64 MB Hardware T&L-compatible video card (256 MB recommended)
    • Sound: DirectX® version Windows 2000/XP-compatible sound card
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB free HD space
      * Broadband connection required for online multiplayer play
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (109 reviews)
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56 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
44 of 51 people (86%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 21, 2015
Just finished my playthrough of Act of War: Direct Action last night.
However did play the GOG version as the steam version isnt fully updated with Win 10 support yet.

That beeing said, the steam version should support upto Win 7 so if you have that then do not fear from buying it on steam!

So that is over with, now to the game.

Act of War is a RTS from 2005 that follows the "purest" RTS form with build basing and lots of unique units for every faction. The single player playthrough is fun and gives you quite a few headshakes even for a old school RTS players like myself, every unit has it´s strenght and weakness which is amazing and makes it impossible to just take a huge bunch of tanks and win the game, every unit has a counter and even footmen the most basic unit in every RTS is in fact valuable in end game.

The story itself isnt much to talk about, it does the job and drives the game forward in a good speed and in a way that makes you want to continue, it is made with on old Red Alert/C&C formular with greenscreen recordings and real action videos, this gives you a more insightfull way to follow your missions and why you need to do what the mission states, it is overall a better story than most RTS`s i´ve played and it really keeps you stuck in many ways.

Gameplay wise Act of War has everything you could wish for in a RTS and more. That it starts with the entire lineup from any classic RTS, footsoldiers, light tanks, tanks, special units and ofc super weapons. Now that is all like any other and that is what we enjoy, but hold on, there is a lot more, like capturing prisoners of war for money, counter super weapons, off screen airplane control, usage of heli´s to save your wounded soldiers and tanks across the battle field and much much more.

All in all Act of War is a great RTS that has been overlooked by many as it came out while there was other more famous RTS`s on the market which is a shame as it is diffenetly worth buying and worth playing.
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32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2014
A very well written and playable game which keeps you engaged and moving along even if you only intended to play one mission as you will find it too easy and tempting to not quit after just a mission of the campaign. Be warned, for Windows 7 and 8, excluding 8.1, it requires some research and going through a few hoops to get it running, but well worth the effort.
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23 of 25 people (92%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2015
Act of war direct action is one of the brilliant strategy game ever made for me.Probably I must have played this more than 100 hours at non-steam version when it was first released.It's scenario was inspired from Dale Brown's stories (Who is well known military novel author like Tom Clancy).If you like Tom clancy style scenarios or series like 24,homeland etc you will probably like this game.

AoW:DA also looks similar C&C titles,building base,gathering petrol resources and producing units to crush enemy.Cutscenes is one of the best part of AoW.Which made with real actors.On missions a little video screen appears on the corner and begins to inform you about mission and shows news just like C&C.You can capture wounded enemy soldiers as a prisoner and sell it.

Game changing shape according to missions.Sometimes you control small tactical units to eliminate enemy forces or sometimes building bases and producing mass armies.

As far as I read around, some guys complain about that game doesn't work on windows 7 64 bit and more than 2 GB ram.I run windows 7 64 bit home premium and have 8 GB ram,I haven't experienced any problem with game.I just installed and hit the play button it launched.
Edit:A patch has been released for game to run on win7 and 8.1

+Good scenario
+excellent graphics (compare 2005's titles not todays)
+C&C style videos
+No unit limitations
+tactical units
+never bored (it depends on you of course :) )

-No widecsreen resolution but there is a mod on moddb that can add widescreen resolution

As a result 10/10.
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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2014
Great RTS, that was overshadowed by C&C generals. This game does not use hit points for its units, but uses real world scenerios. For example, a tank will withstand rifle fire all day. But one shot with a helfire missile and it is destroyed. Most RTS would have the missile do 10 out of 15 damage but instead the missile will do its job. That is the basics. The campaign is great and skirmeshes are endless. The only problem is it is a pain to get to work on new computers. Which is a shame because it uses all real world models on all the units, and it still looks pretty good.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
72.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2015
A RTS game with almost realism feel will force even the veteran strategist to rethink their move; because, here it doesn't take 20 shots with a tank to kill 1 soldier no, now it takes 1 shot to kill 5 men. This game was built before its time so the graphics are not the prettiest but still good enough to get a closes comparison to C&C Generals, and with the destructive environment you will almost think its Battlefield 4. All factions are balanced with there own pros an cons Vs. the other factions so there is no top advantage of taking 1 faction over the other, but on that note I do recommend taking the group you can handle better than the others, but try the others if you don't like them then learn what they can do.

Now the best part about this game is it's now available for Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1 and giving the time it was created this game should run fine enough on low end PCs.

7.5/10 $10.99 CAN was hoping for $5 but still worth it.
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1, 2014
I liked this game. It was fun to play and they had some interesting weapons. For example there was a tank that can send out an exploding drone. I like the resource system being a simple system of oil or money. I also liked the different aircraft. Some where tactical while some where strategic. The also did a good job of using stealth for reccon. I often don't play RTS games because I am a TBS fan and RTS games are sometimes to quick for me. At the easy setting the pace was nice and enjoyable and I didn't feel rushed.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Act of War: Direct Action is a military strategy game developed by Eugen Systems. Eugen Systems are the developer of games such as the Wargame series and R.U.S.E. The game is set in an unknown period though seems to be set around the 1990s-early 2000s. A global energy crisis occurs and the uprise of terrorist organisations allow them to use the crisis to their advantage to gain publicity. However, suspense is great as to revealing whether a president of an existing major oil company was in charge of the crisis and the uproar of terrorist attacks. You, the player take control of Task Force Talon to fight back the terrorist threat that is secretly hitting many American nations including San Francisco, Washington D.C. among other worldwide nation states.

The game sounds great on paper but the question of does it live up to that expectation is present. And yes, I can simply say that this game immerses the player into the story through the games mix of in-game cut scenes and a real-life movie. Instead of in-game cut scenes during each mission there will be a live movie playing that continues the story through actors. I really like this approach to the cut scenes because this game was released in 2005 and in-game cutscenes would have been dull at best. Therefore by placing actors to enhance and further the story it allows for more elements and reach in the story compared to in-game cinematics.

According to the game mission selection feature there are 33 missions. These missions are crafted with profound engagement and are relatively simple. The main missions are solid. They progress the story, are intense, and they are entertaining. As the game progresses the missions and story improves in quality. Missions would include taking a stronghold and/or defending your base or secondary missions of destroying field generators to assist in your main mission. The use of secondary missions are substantial as just mentioned as if you complete them they provide benefits. For example, destroying enemy field generators help in limiting the enemy weapons. Or capturing a bank would provide more money for your base to build troops, among others. I completed the game in about 13.5 hours on normal difficulty. Each mission had an appropriate length of completion whilst varying in difficulty.

The gameplay is your typical gameplay for a strategy birds-eye view game. You control multiple units and move them along the battlefield while completing your objectives. It is good at best at times, however the pathfinding can be ridiculous. For one having many vehicular units is annoying because they get caught over little objects like civilian vehicles. Moving the units is annoying as there are no options for formations to move your best units at the front followed by your weaker/more useless units. So other than those two complaints gameplay was good.

The graphics are pretty solid for a 2005 game. They flourish in showcasing the buildings, locations, and capturing the various locations. The sound is pretty annoying including the main menu theme. I liked the dialogue in the game quite a bit. The dialogue is short, sweet, engaging and intense, which improved the quality of the story.

Towards the technical aspect things are not so great. There is no full screen option in the game. The game is capped at 1280x720. However, the limited resolution is understandable for an 11 year old game and there is a mod to allow for higher resolutions. You cannot access steam overlay, which is a real nuisance. Basically if you want to talk on steam or do anything else on your computer while you play you have to quit the game as minimising will not work. It is a major nuisance as specified but if you are playing for multiple hours at a time it does not overly bother you. And there are framerate hitches when moving along the map or selecting other parts of the map.

Lastly the game was recently updated to allow for Windows 10. Fair to say it works like a breeze.

Overall, Act of War: Direct Action is a very unfamiliar game amongst people on Steam judging by its 80 reviews. But for $2.99, I totally recommend this game. You will get a lot of value out of the game with multiple game modes but you will enjoy the story and the gameplay aspect of the game. The rating is low due to its technical issues but I can't penalise it overly due to its age. In saying that, the positives are strong. 6.75/10.


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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2015
Negative Review previously posted

Used to work but not anymore. Latest update supposedly supports Windows 7, well before you hit the Add to Cart button, I highly recommend you do not buy it! Absolute waste of money, time and download limit.

Very disappointing as the idea of this game is awesome, but that is all.


For a while there I thought the Dev was not going to update this title to run on later operating systems. Well the other night I read in the forums that they had done an update so I thought why not give them a chance. So I downloaded and ran it and to my amazment the menu came up, I followed all the screens to get into the game and started playing. Absolutely amazing work Dev. Thank you for making this classic title run on later machines. Awesome work!
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
26.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2015
The game has a Command and Conquer feel to it except you're not giving EA money. Very good value.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
56.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 28, 2012
Game is well worth the $10 for any RTS fan. Played Campaign only.

Music is very generic and bland.
Can't rotate building placement.
Story/cutscense are corny/cheesy, not bad just cheesy. (could almost follow it on mute)
No higher resolution or 16:9 support.
64-bit OS systems have to set their virtual memory (total including VRAM) to just under 3gb to run.

Has a pretty nice array of weapons to use, and the campaign is nicely paced.
Graphics are pretty good especially for the time it was released.
Base building, air support, tactical insertions the game is done pretty well.
The game runs pretty well (despite having to virtually chop off most of my RAM)
The sound effects in the game (including voice over quality) were all pretty good.
Upgrades were fun to work towards and unlock.
Has some nice use of units not used in many RTS games.
Its a very well rounded Modern RTS.

I will be getting the sequel to it real soon.
Need a slightly more recent one with Co-op LAN/online
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Recently Posted
The Kamikaze
22.7 hrs
Posted: October 14

What a game, I found this accidentally on an Amazon search for old RTS games, I saw some thumbnails and the game graphics looked ok.

Digging into Steam I found both Act of War: Direct Action and the expansion High Treason. I am really pleased with both, mostly on the Base game. I certainly don't like futuristic Warfare games while they are based with regular know actual Warfare, like US Army's official Divisions and stuff, but I did an exception here.

-Fully Modern/Futuristic Warfare
-Lots of playable units
-Building progress AoE alike
-Long Interesting Campaign
-LAN Support ☺ A+
-Ok Cinematics
-Ok save US type Campaign
-Destroyable Environment and Buildings
-Challenging Gameplay

-It requires a lil bit of time to figure compositions for correct offense and defense
-Online gameplay not available unless using 3rd. party LAN apps.

So if you are a realistic with some futuristic warfare kind of guy I totally recommend you to play it!
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28.5 hrs
Posted: September 21
Very interesting and fun to play strategy from the strategy god Eugen Systems.
This strategy game is different from many RTS where you are playing in open world. Here you will mostly play in the cities.

Tom Clany style plot written by Captain Dale Brown, life action movies, units gain experience from combat, lots of city fighting, POWs and other interesting game elements.

Unfortunately kids with win10 laptops bough by their parents and other schoolboys with the latest hardware and lack of bains are givving negative review due to lack of skills to install XP for older games.

My rating: 10/10
I wish there were more games like this one.
Highly recommended.
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SCARRIOR- ⚡⚡ -Kamerad SCAR
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 15
Really wanted to play this as i did as a kid, but the update may allow for more than 4gb of ram but the game still does not work due to graphical fps errors.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
16.1 hrs
Posted: August 4
started playing, game is pretty good. Real time cutscenes flow into the game very well to progress the story.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.7 hrs
Posted: July 4
This is a gem in the rough that didn't get nearly enough attention compared to other RTS genre leaders. My time played on this doesn't do justice to the endless hours spent on multi-player back when this was still a new release title. I have also played the campaign a few times through now, and it does have a touch of cheesy with the cutscenes and story, it certainly isn't any worse than any CnC live action cutscenes for cheesy content.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Straight Butter
0.8 hrs
Posted: June 21
Game claims multiplayer. There is no multiplayer!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.5 hrs
Posted: June 11
A truely amazing RTS. With its modern setting and all. The only thing that is really not that great is the long loading time for windows 10. But otherwise it is an amazing game worth checking out.
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5.4 hrs
Posted: May 9
Act of War is one of the finest Real-Time-Strategy games in gaming history. Its graphics are superb even by modern standards, and the realistic US Army faction makes Act of War what many gamers wished CnC:Generals had been. The game plays very similarly to Generals, but lacks any generals themselves to add flavor to the skirmishes. The units don't have anything witty or neccessarily interesting to say; they instead respond in ways that you'd expect their real-life counterparts to respond. If you're a fan of RTS but want to play in a world which looks and sounds authentic as opposed to the sci-fi or cartoon representation of other RTS games, then AoW is exactly what you're after.

Despite its age, it works on modern machines, including Windows 10 and even NVIDIA mobile series graphics cards, which are notorious for their legacy incompatibility. If you're like me and more interested in playing skirmishes than the campaign, then Act of War: Direct Action is uneccesary because Act of War: High Treason is a standalone expansion pack which includes the full game. The only thing that DA has which HT doesn't is the DA campaign.

AoW is an amazing game, quite possibly the best RTS yet. It's a steal at three bucks. Buy it, play it, love it.
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0.3 hrs
Posted: April 22
I can confirm this works on Windows 10 x64. I am running it no problem. This game is great I had no idea they relaunched it!!!! It brings back so many good memories!!! Awesome job!
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10.4 hrs
Posted: March 1
work on win 10 64bit , must buy for rts and non rts fan,I had played this back in the days when it's first came out,one of the best rts out there,I can't enough recommend it
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