+ Good graphics.
+ Challenging AI.
+ No redundant units.
+ Does not require the original Direct Action to play.
- Campaign not as good as Direct Action.
- Online multiplayer requires 3rd-party software (Hamachi or GameRanger)
- AI does not support all game modes.The Good
We'll start with the graphics: very good considering this game came out in 2006. The stock maps just as detailed as Direct Action, but with far more variety - Aside from the usual desert and urban maps, you can now play on more forest and jungle theatres.
Infantry play a prominent role right up until the late game. Act of War focuses less on tank rushing and requires the player to think a bit more. Well placed infantry, for example, can ambush a tank convoy from trees/tall grass and gain a x2 damage bonus. Likewise, artillery could be used to clear out forests and potential ambush zones. It's nice to play an RTS where infantry are more than just cannon fodder.
There are some very interesting game mechanics here too. While oil is your main source of income, it is still a finite resource and will run dry eventually. You can take and hold banks to acquire funds, or you can even take wounded enemies as hostages for ransom.
The expansion also adds naval warfare, which actually works rather well once you get the knack for it. Each faction has it's own unique variety of ships with different play styles.
Another interesting mechanic introduced to High Treason is the addition of mercenary units. These are expensive, but very effective specialist units that excel in what they do. For example, you can hire a specialist team of medics to provide a heal radius around wounded infantry - or call in the Rawhide artillery team and level an enemy base with rockets from afar.The Bad
The AI does not work in naval warfare, which means you're up against humans whether you like it or not. Only a minor complaint, but sometimes it's nice to practice against the AI and hone your skills.
The campaign is brutally hard compared to Direct Action. Some veteran players might be okay with the tougher AI, but I personally struggled. Also the lack of live-action cut-scenes was also a disappointment.The Ugly
Compatibility issues lie with Windows Vista, Win7 and Win8. There is a Win7 compatibility patch on ModDB which works perfectly - you can get it hereFinal Thoughts
Despite the initial compatibility issues, this game has proven to be a very underrated RTS. It's what C&C Generals should have been.VERDICT: