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An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made. From intricate wargames to soothing peacegames, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.
Following the success of the Wargame series, Act of Aggression [official site] sees Eugen returning to a more traditional form of RTS. Retaining ideas from the studio’s previous Act of War titles, as well as the clever confusion of R.U.S.E., it’s a game that aims to fill the gap left by the disappearance of Commander & Conquer Generals 2. Based on the forty five minutes I’ve spent in its company, I reckon it might be more than capable of filling that gap.>
There are oversights on RPS. I’d be the first to admit it. We didn’t review Wargame: Airland Battle, and we should have done. We still might! We should. I should>. In fact, here’s a capsule review from the few hours I spent with it: it’s a fine RTS. Better, I would say, that Eugen’s previous games, Act Of War, and RUSE, the latter of which we enjoyed so much, or its immediate predecessor, European Escalation. Anyway, Eugen Systems have sent word that the new DLC for Wargame is going to be free. It makes all of the campaign missions co-op, there’s a new multiplayer mode, there are new units, five new multiplayer maps, and there’s a great range of options in skirmish setups. Eugen explain: “the first free DLC from Wargame AirLand Battle, has been developed specifically to respond to the demands of the community.” If the demands were: “give us a load of cool extra stuff for free”, then I think the might have got it right. (more…)
Apologies to non-UK readers for the next few sentences. Here is some hold music to tide you over. The word “deck” is interesting. In the hands of Alan Titchmarsh, for example, it means “The bit of a garden that is not the grass”. In certain parts of northern England it means “He who is not Ant”, and it is spoken with reverence and awe by court jesters. It is a word that can even mean “The bit of a ship that is not the floaty bit”. In games, though, it means the collection of units you bring to battle. And in Wargame: Airland Battle, that means tanks, jets, and everything in war that is not a tank or jet. (more…)
Named in what appears to be a bid to play with search engine terms, Wargame Airland Battle is now available to those who pre-order. The sequel to the simply excellent European Escalation will appear on the 22nd of the marvelous month of May, and until then there’s a beta going on. Eugen explain: “The early access Beta gives an exclusive and immediate access to the ‘Destruction’ multiplayer mode, with the first 4 playable maps and pre-made army decks for all 12 nations of the game. Enough to plunge happily into the battle before everyone else, and participate in the last online tweaks before the official start of the conflict next month!”
Recent battle-zooming trailer below. It’s fancy. (more…)
Eugen send word that they’ve released a free DLC (aka “a patch”) for Wargame. It contains a new game mode, they explain: “Wargame’s DLC features “Economy”, a new game mode available in both multiplayer and AI matches with new objectives for commanders worldwide. To earn victory in this mode, you will have to reach a certain number of Command Points before your opponents (points obtained by taking control of areas in the field). These points can also be used to deploy reinforcements, and a hard choice will quickly be imposed: continue your march toward victory or batten down the hatches and build your defenses!” There are also five new maps. Better still, the game is currently super cheap. So now’s the time to start the downloading of this excellent piece of Cold War RTS.
Wargame: European Escalation snuck up on me like a Delta Squad stealthing around the side of the map in a pair of Chinooks. The dull, heavy register of the rotors sounded a rhythmic beat that went utterly unnoticed by the net of Luchs Recon Vehicles that I’d spread like an ill-repaired net across my game-spotting flanks. Which is to say that I didn’t hear about it until a good month after it was released, both because my friends who play strategy games are useless, and no one> seemed to have covered it. But once it landed that surgical strike on my wide-open brain, it was difficult to understand why> there weren’t people on nearby hilltops, shouting about how great it was. It looks beautiful, has unique, interesting battle mechanics, and a meta-game of deck building that makes each encounter different, thanks to the units that people bring to the game.
It’s time to talk about those encounters, and you shake you by the lapels. This is why Wargame is worthy of your attention. (more…)
Yes, they’re all at it. There’s a whole bunch of them playing Tribes Ascend, and they even have their own server. The same is true of the Arma corps, who get up to regular shenanigans, which now even includes shooting zombies. Then there’s the surprisingly popular Mass Effect 3 shootery, which is taking place over here. If you prefer things a little more persistent then the Eve and Perpetuum corps are both recruiting, while the unstoppable Blood Bowl league persists in quite a different way. Long may it continue. Finally, it’s worth pointing a wizened finger at the Wargame: European Escalation gang, because that game is certainly worthy of your attention. There’s plenty more, of course, over here…
We mentioned earlier in the week how impressed we are with Wargame: European Escalation, and it is about to get better – for free! This weekend’s DLC, which already has a Steam page here, adds new skirmish AI which allows up to seven players to take on an AI-driven opponent – meaning you can play out the kind of epic co-op that made the Men Of War games so special. Then there are seven fresh multiplayer maps, of which two are “asymmetric battlefields for Attack/Defense games”. Finally there are some new tools to enhance team coordination on the battle map. And that overhaul will cost you nothing. (The game is on sale, too.) Splendid.
There’s a game we’ve not said much about in the past few months. And, well, that’s a shame, because it’s a great game, albeit with a forgettable name: Wargame: European Escalation. It’s the Cold War sequel to the RPS-beloved RUSE, and Wargame is – perhaps surprisingly – one of the strongest contenders for RTS of the year. And so it was with some urgency that we sent RPS chum Joe Robinson to investigate its workings, and to talk to its creators, Eugen Systems.>