Wot I Think: R.U.S.E.

By Jim Rossignol on September 10th, 2010 at 2:30 pm.


And henceforth Ruse, because game names with extraneous punctuation in are just silly. Right, Stalker? Right. There can be much in a name, too. In this new real-time strategy from Eugen Systems and Ubisoft everything is based on that one titular conceit: trickery, misdirection, the flow of information. The ruse is the game. Some RTS games make a nod to this stuff with their fog of war, or even stealth tanks or whatnot, but here it’s the key to success. It’s remarkably refreshing. Also, I flagrantly kicked out my network cable and I didn’t care! Why not? Because there’s no always-on DRM. But enough pre-blather bombardment. Let’s launch the landing craft of criticism directly into what I think about Ruse…


It can’t be easy to put a fresh coat of novelty onto the topic of World War II. Even a decade ago it had become less-a-joke-more-a-horrible-reality that every other RTS announced would be a World War II themed game, and trend has only grown more acute. Eugen Systems’ real achievement, then, aside from making an unusual and interesting strategy game, is to do it without leaning too much on other people’s accomplishments in designing for that particular theatre of war. Ruse is recognisably a real-time strategy of the first order, but there are few reasons why it is distinct and original.

The first reason is the ruse mechanic itself. This is essentially a series of power-ups that can be deployed across sections of the map to give you a tactical advantage. Some of them are recognisable from other game systems – boosts to speed, or to morale – but the ones that are distinctly Ruse’s own are what make the game interesting. These include fake buildings, and even entirely fake offensives, complete with decoy units made of string and cardboard. There are spies to reveal exact enemy unit types, and decryptions to reveal their intentions (illustrated by those lovely, iconic arrows you’ve seen sweeping across various screenshots.) The ruse cards fortify the game with tactical depth, giving you a breadth of options that will inspire some complex and surprising play. Some of the moves you will make become prescribed, such as using “Blitz” to speed things up at the start of a skirmish or mutiplayer game, but others can be more subtle: decoys that allow you to execute neat ambushes, setting your enemy up to think he’s taking on armour, when really you’ve gone all out for aircraft. That sort of thing. (In concrete terms, Ruse cards are timed, everything else is built with cash-over-time.)


The critical difference between Ruse and other games of this ilk is that by default Ruse shows what is on the field. However, it doesn’t show what the units are, exactly, it says whether they are in the air, on the ground, light or heavy. As such the field tells you a lot more than the traditional fog of war, but leaves out the crucial details. This ability to read the huge battlefields at a glance is the how and why of the game’s conceit. You are always keeping an eye on the tokens in the distance, trying to second-guess your opponent, AI or human. But what you see isn’t necessarily how things are, which means thorough recon and well-timed ruse cards are all that stands between victory and being duped to death.

I love the way this map-information is presented, too, which is another reason why Ruse stands out for me: the long zoom. Pull all the way back and you’re floating in the clouds, and the entire map is laid out as if it’s a war-room map table, complete with unit markers flagged in red, blue and green. Zoom back down to the ground and you can see a brilliantly detailed 3D map, and get a sense of the scale. The biggest of these battlescapes are titanic. Of course you tend to end up hovering around at a middle-ground zoom, so you can still get the big picture, but also so that you can fiddle with the exact placing of units. Breaking up big stacks of icons and making sure, say, infantry are using the cover of woods or towns is best done if you’re a little closer in (although you can break up the units with the bottom bar). It’s still useful to have that full camera, however, especially when you’re taking on one of the gigantic large scenarios.


Let’s dig a bit deeper into those layers. A game of skirmish or multiplayer (or the campaign single-player, too, although it takes a while to get going) starts off with a rush to grab a number of supply dumps. Yes, Ruse isn’t exactly going for historical accuracy, and looting is the mainstay of your resource-mongering. With the cash earned you’re able to build a number of unit-producing bases as well as a selection of fortifications. From this you can elect which of your units you want to build. This is where things are at their most rigid, because the rock, paper, scissors of the game is quite narrow. Anti-armour stuff is useless against infantry, infantry can only hit armour if they can ambush it, planes can only hit the specific target they are designed against, and so on. Then there’s the matter of reconnaissance. Getting line of sight on some things requires spotter planes or fast-moving spotter jeeps. These will raise the range of certain units, like tank-killers, or simply allow other units to attack. P45s, for example, can take on air targets where-ever they can see them, but you will have to reveal the exact unit type on the ground for them to divebomb anything.

As a game unfolds you will tend to only have the resources to lean to one tactic, so you really have to go for it, or at least go for the other supply dumps. Taking them off your enemy is crucial to swinging the balance of the battle. I found turtling, my usual tactic in these games, to be rather difficult, as it doesn’t take too much to bust open bunkers. Not only that but you will need to build anti-aircraft, anti-tank, and anti-infantry nests together if you want to cover all bases, and none of them will fire on something they’re not supposed to be shooting. Much better, generally, to stay mobile and find a good way to give your enemy a kicking. I enjoyed the complex rushes you’re able to pull off. It’s impossible to rely on one unit type, but two or three, supported by a couple of Ruse cards, can earn a win. Large numbers of tanks helped by infantry were my calling card, but I soon learned the limitations of even this. An entire column of armour can be wiped out if hidden troops surprise you, but they’re also strong against your infantry if they’re out in the open. Using the terrain, therefore, if more than a cosmetic function.


For the majority of time, I suspect, the enemy of a Ruse player will be another, real person. Ruse’s multiplayer has had one of the lengthiest betas I have ever participated in, and as a result it’s both highly polished and exquisitely balanced. Yes, really experienced players will eat you alive, but it’ll only be down to your inexperience. As a game it’s superb to learn and it’s going to be great to master. Of course there’s plenty of other options to teethe on if you don’t want to leap in at that deep end, because the skirmish maps are many, the options wide open (and best defined by time periods across the way, with later dates opening up more options), and the AI perfectly functional. You will beat the medium AI after just a couple of attempts, I should think, but the hard is a trickier, if not as squirmy as most humans, and it often knows a lot more about the right way to employ those ruse cards, too.

There are also “operations” which are one-off missions (a couple of which can be played co-op, as can any of the skirmish set ups) which are both interesting and challenging. I suspect my perspective is skewed somewhat by them being a mature level of the game. Having played the beta enough to be familiar with everything I found myself twiddling my thumbs through most of the campaign. The story, although well produced, with splendid quarter-screen videos to illustrate events that are taking place on the field as you play, really left me a little cold. The twist really wasn’t much a twist, and the characters are cardboard and the dialogue a lukewarm time-filler. A shame, really, but there we are.


Initially the pace of Ruse seems odd – slow movement across large maps – but once you are attuned to it the tactical challenges are fresh and compelling. I feel the demo under-represents precisely what’s on offer here – because there’s so much, and the multiplayer really is a great offering on its own – but it does at least give you a good sample of the mechanisms and the presentation. Ruse is unusual, but not in a way that will really exclude anyone. I’m going to have to recommend it.

__________________

« | »

, , , , , .

103 Comments »

  1. Torgen says:

    No UbiDRM?

    If you’re lying, Rossignol, I *will* have to swim the Atlantic and throttle you. That was the crutch I was using to not buy this game (enjoyed the beta, but quit playing early as I wouldn’t buy it with the UbiDRM.)

    Now to see if I can get any of my usual suspects to purchase as well.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Well, no UbiDRM, but it’s activated through Steam.

    • Torgen says:

      I put all my games on Steam so I can pack away the CDs in the closet, so that’s no hindrance to me.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      I do that, too. But Steam is a turn-off for some people.

    • Snall says:

      I just hire young Vinnie Jones to beat people in the UK for me. Swimming is hard.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Well, technically Steam is an “always-on” DRM… after all, you have to have the program running whilst you play.

      It just doesn’t necessarily need to be internet connected.

      I avoid Steam myself though, I feel they are getting too close to a monopoly on the digital distribution market, as things like this prove.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      As long as Steam has great sales it’s not a big deal to me if they rule digital distribution. I do prefer how Stardock handles their DRM however. They just don’ t have the sales Steam does, though they do have some good deals on occasion.

  2. Navagon says:

    Ubisoft seem to be swinging back in the direction of being a decent company again. Don’t expect it to last though. They’re less stable than Tom Cruise at a sci-fi convention.

  3. Butler` says:

    I’m not too ashamed to declare I’m going to buy this on the PS3 for the Move capability. I’m all burnt out on PC RTS with SC2 anyway, tbh.

    It’s one of those “good PC game, great console game” situations.

    Did you find the whole thing simplified at all? Like, almost arcadey compared to conventional RTSs? I’m guessing this is made up for by the step away from micro and toward slower, more strategic play.

    • D says:

      I thought we agreed a while back (here in comments) that “arcade” is the opposite of “strategic.” But I can see how the slow pace would benefit consoles traditionally suboptimal control inputs. Also: “‘good PC game, great console game’ situations” don’t exist (lousy ports don’t count, as it’s technically not the same game then). The reason for this is USB controllers and display output. Also: Get outta here you! (PS. Most of the above, tongue in cheek.)

    • D says:

      Apologies, upon re-reading I think you also said that “arcadey” is made up for by strategic play.

  4. karry says:

    I’ve been reading lots of negatives about campaign storyline, traditional retarded villification of USSR, and that its pretty much a “console first” project. I’ll pass.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      There’s nothing “console first” about it. That’s just mindless prejudicial nonsense.

    • karry says:

      Thats what they said about Dragon Age, Bioware claiming that PC was the main target. And it had that unmistakable console stench, achievements, console controls, console-standard inventory and codex.
      Do you honestly believe that any sort of multiplatform project with simultaneous launch can have PC as its main audience ?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      “Bioware claiming that PC was the main target. And it had that unmistakable console stench, achievements”

      I read this far then stopped, man.

      KG

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Right. Play Dragon Age on 360 and on PC. Then you can judge which was the target platform.

    • Huggster says:

      DOUBLE KILL

    • DiamondDog says:

      What exactly is a “console-standard inventory”?

    • subedii says:

      Karry, are you even aware that originally, Dragon Age wasn’t going to be shipped on the consoles until 6 months later? The PC version was finished by the time they started the real work of porting it over, they just used the remaining time to polish it.

      For that matter, aside from the obvious PC interface (seriously, it’s about as close to Baldur’s Gate as you’d want whilst still packing refinements), it’s also had some hefty modding support.

      I’m tired of whiny fanboys decrying anything they don’t like as being “dumbed down teh console tards lol”. At least take an effort to understand the design decisions in place and why they were taken.

    • Jakkar says:

      The fashion winds have changed. Console-hate has become passe. Doesn’t change the fact Dragon Age was a bland, bland game that felt like a sop to the PC market, not an honest attempt.

      I felt like I was playing Fable with a style poorly aping the witcher and gameplay vaguely aspiring to Baldur’s Gate, but getting stuck on the fence while climbing across Neverwinter Nights.

    • subedii says:

      Define “not an honest attempt” here, at least in terms of aspects that were definitively hamstrung by it being a console release as opposed to being simple design decisions. Because whenever people criticise a game as having “sold out” or similar to the dreaded console fanbase, the typical points of angst are usually ones that I’d consider design decisions, not design limitations. Pretty much every multiplatform game gets this, even the clearly PC led ones, to the point where no feature is considered satisfactorily of “PC Origin” unless the game itself is wholly PC exclusive. It’s like an endless repetition of “No true Scotsman” but for games (you see a lot of this with PS3/360 fanboys as well).

      On the flipside, I can see a few design decisions that were clearly made contrary to what would have made the game “mainstream”, not the least of which was the lack of action based gameplay (an in fact, having a model of combat that was fairly similar to Baldur’s Gate minus the D&D detritus), and the refusal to have a fully voiced main character.

      The sequel’s going to have both IIRC, and in general the devs have stated it’s going to be “more like Mass Effect”. That’s the point when I would start to get worried.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      @karry : I’d be interested to know how you feel about Valve’s achievement system on Steam? Is that console stench as well?

  5. Morte says:

    hmm I didnt find anything at all ‘slow and strategic’ about ruse in beta. It’s as frantic as any competitive rts I certainly find the micro gets pretty intense mid to late game, but there’s just an entirely different strategic perspective.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The multiplayer isn’t slow, but it does have an odd pace to it compared to other RTS games. And the campaign is a bit slow in places.

    • Arathain says:

      From the beta, I found it to be frantic in rather a different way. Rather than worrying about the exact position, movement and abilities of individual units, Starcraft style, it’s on a greater scale, as in “get fighter cover over here, main enemy line falling, push towards artillery, oh crap infantry ambush, where’s my sodding recon, send in paras as distraction, ack radio silenced tank push, build more tank destroyers..” being a typical 10 seconds mid-game.

    • Warskull says:

      The micro should never get intense with RUSE. If it is, you are clicking units unnecessarily. This game is all about strategy over micro. Units will handle themselves very well in battles, your battle micro should consist manly of using ruses (Terror and Fanaticism) to gain the edge in key battles.

  6. Wilson says:

    I liked this in the open beta, so I’ll certainly get it at some point, though I might wait for the price to drop a little. Only because they removed that DRM though.

  7. SapphireBullets says:

    Ubisoft only dropped its ridiculous always-on DRM for this title because it uses Steamworks. Future non-Steamworks games will still have it.

  8. benjamin says:

    If I was good at strategy I’d buy it. But that’s a big if. Personally, I blame myself, I’ve never had the motivation to really ‘master’ a RTS. Technically speaking, I have the mathematical and analytical required. What I lack is the time and th energy to learn a whole new game form.

    My last strategy game was Supreme Command and yes I could beat the story on hard but that was by my unchanging tatic of building a bigger army than anyone else and sweeping across the map in a blaze of glory.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      You won’t have any trouble with Ruse’s campaign.

    • Klaus says:

      unchanging tatic of building a bigger army than anyone else and sweeping across the map in a blaze of glory.

      That’s always how I go at it. Pyrrhic victories are simply my specialty.

    • subedii says:

      I dare say you wouldn’t have trouble with most RTS campaigns, they almost always play out that way.

      Starcraft 2 steps things up a bit with some nice variety, but they do a good job of making it intuitive and easy to get into. And even then you’re still usually massing as many troops as your resources can muster to roll over the enemy.

    • Sir Derpicus says:

      How do you get a Pyrrhic victory in a game anyhow? game-over as you complete your last objective, yet trigger the lose-flag at the same time? Does the computer really “lose” in this case?

  9. Chris D says:

    Boring technical question but does anyone know if there’s a way to zoom without using the mousewheel? Mine is broken. I had a look at the demo and couldn’t see a way of redefining the controls, just wondering if the main game is different.

    • Thants says:

      You can afford $50 for Ruse but not $20 for a working mouse?

    • Chris D says:

      I can’t afford both of them. Actually neither of them right now, I blew my gaming budget on Elemental. Not a good call.

      But it’s really more of a case that it’s not a problem apart from the tiny handful of games that don’t let you redefine your keys. If RUSE was a must buy it might be different but its a maybe and this is the deciding factor.

    • D says:

      In a pinch like this, you can download autohotkey and make a 4 line script to assign . and , to “send, {mousewheel up}” and “send, {mousewheel down}”

    • D says:

      I said “4″ because I was going for a small number. It’s of course only a 2 line script :p

    • Chris D says:

      Thanks D. That’s useful to know.

  10. Lagomorph says:

    Far from being “distinctly Ruse’s own” – Command & Conquer introduced decoy buildings in 1996 with the release of Red Alert and has incorporated decoy buildings and decoy armies in subsequent C&C releases.

    Eugen’s and this reviewer’s claims that this game mechanic is “distinct and original” is the real ruse.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      And those games don’t play anything like Ruse, for precisely for the reasons I explain.

    • bleeters says:

      I can’t say I ever noticed a pracitcal use for decoy buildings in Red Alert or Generals other than getting players to waste their occasional super weapon. There was nothing tide-turning about them.

    • Arathain says:

      The decoys buildings can do all sorts of clever things here, whereas they’ve been a novelty in previous games. The idea of decoys is not new, obviously, but the implementation feels fresh.

      Play as the UK, the best air nation. Your opponents can see the buildings you construct, so if you construct a dummy airfield you can fool them into getting early AA they don’t need to stop a paratrooper rush that isn’t coming. Ahh, but smart players usually camouflage buildings as their first ruse to hide their early build, so the airfield might be assumed to be fake just because you’re showing it. Unless it’s a double bluff, and it’s actually real. How about if you drop the camo a few seconds after your fake building goes up? An observant player will spot it, and might assume you meant to hide it, but got distracted and dropped the camo late.

      All good clean psych-ops fun.

    • subedii says:

      Reminds me a bit of Frozen Synapse. Aside from wheels-within-wheels planning and strategy, a good deal of it depends on your estimation of how smart you think your opponent is. Because if you fully anticipate them to do plan X because it’s the one that you believe gives them the greatest advantage, then you plan in order counter it. But if they weren’t smart enough to do that and went with less efficient plan Y, you might be the one ending up on the back foot simply because you were trying to counter-act moves that were never made.

    • Devenger says:

      If anyone finds this sort of bluff/double-bluff game design stuff interesting, I recommend http://www.sirlin.net/articles/yomi-layer-3-knowing-the-mind-of-the-opponent.html (sorry, Sirlin-haters, but this article really is quite good).

  11. Panzeh says:

    The problem with the decoy armies/buildings in other RTSs is that they don’t really give enough information on the map to scare anyone with a decoy. In RUSE, you see the dots on a map where enemy units are that are out of your sight, so you can normally see an attack coming from a while away, so a decoy has enough time to really fake someone out.

    It has just enough information to disinform the player.

  12. Lagomorph says:

    I’d also like to add that Warcraft III and Starcraft II both incorporate this same game mechanic (pioneered by C&C: Red Alert). In Warcraft III this game mechanic was called Mirror Image and in SCII it is called Hallucination. There is even two Battle.net achievements in SCII for utilizing this game mechanic.

    I’m sorry, but this reviewer didn’t do his research or just doesn’t know RTS games. Decoy units, structure, and armies is not new or original – although RUSE *does* place a much stronger emphasis on this game mechanic than the games that came before it.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      “RUSE *does* place a much stronger emphasis on this game mechanic than the games that came before it.”

      Yes, you could say that the game *makes it its own*. Nor is Ruse limited to those elements, as I point out. The issue isn’t whether Ruse invented this stuff, it’s how it’s implemented. Ruse’s revealed/unrevealed units, combined with decoys among a number of other ruses, makes it distinct.

    • Noc says:

      Also, the nature of the Starcraft means that Hallucination/Mirror Image almost never end up being used for misinformation purposes. They can function as decoys to draw a bit of fire in combat and as disposable scouts, but their limitations and the sight ranges involved make using them to mislead any competent opponent extremely difficult.

      I’m sorry, but this commenter either didn’t do his research or just doesn’t know RTS games.

    • Rich says:

      As has been mentioned earlier, CnC’s decoys didn’t have much significance, as you’re unlikely to influence the enemy’s stratergies and push them towards making a mistake. OK WC3, SC2 and indeed SC1 (in Broodwar maybe) made better use by allowing you to make fake units, but their only use would be during an actual attack. You’d hope to make the enemy react to some fakes, then hit them with the real ones when they’re busy. Still, it’s not a game changing ploy, as the fog of war means your enemy won’t see either your fake or real units until they’re on his doorstep.

      Clearly, as you might imagine from the name, RUSE was built with subterfuge firmly in mind.
      If you’re still going to harrumph over it then fine, the real inventors of this idea are the people who used it real wars.

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      You fools! Mirror Image was originally a spell in D&D, which forced an attacker to hit the mirror images before the caster could be attacked directly, so you are all wrong.

      Yawn.

    • PeopleLikeFrank says:

      Pfft, these game clearly just stole all this stuff from RISK anyway.

      I’m never buying a computer game again.

    • Rich says:

      Nah, definitely Chess.

    • Thants says:

      Clearly all these games just stole the idea from mirrors, which fool you into thinking that there’s another person in the room who looks just like you.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      @ SheffieldSteel

      One point to you and every comment below, had a nice little giggle, esp at the risk comment, I <3'd that game back in the day.

    • DH says:

      So?

      If it’s still a game you can tankrush(all of WC, C&C and SC are) to death, then whatever tiny unit ability feature one unit or building has becomes completely irrelevant, as it was in those games.
      You just steamroll through anyhow.

      RUSE is supposedly different as the actual gameplay _MUST_ revolve around this, as opposed to being a sprig of parsley on the side so that you can go “Simpsons already did it” in InternetSmartAlec videogame terms.

    • Mac says:

      @DH
      Either you have a very broad sense of tank rush or you’re a really terrible player playing against other terrible RTS players and have accumulated a very shallow amount of experience.

    • Warskull says:

      Decoy buildings were useless in C&C. Mirror Image (only on one hero) and hallucination have minimal strategic implications and were more micro and scouting tools. This game is a very different style of RTS than all the other big ones out there. With both Blizzard’s RTS and the C&C series you tend to know the strategy you are going to implement at the loading screen.

      RUSE doesn’t have true fog of war and thus gives just enough info for deception to be possible. They don’t have to scout your fake building, they see it immediately and they know you are making units (they just don’t know what type beyond light, heavy, or air.)

      @DH:
      You can’t really tank rush in RUSE. Most rushes have simple counters that makes an all in rush a bad play. 1-2 infantry units in the forest beat basically an infinite amount of tanks if they get surprise attacks. Should buy you time to get out anti-tank guns. Infantry rushes get mowed down by defensive guns. The only rush that will probably give you trouble is an air rush the first few times you run into it.

      Ruse is very much more about controlling the map and making the opponent react to you.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Pretty much everything in Starcraft has a counter. If you are prepared it’s not impossible to counter. I’ve seen a lot more than just tank rushes in games of Starcraft. That’s actually probably a really bad tactic overall, and if it works, it is mostly games with unskilled players.

  13. dingo says:

    No no no! Ubi didn’t dial down the Ubilauncher!
    In this special case Ubi is only the PUBLISHER (Eugen Systems doesn’t belong to Ubi). The DEVELOPER did choose Steam from the beginning so that’s why it uses Steam and not the Ubi fail protection.

    However you still have to login to ubi.com with your ubi.com account at startup and keeping with the tradition those ubi.com servers were not available last night (why change the habit)!
    They work fine for now though as far as I can see.

    So Ubi is still evil and fails as usually!

    Oh and the game is cracked since 2 days also keeping the tradition of no effective Ubi protection since they started their crusade against paying customers.

  14. Dominic White says:

    The outright resistance to this game, often for completely imagined reasons, is rather disturbing to see. There’s a lot of incoherent paranoid rambling against it, but not much in the way of logical criticism on show.

    • TCM says:

      People irrationally hate Ubisoft games now, even when they don’t have UbiDRM. Didn’t you get the memo?

    • subedii says:

      Personally I’m resistant to it because I tried the demo and the singleplayer was pretty… well… dull. What I’ve been hearing from other people is that it pretty much stays that way throughout. And in terms of epic WW2 atmosphere, Company of Heroes nailed it far better.

      I might have gotten it for the multiplayer, problem is that I’m already into Starcraft 2 and SupCom 2.

      For me it was a toss-up between this and Men of War, and right now I’m leaning more towards MoW to be honest.

    • subedii says:

      I think coming in at the tail end of an extremely awesome year for RTS’s and strategy games may have done more to damage its chances basically.

    • HonkIfUrADungeonKeeperAvatar says:

      I would at this point in Ubis case like to quote Adorno and say “There is no right life in the wrong one.”

      Submitted under logical criticism :P

  15. DiamondDog says:

    Very tempted by this, enjoyed the demo. Shame the campaign seems to be a bit of a let down.

  16. SheffieldSteel says:

    Does it have a speed control?

    I prefer my RTS games to have a speed control. It makes the difference between “spinning plates” and a relaxing and enjoyable way to pass the time.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It doesn’t. That’s only in an issue in maybe the first 4-5 single player missions, I think.

    • Kakrafoon says:

      Starcraft 2 does have a speed control – but, unfortunately, you are not allowed to use it on hard and brutal difficulties, while normal difficulty is way too pfffff. This makes me sad.

  17. dethgar says:

    I got this game on release day. I’m far into the campaign but I’ve run into bsod’s. Ubisoft support doesn’t seem to give a shit either, which sucks, because I really like the game.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      That’s a bummer. It’s been entirely stable for me, even in beta.

    • dethgar says:

      Yeah, and the generic nature of the bsod’s makes it almost possible to diagnose on my own. It’s caused by ntoskrnl.sys, which typically means a corrupt system, yet I don’t have the problem with other games. Personally, I think my 5770 is to blame, it seems to be somewhat odd at times.

  18. laikapants says:

    This might be the first RTS I’m brave enough to strongly consider playing against strangers. Maybe.

    Even if I don’t, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience playing against the AI. With a minor exception of the Hard AI being disturbingly fast about placing Supply Depots. I got two placed by the time my ally had set up five. It gets especially fun when you’re in a multi-front battle trying to replenish my Panther division only to realize I’m down to nothing but my Admin building for cash.

    Also, I have yet to figure out why at least two of the reviews griped endlessly about the speed. With the exception of some campaign missions (in which you start with only a couple units and no base), there’s always *something* you should be doing. Staring at your tanks as they roll along country roads isn’t one of them, probably.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I definitely recommend it multiplayer. I’ve had some amazing matches.

    • laikapants says:

      @Jim: I’m still going round and trying out all the different nations for each of the time periods to see what I’d be most likely to build in each situation and all that. My only real issue with wading into RTS multiplayer waters is my tendency to turtle for most of the time and then launch a massive all out attack at the end. My reaction time and mouse clicking skills are not as quick as they should be. Still the scoring mechanism combined with hopefully a general use of the timer gives me enough hope to at least stick a toe in.

    • Arathain says:

      I’m a complete multiplayer RTS incompetent, and I had a lot of fun playing the beta. I don’t normally like the frantic nature of the genre, but this was more enjoyable. It rewarded good ideas as much as it rewarded obsessive micro. Give it a go.

      It is a bit tough to turtle effectively- you really need to get out and force your opponent to react to you, otherwise you’ll get yourself countered. However, artillery creep backed up by anti-air and anti-tank, or go strong infantry/paras and grab lots of forests and towns could suit a more conservative play-style nicely.

  19. Jimbo says:

    I played through the SP demo on Steam and the cutscenes appear to be quite awful, but what they show of the game itself seems… ok. Not exactly very rusey, but enjoyable enough.

    I’m still undecided on this one. I’d only play it for the campaign, and they’ll probably be giving it away in a couple of months.

  20. Choca says:

    I like the game but found the campaign horrible. From the pacing to the stupid story to the unlikable characters, it was a real chore.

  21. Durns says:

    You can tell when a commenter has found this story through the steam link – they always refer to “this reviewer” or RPS as a “blog”. Its funny to see which games drag the most people over – Counterstrike is a big draw, and apparently RUSE is a hot topic now…

  22. Vandelay says:

    I’ve been really getting into SC2 and enjoying playing against real foes so much. It really is exactly as Quinn’s recent article described. When I eventually get a little tired of SC2, I might well pick this up, but it sounds like it plays so differently to anything else out there that it would be very hard to take traditional RTS thought into it. Playing singleplayer is usually hopeless way to learn in these games too.

    How well does the game guide you into learning the mechanics and how to use them against online opponents?

    • subedii says:

      Can’t speak from exp[experience of this game, but generally you learn the online game by playing it, Singleplayer rarely helps out in that regard.

      That said, you’re already over the biggest hurdle, which is actually getting over the fear of online RTS’s long enough to enjoy them.

      My personal experience was with getting into DoW2 online, but once I started having fun playing that, I found moving onto Starcraft 2 and SupCom 2 was fairly natural and not really threatening. You still need to learn the rules and mechanics, but the chief thing is you’re not afraid of losing, and so you get to grips with the gameplay much faster and enjoy it more whilst you’re learning the basics,

      Presumably the game has a replay function, and it’s always handy to watch some higher level replays and get some tips. As well as your own to see what your opponent did to give you trouble, and where you could have improved your game.

  23. Jac says:

    Sounds a bit like the board game stratego but rtsified

  24. benjamin says:

    I may buy it just because I had the following idea:

    Put a load of tanks in some trees and a few infantrymen in the open. My enemy will think I’m badly using a Ruse that swaps things around. They send in what they think are the right units only to have them be completely destroyed.

    I win that battle and make my enemy start to question whether my other Ruses are double bluffs.

    Hee hee!

    • SheffieldSteel says:

      Sounds interesting. I wonder if it works against the AI?

      The most entertaining AI to play against is one that makes mistakes like a human – one that you can fool.

      I think that Artificial Intelligence isn’t really the Holy Grail that people think it is – I think it has less value to computer games than a really good Artificial Stupidity system.

  25. andrew says:

    why why why do I never save my message before trying to enter the CAPTCHA. sigh

    basically I highly reccomend this game. It has the best skirmish mode of about any game that I’ve ever played. I’m enjoying the skirmish a lot more than company of heroes, and COH was excellent

  26. andrew says:

    @benjamin

    Tanks can’t go in woods. Anti tank guns like the pak43 can however. A pretty effective combo is putting one recon, 3 AT gun, 3 light anti-aircraft guns, and some infantry in the same wooded area. If you back it up with a couple cheap howitzers, this combo will take just anything. The units in the woods are stealthed unless your enemy has recon in the area.

  27. Gremmi says:

    I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer, but if it’s captivating enough (cf: Minecraft, Blood Bowl, Dawn of War) I enjoy a nice game of it, especially co-op?

    Does this have co-op? Does it? DOES IT?

    (ps I would like to take Jim out for a beer)

  28. laikapants says:

    Two team rounds of multiplayer. Two rounds of me getting my face rubbed in dirt. But I dare say I liked it, for the most part. I dislike that my quadrant partner went super turtle-y to the point of leaving me hanging when my base was repeatedly assaulted, but that’s how it goes I suppose.

  29. Talorc says:

    Hmm, I must admit I had been totally ignoring Ruse, dismissing it as yet another RTS.

    I just noticed from the wot I think it was by Eugen systems though – I very much enjoyed their last effort with Act of War. Definitely on the purchase radar now, might try the demo

  30. bill says:

    This sounds rather awesome (except the poor single player, as i’m mostly a single player gamer).

    As i said the the SC2 thread, I actually rather hate fog of war. IMHO it’s one of those “sounds great/realistic in theory, but is dumb/unrealistic in practice”.
    I’m sure great players can cope with it by scouting and knowing all the unit counters off by heart, but for me it’s just like playing a game where i have no information, so I’m playing blind. I can’t really imagine a real war where the generals would have that little information.
    It tends to make all ideas like stealth and decoys rather useless – what use are they if they won’t be seen until the unit gets within 5cm of the enemy anyway?

    This sounds like an awesome mix of the idea of fog of war (incomplete information) with enough information to make it possible to be tactical – yet with the ability to trick people.

  31. Milkman says:

    I love this game, because its more about tactics. I cant keep up in other RTS games when playing online, but in RUSE i can finally win online.
    When i was in beta i sucked hard at beginning. Then i looked some tips from internet and tried different thing offline. In my next game i destroyed my opponent.

  32. escort bayan says:

    This sounds like an awesome mix of the idea of fog of war (incomplete information) with enough information to make it possible to be tactical – yet with the ability to trick people.

  33. Chimpyang says:

    Can we please please please do a RPS night for this? I love the game already but would love to play with a more diverse set of people…..you quickly identify who the rushers and turtles are from their names.

  34. Die Happy says:

    love the game, pre-ordered it shortly after the VIP beta although back then it wasnt even sure if the dreaded ubi-drm would be in or not.

    since i played all betas and free weekends excessively multiplayer so far has been a cakewalk, at least in unranked matches.
    many players dont seem to understand the importance of reconnaissance and unit mixtures.
    building 20 king-tigers is great but they turn useless when your enemy deploys a shitload of fighterbombers or you sen them through unscounted towns occupied by heavy infantry.

    but concidering the game is only out a few days i hope this will change an ranked games usually turn out to be “harder”.

    i can agree on the singleplayer, the twist was not really twisty, and if you played the beta etc it wasnt even a bit challenge even on hardest difficulty.

    i did enjoy the coop-challenges, havent tried the single player ones yet.

    hoping people will learn the “basics” quickly and refrain from simple and often easy to counter tank, bomber rushes and go more into the depth of the game.

    hope that didnt sound too arrogant ;-/

  35. wrath says:

    I have to say that I was severely disapointed in this title. As you say the cards are on the table, and although specifics aren’t given, they’re not required. So at least one of the Ruse cards (hiding your units, was it radio silence?) really is just reintroducing typical fog of war to the table, far from being innovation this is more or less a markettable contrivance. Generally speaking in a competitive environment deception is already quite important. Hiding your tech choices, or expansions in far off regions in the map, or even constructing a tech building while in plain view of an enemy scout, and cancelling it when its gone. I’ve even seen fake defenses (real bunkers and turrets, but no units) or units blocking ramps to nowhere to distract the enemy. Flying a Barracks to cover a mine field. This is just some of the tricky stuff I’ve seen in Starcraft.

    Not to mention the pace of the game, dear god. In beta I had an enemy try rush me with tanks, his rally set to my base. I had enough time to build an Anti-Tank building and pump out M10 Wolverines, in a blatant paper/scissors/rock moment and heavily outnumbered I won the engagement handidly with only a couple of M10s. Infantry seem nigh useless except for their ability to take buildings. Real world tactics don’t even seem to apply at all. As for the scope of the game, Supreme Commander did big scope first and that actually functions as an RTS.

    As far as WW2 RTS is concerned, I’m going back to Men of War.

  36. Mehoo says:

    Does anybody know of any good fansites for this game? How come there’s not Gamereplays.org portal? All the community sites I’ve found kind of suck really hard. I’d like to read some good strategy discussions and download some replays.

    anybody know of anything good?
    Some sort of community building activities would be cool.
    RPS night would be awesome

  37. escortbayan says:

    very very thanks… escort bayan