Yes, But What’s It About? War, The Game Released

By Alice O'Connor on May 15th, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

Huah! etc.

Dota. DayZ. Tropico. Outlast. Banished. These are just words. What do they even mean? And they’re video games? I don’t understand at all. War, the Game is a name I can support. “What is it?” you ask, so I give you a swift clip round the ear and you should jolly well thank me for not telling your mum about cheek like that. (You’ve always been a bit away with the faeries, mind, so perhaps I should be clear that it’s a slimline global domination RTS made by former Rockstar technical director Obbe Vermeij, who released it on Tuesday.)

War, it turns out, is a straightforward RTS with a minimalist economy and only seven types of units. Who knew! War buffs make it all sound so complicated but no, you have infantry, armour, aircraft carriers, and, ah, whatever the other army men are nowadays. Dogs? Do we still do dogs? Vermeij cites board games like Diplomacy and Axis & Allies as influences.

It’s also set on a proper 3D globe to allow all sorts of spherical shenanigans, and you can zoom out to see Earth backlit by the sun, cities lighting up at night, and borders vanishing, making us wonder… why? Why do we fight?

It’ll run you £2.99 on Desura. Here’s Vermeij himself playing one round:

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49 Comments »

  1. Honsou says:

    There was a game similar to this on the Playstaton 1 (I think) can anyone remember the name of it? Its super obscure but seeing this game gave me a massive nostalgia kick.

  2. Jackrum says:

    Why doesn’t this start with “War, War never changes.”? oO

  3. 6unn3r says:

    I still dont know what War is all about….can anyone say it for me? Huh?

    • dE says:

      It’s a popular classic throughout the centuries.
      Person A has what Person B wants. So Person A is going to take it away from Person B and make sure Person B won’t be in a position to take it back again.

      The basegame proved a bit stale, so over time a few key expansion packs were released:
      Group Identity: Allows the forming of groups made up of random attributes by means of a common, totally made up, origin story.
      Defense Rhethorics: Introduces a set of Abilities and Feats that allow you to spin anything into the defense of your home.
      Bringing Democracy: Redefined home to be the world and allows invasion of everyone.
      Backstabbing Bastards: Allows the removal of other players by means of using money to cause problems.

      But it’s not a good game. Oh it’s popular and many folks love doing it, but it’s about as well designed as Monopoly. A common complaint is how map-packs only rehash existing material and are all based on the ancient continent content pack. Also the Backstabbing Bastards Expansion is generally considered a bit lame, as could be seen in the Project Ajax Finals, the players haven’t made up to this very day. They’re also trying to iron out the kinks, some areas of the game don’t work too well with the “won’t take it back” part of the game, see Alsace for example. Others are complaining about balance issues and we don’t see the Atom Bomb in play anymore, even though everyone still holds onto them, while publically feigning ignorance, for that off chance they might get to try it. Also I will go to hell.

      • Michael Fogg says:

        *salutes*

      • Arona Daal says:

        Yeah, but the good thing about War is that the Loosers can not whine after getting fragged.
        Also Teamplay and Participation is usually enforced by the Game Mechanics,and therefore high.

      • Syra says:

        You forgot to mention the classic reorganisation of the primary objective of taking the other person’s stuff known colloquially as the “I don’t like what you believe” house rule. Under “I don’t like what you believe”, the version which inspired the Bringing Democracy expansion, you may initiate invasion moves based on religious, cultural and societal differences because you don’t like what the other play is up to over in his heathen hovel.

        Popular tactics include the early game rush or “crusade”, and the high risk “genocide” manouvre.

        The primary objective is to kill or convert enough “non-believers”, “pagans” or other undenominated barbarians to spread enlightenment or come to the realisation that there is no one left to spread enlightenment to. This should make you feel better about yourself.

      • Lanfranc says:

        War is about making the other guy do what you want. That, fundamentally, is all there is to it.

  4. Turin Turambar says:

    I like how their own video shows a totally passive, braindead AI.

  5. philbot says:

    There was also a great War: Game PC release named Wargame Red Dragon that came out in April, you guys said you would review it… And then nothing, which is a shame.

  6. Big Murray says:

    Isn’t it less what it’s about, and more … what is it good for?

  7. dsch says:

    What is this Outbrain thing at the bottom of posts? It disguises links.

    • HungryDave says:

      You might have some malware on your system overriding links. Might want to do a scan. I don’t see any modified links.

      • frightlever says:

        I see “Outbrain” ad links. I wouldn’t call them malware, they’re just fucking tedious linkbait.

        • SillyWizard says:

          Sounds like a type off malware to me…

          • frightlever says:

            I see them on Chrome on PC and Firefox on Android. Sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outbrain

            They’re the “More From the Web” links at the bottom of articles. If you hover over the link you see an address, when you click it you go to that link via the Outbrain portal, so you’ll see a paid.outbrain link flash up briefly if you’re paying attention.

            I googled to see if Eurogamer had any official word on their use of Outbrain, since it’s clearly confusing you, but the best I could get was a member of staff who said, on forum, “Er, yeah, it’s sort of advertising. I guess it does look a bit suspect, but it’s pretty innocent and just recommends the things people actually click. So far it keeps recommending a story about a loaf of Hovis. I’m not sure what that tells you about our readership… ”

            Gah, trying to dazzle us with PR-speke…

            You may as well say Doubleclick is malware. It’s not, it’s how websites make money. Out of curiosity what exactly do YOU see at the end of an article?

  8. Chaz says:

    Should have used a more robotic voice for the announcements, similar to the War Games one. That female voice just doesn’t quite sit right, too natural. Roboticize her!

  9. altum videtur says:

    “War is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will
    which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game
    because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence.
    War is god.”

    Thank fuck that everything has already been said before and thus I can not appease my own vanity by adopting the pretense of wisdom and profoundity and rather must scavenge the works of others to at least present an image of intellectual awareness where in truth is only a profusion born of arrogance and stupidity.

  10. Voqar says:

    The quality of commentary on this site is pretty low. Kind of reminds me of public chat in MMORPGs (trade chat in WoW, for ex)

  11. Mr Bismarck says:

    “I’ll just ignore that and attack Moscow.”

    Well that’s never gone wrong for anyone before.

  12. sinister agent says:

    From the creators of “Shooting”, “Puzzle”, and the writers of the smash hit, “Online Game”.

  13. Newt says:

    That looks strategy lite, at least on first impressions, but would be a really fun timewaster much the same as that minigame in Gangs of London on the PSP. Or like Risk.

  14. darkshadow42 says:

    I played the demo, was very fun so I got the full version. Some of the levels are quite nicely designed, you can replay the Falklands which was pretty damm awesome. You can tell its influence from the A&A series down to the minimalism in design, all units are equal in combat terms and each have a unique role.

    Only thing I think this game is lacking is multi-player (the AI is not bad but a little single minded) and a way for fighters to incept bombers and actually beat them 1 to 1 in combat (ALL units are equal in combat). The weather and day night cycle is dead pretty if only it had some impact on the game.

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