Wargame: European Escalation and YOU
Hello fellow Hivemind peeps, I'm here to talk to you about Wargame: European Escalation.
What is Wargame: European Escalation?
Wargame: European Escalation is a strategy game by the developers of R.U.S.E. The game is set during the late Cold War and East Germany is invading the West Germany. Suddenly NATO and the Warsaw Pact get involved in the conflict and thus eight nations clash.
What sort of gameplay am I looking at here?
The gameplay is similar to World in Conflict. However, there are no commander abilities such as airstrikes or the fatal tactical nuke. Instead there is just you and the units you have and making the best with what you have. You capture tactical positions which will earn you points to spend on reinforcements over time and/or they can be a reinforce position, providing a route for your units to come in from.
Within your units you have to take into consideration of their morale, their ammunition and even their fuel. You can use cover to your advantage, line-of-sight and higher ground has more meaning as you have a higher range and view below you while some tanks may not be able to hit you as their barrels cannot aim that high.
There are several different types of units you can select from, which comes in various categories such as tank and support. You get these units from your deck. A deck is composed of units you unlock within a faction and a deck has a limit with how many units a deck can be composed of, and how many units in each category are allowed. You can create your own number of decks to suit whatever purpose you wish, but you can only bring one with you into battle.
There are also states into which your units can get in that can cause frustration. Such as going over rough terrain and the wheels are muddy, thus they're slowed for thirty seconds or during a heavy firefight your beast of a tank gets hit by a lucky shot and his optic aiming computer is busted for a minute. Suddenly your tank cannot fire for a whole minute, and the same can happen to your opponents.
Units will also earn XP in how they perform in battle, which when they gain a level gives them better morale, better aiming and so forth. You can also select the level of reinforcements you wish to have. Although the higher the level the more expensive they are. This brings into a whole new strategy of wanting to keep your units alive. Not just because you probably cannot afford reinforcements, but because they can gain levels and thus more powerful than the opponent.
This is by no means a click-per-minute type game here. It's slow paced and a match can and usually will take up to a half hour to finish.
How do I unlock these units?
You can unlock units by earning Command Stars. Command Stars are earned through the single player campaign by completing Primary and Secondary Objectives. Their difficulty is measured in the amount of Command Stars you earn. You also earn Command Stars by gaining levels in multiplayer.
Spending these stars on units with a ton of stats, with each unit having a cost to bring into the field and sometimes upgraded versions themselves, is a strategy in itself. An enjoyable one at that, as you don't know which type of infantry to go for and how it's to be transported to the type of missiles you want your anti-tank infantry to use.
How is Single Player and Multiplayer?
Single player takes the form of skirmish and the campaign. In campaign you're given a pre-determined deck to use, but with the advantage of earning Command Stars. While skirmish you use your own deck, but earn no Command Stars. The AI is competent and sometimes has surprised me, to the point where I had to admit defeat in the third mission in campaign because the AI snuck around and took my forward base, thus preventing me to call in reinforcements.
Multiplayer, however, seems to be where the meat of the game is at. You can play using your own servers with your own rules or you can play rank matches. Both of which allow you to earn levels and Command Stars, but obviously the ranked one is what gets you on the leaderboard. Multiplayer can be played up to a maximum of teams of three or four and reinforcement points are split equally to all members of a team. Teamwork is the name of the game in these team based matches, and while you don't need coordination to guarentee a win, it does help immensely.
What are the graphics and sound like?
Beautiful, on both accounts. I play on Medium with DX11 enabled and it's awesome. The sound of scouts using grenade launchers in the middle of a fight is very cool, and extremely loud. Zooming into a fight taking place is very cool and highly enjoyable. Especially the artillery...cool people don't look at explosions but I cannot resist whenever I rain missile fire into enemy tanks and support, hearing the missiles screaming down before impact. It also runs really smooth on my machine.
Where can I get this game?
You can get this game from any retailer you wish. All CD keys can be used on Steam so even a purchase on Impulse or Amazon's downloadable service can be used to unlock and download it from Steam. Normal retail price is €30.00 but recently there have been sales. It's also definately worth the price tag as I'll be playing this game for a long time to come, and the first DLC is free to all people who have the game.
Cool. Anything else?
RPS has talked about this game before, but alas there is no WOT I THINK just yet. This is by no means a Hivemend's Wot, just an impression of a game that made me want to write one of these types of articles for the first time ever. This is a highly enjoyable, slow paced RTS game and I one I hope that many other people will enjoy.
Thank you for reading this.