RPS Advent Game-o-Calendar: December 20th

It’s a gaming rundown, increasingly late,
Of digital adventures, all lovely and great.
So it’s time for a gander
Inside Fairtrade Calendar
Door’s contents revealed as…


All I want for Christmas is the world to not explode in a Nuclear Armageddon.


(Om nom nom nom nom)

But for you, also distracting from that somewhat questionable use of assonance, it’s World In Conflict.

That'll show 'em.

The hypothetical Cold War setting was a stroke of genius. Not for the actual campaign game, of course. That was enormously pretty but as empty headed the most linear of shooters without the actual viscerality to raise it up. When the scripting insisted you were going to be overwhelmed and had to retreat when – in fact – you have the place locked down tight and could carry on lobbing naplam at the Ruskies all day, it kind of lacks.

(That said, a word about hateful, loveable dipshit Captain Bannon, the most hilarious incompetent of the year. Cut-scene after Cut-scene played out like the old TV Go Home gag Condorman Fucks Up. You become convinced that if Bannon took a trip to the bogs, he’d emerge covered in his own shit, sheets of tissue paper flapping from his mouth and mumbling something about being incapable of holding the position and having to pull back. But – y’know – he did okay in the end, so we’ll have to salute him.)

It’s multiplayer where it shows its greatness, and where the Cold War works best – because it’s a conflict that was never fought. It circled around endlessly in us Nuclear War kiddies, all Mushroom Clouds and steely convoys moving across western Europe. It was endless, eternal like… well, like a multiplayer game. In fact, mechanistically, the reason why the multiplayer game is so great is pretty much the reason why the single-player was so (er) merely acceptable – building upon the solid foundation of Ground Control (I like to think of Ground Control and the Total War as separate circa-2000 armies marching off to work out what else the RTS could do in the mainstream, in opposite directions), a ticker system which gradually feeds you points to purchase troops with. In the single-player game, this just meant that losing troops didn’t really matter (The missions where you lose the ability are the best in the games, it should be noted). In the multi, it meant the pace was kept up. Married to the online-shooter ability to drop in and play, and the fact the games played a similar length to a serious bout of Team Fortress 2, this was a game which moved at the pace of an action game, without sacrificing its inherent intelligence. It was pop like Kylie, but clever-thunked mathrock like Battles.

(That it was HOT like Kylie helps. For at a few weeks, it was my personal answer to the “What’s the most graphically lovely game in the world?”.)

What else?

Oh, I know.

A picture speaks a thousand words. In which case, here are three reasons why World In Conflict – in Miss Lavinge’s parlance circa 2002 – rocks my world.




It’s only one reason, really, I know.

But it’s a good reason.


  1. Hypocee says:

    He did okay at leading his men into a strategically unnecessary _______. Yeah, we need to commit more forces to draw them in as opposed to, say, letting them break through our line and ‘turn a flank’ on us. That is exactly what we need to do, General Daniel Brown.

    I felt melancholy for the men, but Bannon himself couldn’t ___ fast enough for me; scrabbling chain of command or no, he should have done the decent thing, resigned and wandered off into the wilderness after about the second massive campaign-ending SNAFU. I’d been slavering for his Inevitable Redemption for half a dozen missions. He was hilarious, though.

  2. gioppe@gmail.com says:

    Why every Kieron article must include at least one ‘mechanistically’?

  3. DoomMunky says:

    Because of the drinking, probably.

    It forces you do strange things.

  4. Pete says:

    More generally, I’m worried that I can, after donkeys years of reading stuff by you chaps, pick out who is writing the article without reading the credit. :/

  5. Kieron Gillen says:

    Gioppe: It’s one of the words I use when most people would use “gameplay”. So, yeah, gets used a lot. And I like Mechanisms.


  6. Steve says:

    It’s odd, I was so excited about this game prior to release, and so were many of my friends. When it came out only two of us bought it and since then we’ve played a combined 9 hours of the game between us.

    I know it’s great but I just don’t play it. Is there something wrong with me?

  7. Garth says:

    When you say the multiplayer is good, do you mean that it works well with RANDOM other people, or with friends?

    Because I remember the multiplayer on the demo being.. meh.

  8. Nallen says:

    I wish this worked on my PC, ever since Beta it’s caused this weird graphical glitch which has caused my PC to lock up. I think it might be heat related, but much as I’ve tried to watch that, no joy :(

  9. I_still_love_Okami says:

    I never really planned on getting this game. But then I saw the SE at my retailer and noticed, that it included a piece of the Berlin Wall. Since I actually live a few hundred meters from the remnants of the Wall and pass it every day on my way to work I though the idea of buying a game to get an “original” piece of the Wall, when I could pick on up for free every day hilarious, so I bought the game. (Look, I don’t judge your sense of humor, so give me a break, ok?)

    Never really regretted it, even if I never played it online. The single player campaign was really entertaining in a pop corn hollywood cinema kind of way.

  10. Pod says:

    Every game featured on RPS this year appears to be in these Game-o-calendar things. When’s an out-of-left-field, dark-horse shocker of a game going to appear?

    (By that I mean a game you never blogged about, like)

  11. Jim Rossignol says:

    Why would we not have blogged about one of our favourite games of the year?

  12. Alec Meer says:

    Bugger- we forgot to put Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals in the list.

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    I suspect what’s more interesting is what we DIDN’T include.


  14. Pod says:

    Every new game-o-calendar I read caused me to think “gah, that’s only been out a few months!” — but I just went and checked and not only am I being a massive twat but it appears I was wrong, there HAVE been games in your list that were released before RPS sprung up. Still, like any awards ceremony (eg the oscars), by and large the things released right at the start of the year/after the last awards tend to be forgotten.

  15. Kieron Gillen says:

    They’re not forgotten. They just kind of fell off the list as we decided we didn’t love them as much as the stuff towards the end of the year.


  16. Garth says:

    Does anyone know if there are plans to make an add-on/mod for this game so you can SP as the Russians?

    I originally thought I’d get to drive a T-72 down American streets. It saddens me that I can’t :(

  17. Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Alt-Tab To Hide Our Shame » Blog Archive » Weeks in Conflict says:

    […] explodeathon World in Conflict was one of our favourite RTSes of last year. Perhaps even our favourite, most especially in multiplayer. What’s that? It wasn’t yours? Heretic. Purge yourself […]