Hot As Hell: Wargame European Escalation

the cold war is now the most action-packed war ever

If the cold war had turned into a European land war it would have been an impressive kerfuffle, at least according to Wargame: European Escalation from R.U.S.E. creators Eugen Systems. It’s probably acceptable to sit back and enjoy the spectacle since none of this is actually happening, and what a spectacle it is. Hundreds of infantrymen rushing down hills, tanks smashing their way through obstacles, and all kinds of long range and air-based support raining down fire from above. I’m officially Very Excited Indeed about playing this. Perhaps you will be too when you see the latest trailer, which resides below.

A lot of wargames are still all made up of hexes and abstract tokens so when I’m told this is ingame footage I don’t know quite what to think. Sorcery, perhaps? The already impressive tech behind R.U.S.E. has been improved and everything is now on a 1:1 scale, which means vehicles have the correct dimensions relative to each other and the terrain, but also means distances are accurate, which has implications in regards to speed, fuel capacity and weapon range.

Now, if I may propose a tagline that Hollywould be proud of: ‘The Cold War Just Got Hot’. I believe the structure at the end of that particular phrase is known as a rhyming couplet and is a terribly clever poetic device beloved of old Billy Shakers himself. Leaves room for a sequel too: ‘Wargamez: Europe Escalated – war boils over/just got hotter’. Hmm. Maybe the ‘z’ should be a ‘2’. Thoughts?


  1. coldvvvave says:

    At least they googled Warsaw Pact before just calling bad guys ‘red team’, ‘commies’ or ‘mongolian hordes’.

  2. Turin Turambar says:

    The trailer starts good, and then the infantry appears running and shooting like crazy, in a very unrealistic manner.

    • coldvvvave says:

      This reminded me of this.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, hopefully the combat is less idiotic in the final game. I’d love an ArmA-style RTS, or something sitting between World in Conflict and ArmA. As it is I look at that trailer and just see a bunch of stuff blowing each other up randomly, which is kinda boring.

    • Turin Turambar says:

      Something between ArmA and WiC would be very interesting. But they don’t have to reach those levels. I only compare this trailer with 2006 Company of Heroes. Where soldiers moved and fired in a more realistic and comprehensible way.

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, it’s all a bit too fast really, the units seem to slide around as a result and weapons fire appearing no-where near the weapon looks off, you probably won’t notice it in-game but it does look wierd here.

      I’d like if Relic created a Cold-War Company of Heroes though, that sounds good, perhaps now that THQ are apparently/alledgedly blocking other WH40K games until their MMO arrives we can get one?

      I still want Space Marine 2 though.

    • Synesthesia says:

      the combat scene made me laugh, too. It looks quite good, though, and it has a lot of promise. But please dont show me blob tactics when you just sold me a fine tuned rts. It smells like PR suits everywhere, though.

      “Put the moment where they fire a lot! We can fix it in post!”

    • Bureaucromancer says:

      Bear in mind that if this game is anything like RUSE it is much more of a strategic game than a typical RTS… There is quite simply nothing to be gained by zooming in and watching combat that closely. It’s not so much that you have unrealistic and ridiculous looking blob combat as that you aren’t dealing with that level of detail.

      A low level tactical game in the vein of commanding ARMA certainly has merit, but that isn’t what this team is trying to do. And you might want to take a look at the Combat Mission games if that interests you. They are certainly tough to wrap your head around, and I certainly wouldn’t call them mass market, but they do point in the direction you mentioned.

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Looking at gameplay footage on Youtube it looks a lot better than what is represented in this trailer. However, it does look like everything moves too fast.

      Hopefully in the final game you can slow things down a tad. I also hope there will be a demo to try it because it looks potentially good.

    • spelvin spugg says:

      Human wave tactics aren’t out of the realm of possibility for a lot of countries that have more manpower than technology. If they lose fifty guys but kill a couple of vehicles that cost a million a pop, they’ve just profited from the exchange.

  3. fishingcat says:

    Great trailer, hopefully this can satisfy my craving for a World in Conflict sequel.

    • mjig says:

      I was just about to mention World in Conflict but you beat me to it. It was SO GOOD, and then from what I heard Ubi just stuck them on Assassins Creed 647 and Far Cry 3. Ubisoft may not be as bad as Activision or EA, but they sure seem to be trying their best.

    • Dakia says:

      I was thinking the same thing as I watched this. WIC was amazing.

    • innociv says:

      I was going to say the same.
      WiC is rather old now, and looks better both graphic as well as looking like it plays far better than this.

      I want WiC2. :/

  4. Meneldil says:

    Lots of things exploding. People and vehicules all over the place. It reminds me of Total Annihilation.

    Even though I admit the reds running like crazy while shooting seemed a bit weird.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Total Annihilation reminded me a lot of WWI-style combat, in that you could set up a defence line on the larger maps that was basically impregnable, and spend hours chipping away at your enemy (nukes notwithstanding). Man, I loved that game.

    • Dragon Master says:

      It’d be nice(though I’m not sure how realistic) if they could make people get tossed mid-air by the explosions.

  5. Dana says:

    I hope for a multiplayer similar to WiC.

  6. Tyyr says:

    “never-before-screen realism in a real-time strategy game”

    I felt like punching a baby when I saw that in the trailer considering the battle scene right after those words get flashed up on the screen…

  7. DogKiller says:

    It looks terribly unrealistic, but on the other hand, I really love modern tanks and helicopter gunships. I might bite purely for that alone.

  8. Kollega says:

    I’ve really wanted to play a good RTS as of late, but i’m not sure if i’m going to buy that game blindly. I just hope they will have a demo.

  9. augustuskent says:

    Lost me at men running blindly across open ground into enemy fire. Why can’t a strategy game have decent bloody infantry combat!?

    • philbot says:

      I guess we’ll have to wait for Company of Heroes 2 for that :(

    • Chandos says:

      Or you can go back to the good old Close Combat series.
      link to

    • Vinraith says:


      The Matrix remakes, in particular, are outstanding and run on modern systems at modern resolutions. They even fixed the AI!

      The Achtung Panzer games are also quite good at this kind of thing.

    • Chandos says:

      Thanks Vinraith! I’ll check it out sometime.

      Also I saw this on wikipedia re: the game’s troop morale model:
      “The primary consultant for the morale model was Dr. Steven Silver, a specialist in combat-related trauma. ” link to

      Never-seen-since realism.

  10. Quine says:

    in regards to

    “with regard to”, surely?

    On topic- this is looking awesome- will it fill that Combat Mission craving, though?

  11. Vexing Vision says:

    Shame about the infantry. But if it’s actual point-buy armies or pre-deployed and NOT base-building, I’m so in.

    We need a lot less base-building in our RTS games. The world would be a much better place.

    • ankh says:

      Could you please recommend some good RTS games with no base building? I absolutely hate base building/upgrading.

    • westyfield says:

      World in Conflict is really an RTT (real-time tactics) but it’s great so you should play it anyway.

    • sgnl05 says:

      There is no basebuilding in this game.

    • coldvvvave says:


      Dawn of War 2

    • MajorManiac says:

      @ ankh: Have you tried Ground Control? Thats a good game with no base building.

    • PedroBraz says:

      Any of the Theatre of War games

  12. scorcher24 says:

    Eugen Systems are for me the Kings of RTS. I loved Act Of War, I think RUSE is quite cool (didn’t buy it because I cannot see any more WW2) and I will buy this one.
    I applaud to France for such an awesome developer.

  13. Ivan Joukov says:

    WEE takes in account lines of sights, ammos type and limited ammo, speed, ranges, moral of troops… They seek realism in this way, not in micro managed infantry.

    • sgnl05 says:

      Yeah this. Wargame is operating on a much larger scale than games like CoH or World in Conflict, so it’s to be expected that it isn’t going to look quite as smooth up close. You can’t have huge maps and big unit counts without sacrificing something. The lack of close-in detail doesn’t even really matter because the game is mostly played zoomed so far out that your units are very tiny and are represented by icons, supcom style.

    • SquidLord says:

      You would think that if the scale they intend you to see the game at is out far enough that mass running/gunning waves of infantry don’t appear ridiculous, they’d have chosen to show the game at its best in their promotion.

    • sgnl05 says:

      I think the sad fact of the matter is that if you want to wow people in 2 minutes or less, you don’t show icons crawling across a huge landscape when you can show explosions and high poly models.

      But I played the closed beta and I can certainly say that 99% of the time you won’t be zoomed in close enough to notice that the infantry looks slightly funny when it fires from the hip. The scale is much closer to supcom or Total War than CoH, even though this video may make it appear otherwise. It’s really sort of a spiritual sucessor to RUSE in a way, which is not a game where you spent a lot of time admiring the buttons on your men’s shirts.

  14. TT says:

    the trailer does not match the sales pitch, hope the later is a more accurate description.
    “Theater of war” done right?

    PS: on a side note, when the camera zooms out it should go in to a Top orthographic view – a real map-. Don know why nobody does it from Total War to Civ series. Maybe its just me, but the instant I get that tunnel vision fixed 2km/ 10,km/ 100km away i feel like a bird/ plane/ spaceship with a tinny window.
    I´m a general in command. I want a real map!

    • Danny252 says:

      Didn’t Supreme Commander do this if you zoomed out far enough?

      Sneaky Edit: Seems so. link to

    • Arona Daal says:

      Zero-k ,one of the Spring-Variants, has that too.

      And it has the best User Interface and Unit Ai of any Rts i have *ever* played including Supcom:FA ,CoH and its Granddaddy: Total Annihilation.

      It has
      – a Zoomrange from First Person to Satellite Map
      – a freely configurable GUI
      – several tactical overlays like Terrain elevation/height, Fog of war for Visual/Radar/Jamming/cloak, Resources
      – configurable Unit/Factory AI Behaviour
      – more crazy weapon Systems than TA itself,like Nuclear ICBM Subs,Giant Mechs,cloaked EMP Bomb Robot Spiders,Big Berthas,Death Ray Satellites.
      – Terraforming,like Trenches and Walls
      – Waypointing for free-draw Formations (for Example,you can attack-move a giant “LOL!”-shaped Army into the Base of your Opponent)

      and lots more

      Best of all , its Freeware.

  15. battles_atlas says:

    @Adam Smith

    Alas, beaten to the punch on your tagline of choice, and what a wonderfully-named punch it is

    link to

    I could not be more excited about this (game, not that film). No big budget game since Generals has made any RTS effort to dress itself as current conflict. And now Generals 2 too! Spoilt for choice.

    Edit: forgot WiC obviously, also awesome

  16. Pharos says:

    Have to hand it to them. “Never seen before realism” is the exact literal truth here.

    60 square mile battlefields? In other words, the battlefields are less than 8 miles wide. The main gun of a Challenger tank can shoot across about a quarter of the entire map. Any artillery fielded by either side could strike anywhere on the battlefield from off the map, so why are they on the map? MLRS rockets don’t work that way – they release cluster-bomb like submunitions over an large area.

    Once, just once, I’d like to see a modern military RTS that portrays the technology accurately.

    • mxu says:

      “Once, just once, I’d like to see a modern military RTS that portrays the technology accurately.”

      You should try Combat Mission: Shock Force.

    • Tac Error says:

      When I think of “Cold War”, it’s separate from “Modern”. Not only is the technology different (which should actually receive less emphasis), but also the military systems and mindsets are different–industrial large-scale mechanized warfare of the 1980s vis-a-vis today’s information age wars.

      IMO, I think we have been spoiled by the First and Second Gulf Wars when we think of post-WW2 conventional battlefields.

  17. The Greatness says:

    Nice trailer, but the constant ‘bedoo blib blop bid bod’ talking was a bit distracting.

  18. Bluestar says:

    This certainly fills a Fulda gap in the market.

  19. Utgaardsloke says:

    When are developers going to realze that “realism” is just as much doctrine and behaviour as looks? This game sure is a looker, but then she opened her mouth….

  20. Unaco says:

    “‘The Cold War Just Got Hot’. I believe the structure at the end of that particular phrase is known as a rhyming couplet”

    It’s not. A rhyming couplet, that is. A rhyming couplet is 2 lines, same meter, which happen to rhyme, and usually consist of a single thought or syntactic unit. Such as..

    I like to pun,
    It is great fun.


    You’re a bad poet,
    And now you know it.

    What you have there, with ‘Got Hot’ at the end, is a form of internal rhyme… I would guess, although they tend to involve rhymes at the caesura and the end, or similar patterns. I would likely say that what you have there isn’t any sort of recognised structure… you’ve just got 2 rhyming words at the end of a line. I think it’s possibly the simplest rhyme scheme you could have.

    Anyway, poetry corner with Unaco will return tomorrow, where I will physically beat a hatred of Confessional Lyric poetry into my students.

  21. Skusey says:

    Their games are great, but they’re really shit at naming them.

  22. wodin says:

    That trailer killed all interest in the title for me.

  23. Tac Error says:

    Again, there is a disrepancy between the publisher and developer, there’s a gameplay video that Gamespot made a few months ago showing that the gameplay is closer to something like Close Combat–not by any means “just World in Conflict with a larger map” or “RUSE 2”!