Before Eugen Systems went big – in scale and, eventually, sales – with the Wargame series, they worked on two Act of War games. More traditional real-time strategy fare, they were as much about base building and resource gathering as they were accurate tank physics. They even had live-action cutscenes spliced together with machinima.
Now Eugen are returning to the format with Act of Aggresion: a successor to the old series with similar mechanics, a similar near-future setting, but yeah, still lots of tank physics. The first teaser trailer is below.
Will this new game revive those live-action actors? Doubtful – Phil Harrison has moved on – but it will have two singleplayer campaigns and “traditional RTS storytelling.” There will also be multiplayer modes, and “infantry, mechanized vehicles, tanks, artillery, helicopters, planes, and super weapons,” each of which will earn you experience and “unlock skills and abilities to turn the tide of war by specializing them in roles, such as anti-air, anti-tank, etc…”.
It’s interesting to reach the YouTube comments underneath, with all the nervous questions about whether this represents Eugen’s attempt to “dumb down” their games and court a console crowd. I remember the exact same questions being raised when real-time strategy games first sliced away base building and harvesting mechanics. How little things have changed.
While Wargame used a ticket system for selecting units and calling re-inforcements, it certainly wasn’t a simple game. I bounced off the last in the series, Red Dragon, precisely because its units were so complicated. Which 1980s tank is better than another? I have no idea, and I don’t want to read pages and pages of stats to find out. (I am aware however that we haven’t covered the game enough, and have commissioned someone to write about it).
Meanwhile, the thought of placing factories and mines or whatever like it’s 1995 else sounds lovely. I am a turtle, and Supreme Commander is the evolutionary path of the RTS I’m most interested in. I’ll take economic efficiency over firing rates any day.