Have You Played… World In Conflict?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The benchmarking test of World in Conflict long outlived the game itself, which was a fitting monument for one of the most stunning games of its era. World in Conflict still looks incredible, as it gives the most spectacularly destructive Cold War military hardware full reign over battlefields ranging from Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to icy Norwegian fishing villages to America’s Pacific Northwest.

I loved calling down napalm strikes to surround my beleaguered troops with a wall of fire, or dropping cluster munitions on a formation of enemy armor and watching tanks pop like firecrackers. It was impressive enough in the surprisingly good single-player campaign, but in the MOBA-based multiplayer, it was staggering. One one level you were frantically trying work together with your teammates and create synergy between your specializations (armor, infantry, support, air) while you were also keeping an eye on the points you had available for special attacks like bombing runs and artillery. Did you call down that strafing-run now, or did you hold on a little longer in the hopes of gaining the resources you needed to drop a nuke on someone?

Now picture a battlefield packed with players all making the same kind of calculations. The result was unholy war porn that could give Warhammer 40K a run for its money.


  1. Philopoemen says:

    Still my favourite RTS, even though Wargame:EE comes a close second.

    • hamilcarp says:

      After years of Wargame I find I cannot enjoy WiC when I revisit it. WG is just so much more nuanced and the scale is much grander without sacrificing micro complexity. However I will say WiC has one of the finest story modes in RTS. Goddamn it Bannon.

  2. Mungrul says:

    I started this, but never got around to playing much more than a couple of hours.
    I loved the Ground Control games by the same company though.

  3. BobbyDylan says:

    Indeed. My Favourite RTS. Love the story and the focus on characters in a desperate situation.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Oh, yeah definitely. The ‘Soviet Assault’ expansion was also surprisingly good at humanizing the faceless Soviets from the base story line.

      The best moments were after completing a mission the camera would pan around the battlefield, showing the town that you ‘saved’ being in complete rubble.

      (Well, actually, the best part was any time you were given control of a large artillery battery).

  4. hollowroom says:

    I was looking at this on the shelf the other day, and considering reinstalling it for another shot. Great game.

  5. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    1) It may be worth noting that, if you haven’t played it yet, you can now get World in Conflict DRM-free from GOG.

    2) Is there still any kind of a multiplayer scene for this game? I played the single-player campaign years ago, but never tried multiplayer, and now Rob’s writeup has me regretting that.

    3) Dear RPS: your comments functionality is utterly, completely, galatically busted in Firefox. (After five failed attempts in FF, I gave up and fired up Chrome just to post this comment.)

    • Spuzzell says:

      Enormously unhelpful to you I’m sure, but I’m on Firefox and commenting works fine.

      (W10 Home 64, FF 38.05, Flashblock and Ad Block enabled, Ad Block in Allow Non Intrusive ads mode)

  6. gbrading says:

    Yup, as others have said, still my favourite RTS. No base-building, all-action. Great setting, excellent graphics, superb explosions, good story and characters. All in all it’s a hell of a game.

  7. hollowroom says:

    I wonder why they didn’t do a sequel?

    • shawk007 says:

      Yeah, always wondered so myself. Still waiting for this wish to come true. One of the few games I’d preorder right away.

      • Rich says:

        They got bought by Ubisoft, who has them working on Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry etc.

  8. GernauMorat says:

    A fun game, spoilt (for me) by the sub-Clancy banality of the story. Russian campaing is fun though

    • Renegade says:

      I disagree on the story, out of all the ‘America gets invaded’ WiC’s makes a lot of sense for an alternate history. Instead of giving up why not go all in and put 40+ years of build up and plans into action and see what happens. Of course the West coast of the USA being taken by surprise so easly is a bit far-fetched but it makes a bit of sense with their attention being fully on the invasion of Europe at the time.

  9. Grizzly says:

    Absolutey adored it in both SP and MP. I personally feel Wargame outdoes it, but it did warm my interest in these sort of things.

  10. G-Lord says:

    The only strategy games I played in multiplayer online, started playing it in the closed beta. Plus it has an amazing campaign on top of that. So glad I got the amazing special edition with the piece of Berlin wall ;).

  11. JFS says:

    No, but I live there.

  12. sunburned says:

    I loved it. Is anyone still playing online? Wargame is better regarding depth (maybe not as fun), but its chat feels like an Aryan Nations convention … I don’t think World in Conflict was that bad.

    • cairbre says:

      The chat channel is truly appalling alright. Shudder

    • All is Well says:

      Oh god, that chat. Last time I looked at it, some guy with lots of S-runes in his name was literally holding a sort of sermon/amateur class in racial biology, which people seemed to find genuinely interesting. Not in a sort of amused, “look-at-the-crazy-person” way, but more a sort of “these-ideas-strike-a-chord-with-me-do-you-have-a-newsletter-I-can-subscribe-to” way. Admittedly I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but it seems way beyond normal internet racism.

  13. LennyLeonardo says:

    Oh boy. The only RTS I could ever play multilayer without losing miserably. So much fun.

  14. Challenger2uk says:

    This is actually one of those games I completed the single player campaign, it was interesting and didn’t involve an hour building a base then killing an enemies pre-built base.

    Multiplayer was extremley awesome, it was pretty cool to see pros using infantry, I could never use that role effectively but people could put it to some real good use.

  15. minijedimaster says:

    This was a very fun game. Looks like its owned by Ubisoft now. I started boycotting that horrid company years ago after all their DRM shenanigans and their attitude towards their customers. Will not be buying this again on gog or steam because of that.

  16. Werthead says:

    It was good, but I don’t think it was as good or revolutionary as Ground Control (1 or 2), and I was disppointed they didn’t continue that series after leaving GC2 on a huge cliffhanger.

    But WiC was a solid game, surprisingly tough as well in places. I should fire it up again, as I completed the vanilla game but never got around to Soviet Assault (despite owning it for years).

  17. liquidsoap89 says:

    I always wished Dawn of War 2 would steal WiC’s smoke filling the sky idea when stuff ‘sploded. I’d never need another game if that happened.

  18. rumtotinggamer says:

    Remember reading Red Storm Rising the year before this came out thinking the 80s cold war was an underused setting for games, production values of this were incredible for 2007 with the lighting and deformable terrain, ahead of its time too with the MOBA stuff.

    And Ha back in the days when there were still demos, this one had a MP one with seaside map, every game seemed to end with about 10 nukes going off at once as thats what everyone wanted.

    Check out the Modern Warfare mod for it if you haven’t already btw, link to moddb.com

  19. Unruly says:

    I think I only tried playing online against real people once, and got annihilated because the air tactics line seemed so easily devastated by anything other than infantry. All it took was a single anti-air truck and you could destroy every single chopper on the map without them having much of any chance of taking you down first. AA had twice the range of the choppers, a faster fire rate, higher damage, and the choppers only got a single countermeasure(which had a 50% chance of failing) every 3 minutes.

    I understand that they had to have something in the game that could take out the choppers, or else they would dominate the game, but I just think they took it too far. If you got within range of an AA unit, you’d lose at least 2 choppers before you could get back outside of its range, even with countermeasures.

    But dropping the triple nuke was quite the experience. Especially when playing with multiple people in an AI stomp, and you drop a total of 12 nukes in the span of 30 seconds. Talk about dropping framerates!

  20. Umair_Khan says:

    Yup… It was masterpiece. One of the best campaigns I’ve ever played. I wish everyday for a sequel.

  21. LuNatic says:

    This game has some of the best multiplayer I’ve ever experienced. Shame about the forgettable single player campaign though.

  22. Umair_Khan says:

    They are shutting down servers on October 6 BTW.