Act Of Aggression: Reboot Edition Reworks Eugen’s RTS

Eugen Systems have made a small name for themselves with strategy games like R.U.S.E. and the Wargame trilogy, but never had a real breakout hit. Lately they’ve been busy reworking and polishing their last game, Act of Aggression [official site], with the aim of making its multiplayer more like “old school” RTSs. This reworking is now live as the ‘Reboot Edition’ through a free update, though the original version is still playable for folks who prefer it.

When we enlisted Rob Zacny to review AoA, he enjoyed the warring but was put off by information overload and floods of minor upgrade decisions. Much of which seems to be addressed by this update. Here is a brief summary of changes:

  • Streamlined Economy: Manage only one resource as oil is automatically converted to cash, allowing you to focus on the action. Unit expenditure is up-front, meaning no more micromanaging production lines.
  • New Base Building System: Like a traditional RTS, base building units are selectable. Build directly from the builder (or destroy your opponent’s builder!)
  • New Airstrikes: You no longer control the planes mid-flight. They go directly to their target and strike, much faster than previously.
  • Huge balancing update and unit model improvements as well as UI tweaks and changes: for example, all units now accelerate and decelerate faster, guaranteeing more streamlined and action-packed RTS gameplay.

If you want to get technical, Eugen have written dev blog posts about going from three resources to one, changing how planes work, adding proper builder units, and miscellaneous changes like merging or removing a lot of upgrades and making icons more consistent across factions. A lot of that sounds pleasant and sensible.

The Reboot Edition focuses only on multiplayer and AI skirmishes, not reworking the singleplayer. If you don’t want any of these changes anywhere, it does have the option to play regular old AoA instead. Or if you don’t have the game at all, hey, it’s half-price right now on Steam – down to £17.49/22,49€/$22.49.

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  1. Zankman says:

    All of this sounds great to me; They streamlined certain gameplay concepts – economy, researching, builders and air-strikes – and made units more responsive.

    I haven’t played the original game, read reviews or even seen gameplay footage – but this all sounds like a step in the right direction.

    Sounds quite a lot like C&C Generals now; That is, of course, a great thing!

  2. andy02m says:

    all we really want is War Game news. Update Red Dragon or tell us about the next War Game!

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      Vandelay says:

      I would much rather hear about more RUSE, which was a great game. Really felt like a good evolution of the RTS genre.

      As for these changes, I never played the original, but these all sound like removing depth. Can’t judge whether that is good or not, but my immediate reaction is to side with the later. Lots of RTS games have managed to have multiple resources required without being too much for the player, so I’m sure this could manage it.

  3. Pulstar says:

    I didn’t really like this one, it has few faults but after Company of Heroes I can’t get back to C&C style RTSing.

  4. Victor A Yorke says:

    Loads of great changes, removes a lot of the problematic situational stuff to the game (Factions required different resources for different recruits, but picking out an Al-efficient strategy due to losing a gamble on resources was horrible and obstructive). Playing Guess-The-Turret on US Strykers too.

    It’s a shame the changes haven’t been rolled out to the SP campaign at all. For that matter, changing from the gradual build costs to the new Warcraft-style upfront costs is a huge pain.

  5. fearandloathing says:

    Hm would be great if you guys do a quick revisiting/review after this.

  6. Camasi says:

    It’s awful. Absolutely awful. They tried to make it more “streamlined” and instead made a game that adds nothing new or interesting to the genre. I feel like they were catering to people who just did not want to spend the time to think a little when it came to playing a RTS. One type of resource, slow pacing, and a whole bunch of other “additions” really hurt this game in areas that did not need fixing for the most part.