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.