I’m just glad I can finally talk about this without breaking an NDA or eight.
Massive have launched their open beta of their Cold War RTS, World in Conflict. I was playing in the closed beta, and biting my tongue to avoid just lobbing an enormous essay up on my blog about why I think it’s perhaps potentially the most interesting RTS of the year. I suspect I’ll end up riffing on the game for the rest of the year, assuming it holds together. Which is always a big “assuming” to make, but let’s try being optimistic for once.
With any luck, this will be to Massive’s previous Ground Control games, what Battlefield 1942 was to Codename: Eagle. That is, a game that takes relatively obscure source material and manages to bring it to an enormous audience. I can’t see why not. The WW3 setting is criminally under-used (And, as an aside, when it has been used it’s lead to some fascinating games – cross reference the definitive Soldier Sim, Flashpoint: Cold War Conflict). Massive have always believed in RTS which are inspired as much by team deathmatch games as the traditional lineage – so we have short games, no-real economics and close-teamwork. It’s different enough to be interesting but based on mechanics so simple that I suspect I’ll even be able to get Walker to play a game or two.
Highlight so far: Sweeping my tanks into the irradiated zones immediately after a nuke’s hit, which is about as apocalyptic as gaming has got this year. The little fluffy mushroom cloud slowly fading as my tank treads crush the scorched remains…
End of the world as we know it. Feels fine.