Hands-on: World in Conflict

The name of the game is sheer and total destruction. You thought Company of Heroes had over-the-top destructible environments? World in Conflict has way more than you can handle. Sierra released a demo a week ago, which samples a single-player level, a skirmish level and a multiplayer level. The game is definitely looking strong and fans will be pleased for the changes to the RTS formula.

The attention to explosions is very evident, those Massive Entertainment fellas sure love their destruction. In the game, after calling in a few airstrikes and artillery barrages, buildings and enemy tanks were left smoking pieces of wood and scrap metal. All the explosions are complete with shuddering shockwaves, thick black smoke, fiery wreckage flying through the air and pieces of wood and metal flapping in every direction. Trust me; you’ll get the sheer satisfactory of a job well done.


Unlike other traditional RTS games, World in Conflict took nods from its predecessor, Ground Control. Ground Control and its sequel, Ground Control II, were developed by Massive Entertainment, the same folks at the helm of World in Conflict. Naturally, there will be some gameplay aspects that carry over. One of which is resource gathering, which is completely null and void in World in Conflict. Instead, you’re given credits to spend on units and once a unit becomes scrap, you’re given a reimbursement. Therefore, you’re constantly given credits and in turn, you keep on rolling out tanks and soldiers.

In order to spend credits for units, you’ll have to organize airdrops to actually get your units. Setting up an airdrop location is really easy and you can shift their locations as you go deeper into the battle. A small in-game menu on the right side of the screen holds your airdrop loud and it’s just two clicks of the mouse to select what units you want to buy and they’ll be airdrop right to where you want them.

One of the big gameplay aspects of the game are the use of tactical aids. While in combat, you’re only given control of a select number of units, which is designated by your credit limit. Therefore, to combat the seemingly overwhelming enemy odds, you’re given tactical aids that can easily turn the tide of war to your favor. Tactical aids range from airstrikes, to deploying extra tanks or paratroopers, to air-to-air strikes to artillery barrages. As you complete objectives, destroy enemy units and build command posts, tactical aid points are accumulated, which you can spend on these tactical aids.


I have to say, the presentation is definitely a strong point. In the single-player demo level, which is called The Hills Above Pine Valley, the level is introduced by an explosive and over-the-top CGI intro movie that showcases Russian forces overtaking the dormant U.S. Afterwards, the game shifts to an in-game cutscene, which introduces a few characters such as your brash military general and a few shaky lieutenants. Throughout the level and as you complete objectives, cutscenes will play outlining smaller aspects of the mission. These definitely add to the game’s presentation and give it a more epic feel.

As I hinted at earlier, you’re only given control of a select number of units. Unlike other RTS games, which unit spamming is necessary, World in Conflict relies on the game’s AI to do the majority of the fighting, while your select number of units go after specific objectives. This, in turn, gives the battle a more personal feel and also an epic feel as you can see the AI fighting away while you undertake missions.

The game uses Massive’s own Masstech Game Engine and surprisingly, it holds well while under the stress of war. Along with providing numerous graphical enhancements and eye candy, the game didn’t chug during heavy firefights or heavy units load. The shift between in-game cutscenes and gameplay was rather swift too.

World in Conflict will hit retail on September 18th for PC. An Xbox 360 version is in the works as well.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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