I never liked RTS games that much, apart from World in Conflict, C & C series and StarCraft series, there are not many RTS games that caught my attention. But Wargame: European Escalation looked interesting, developed by Eugen Systems, devs behind R.U.S.E. Wargame gives you the chance to take control of a commander for NATO, that is controlled by United States, or Warsaw Pact forces, being controlled by USSR. Each forces have different units that are based on real units from 70′s and consist of tanks, infantry, recon vehicles, artillery and helicopters, It would’ve been good if air-force and navy was also in the game, but still, these available units are frenetic enough that you won’t find a time to complain about anything.
Wargame is unlike any other RTS game, it’s unique, it has an element called Virtual Card System, before starting a battle, you get to choose units, you’ll do this by creating a profile that will track your specific statistics, you will get to earn points after each battle. After you level up, you’ll earn command points that will be used as in-game currency. You can purchase new unit types using command points that will further enhance your arsenal. The gameplay is extremely simple, so it won’t be a problem for you to get a hold of the mechanics, unless you start comparing each unit type to see which one is better.
Battles are at their simplest, there are no complications or whatsoever, the only resources that you will be needing are command points. To add stability to the game, all the players will start with the same amount of command points, once you start the fight, you’ll slowly get access to more command points, that depends on how many zones you control, another way of earning these. The battle ends in two simple ways, either by time limit, or command points limit. I personally loved this simplicity, it makes the game more fun, you just need to strategize everything, and you can easily win the battle. Battlefield is huge, the maps comprehend areas that can be tremendously large, you’ll have to increase the camera span to see properly throughout the whole map. Each unit has a unique name, you’ll command your units by these names and see which one is better to send for the battle. Explosions are gunfire will keep you satisfied that the fight is still going on, it’s not that you won’t be able to see them, the thing that bothers is that when you zoom out the camera to see everything on the map, things started to get small, this might cause some hindrance, but it won’t make the game unplayable at all.
The thing I hated was unit comparing while building your deck, you can’t see the stats of two units together, the interface only brings up one unit and then you’ll have to memorize its stats so you can compare it with others and see which one is more powerful, normally the units which are more expansive are always stronger, but still comparing is a pain. The interface is sleek, it’s easy to select the game mode and deck out of the battle, while the major focus is still towards the fight on the battlefield. Now the stupid thing is that the game lacks micromanagement, it’s an essential thing, present in almost every RTS games. This means that you won’t be able to fully control your units, lets say that you won’t be able to rotate them and order them to stay put in that position, at default your units will keep their face towards the closest control zone or to the point of enemy attack.
Winning or losing depends on how you play, and tactically decide everything. You can order your units to hide in trees, but they can easily be spotted by recon units. Each unit has it’s own weakness and strengths, but these weaknesses are more prominent in singleplayer than multiplayer. Apart from small small gameplay glitches, everything works brilliantly, gameplay is simple and fun at the same time. Wargame is a unique game, the deck system sets it apart from other RTS games, every battle will feel different from the other, giving you more fun as you progress. The singleplayer campaign is based on 22 missions, you can earn Command Stars in singleplayer, but if you want to earn them on a more faster rate, than multiplayer is your best bet. You can play against 4 players, each with its own alliance, you can even create deranged teams to give a tougher challenge to veterans, but that’s a completely different question.
Visually, Wargame looks beautiful, and it does require a high-end PC to play properly on maximum settings, however, the textures are not top of the line, they do look bland and simple and many times, but honestly, with so much going on the screen, you’ll hardly get a chance to notice them. Wargames boasts amazing sound effects, gunfire and explosions sound loud and clear enough that they’ll easily get your attention, there are silence b/w fights that feel eery, but overall sound quality is great.
Thing I couldn’t understand is that the DRM being utilized by Wargame, it’s similar to Starforce DRM, limiting only 5 installs, and the weird thing is that there’s no mention of DRM on the game’s official page, or anywhere else, this thing pissed off many players. Overall. Wargame: European Escalation is a brilliant game, it’s certain that it’s not designed to set new benchmarks for RTS games, but if you’re a fan of RTS games, then Wargame: European Escalation is just what you need.