Faces of War
Before we begin, it is important to note that Faces of War is not an RTS in the normal definition of the genre. To compare this game to the recent release Company of Heroes would be a bit of a mistake, as they cover almost completely different game play. If you've ever played the old Commandos titles, you'll have an idea of what to expect.
Although the game's training places an emphasis on movement and cover, you'll rarely get a chance to really use those skills. Instead, the single player missions focus on fast pushes into enemy territory, where tactics lose their meaning in a massive push of men and equipment, much of it controlled by the computer. Basically, I found that I could beat almost every mission by letting the computer controlled characters advance ahead of me, while my own men pushed forward putting pressure on specific points. Fun to be sure, but also lacking, as all I had to do was knock out the right enemy strongpoint. For added benefit there's a direct control option, which lets you control the exact movements of a unit, but if you aren't using a vehicle it might as well be useless with terrain blockage and poor weapon accuracy.
The interface itself is poorly designed, with a difficult to learn system that is impeded by a tutorial mode that tells you what to do, but never shows you how to do it. Additionally, Faces of War places a strong emphasis on some of the more banal aspects of warfare. These activities are such as requiring a three step process to refuel vehicles, making you replenish your munitions manually, and going so far as to even require you to detach platform weapons from their tow vehicles. Once you learn how to do all of this it isn't that difficult, but this sort of tedious game play seems to detract from what Faces of War could've been capable of.
In terms of presentation, Faces of War has great graphics, and extremely poor audio. Watching the game environments blow apart, seeing a tank explode in violent fury, these parts were all great. What they didn't make up for was the wince inducing voice acting and amazingly low quality score, paired with a camera that seemed jumpier and harder to tweak than any I've seen.
Is there something good here? Yes, Faces of War is quite original and that's good. However, it is marred by bad design choices, and in the end I'd just wait for the next iteration of this game.