Tom Clancy's EndWar
|a game by||Shanghai UBIsoft Computer Software Co.|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PC, Playstation 3|
|User Rating:||9.6/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Tom Clancy’s Games, Games Like Stronghold|
The voice recognition trainer in EndWar is the most fiddly piece of crap I've met. I actually skipped it, because it failed to recognise my commands, even though my voice was registering right in the optimum zone the whole time. This left me seriously worried about how this device would work in the game, if it wouldn't work during setup.
Luckily, EndWar's gimmick works far more smoothly than the ghastly calibration process suggests. Basically, you can take (almost) complete control over your units by speaking, and only a very minimal reference to the keyboard and mouse is needed. But as with any gimmick, it doesn't work out like that. When it works, it really feels fluid and you can get into a good tactical rhythm. You can also take a step back from the front line and view things in a more detached manner.
That's if the camera lets you. Sometimes it gets itself in curious positions, which makes giving verbal orders difficult. When things get a bit tricky, you'll revert back to traditional point-and-click RTS mannerisms. In fact, it's possible to avoid the voice commands altogether.
As for why you're playing the game, EndWar is a relatively traditional modern RTS in the World in Conflict mould, set against the usual Tom Clancy brand backdrop of US Neo-Con politics (everyone's against the US; the Russians are devious bastards; and Europe is a unified superpower). Various events bring on World War III, as the fight for fuel reserves brims over into all-out conflict. You even get to use weapons of mass destruction, presumably the ones found in Saddam Hussein's Iraq (cough).
You take control of a small battalion of forces in any set battle. You have, at most, six or seven units, including choppers, tanks, transports and infantry. Others become available later, but you'll definitely be relying on a few core units. Pick one of the factions and run through the semi-linear campaign to determine who wins the war. Simple.
While the missions are varied, the manner in which you finish them won't be. EndWar's is a little too repetitive and you'll probably end up using the same basic strategy in every battle. That said, the game is solid, and voice control has been well implemented, so it'll be interesting to see where Ubisoft go with it in the future.