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Tuesday | January 17, 2017
R.U.S.E. (Preview)

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RUSE

In ancient Greece the best military minds were tested by a series of wargames recreating classic encounters with models in a sand-pit. Those who made the right moves and emerged victorious, perhaps by altering history or simply by emulating the decisive maneuvers made by great military figures would be marked out for a great career as an officer. The very best would receive the title of Strategos, a term applied to all Generals. It was essential that before they could lead real troops into battle they understood the mechanics of war, the ways in which it could be lost even with overwhelming odds in their favour and the ways that victories could be conjured out of the most desperate of circumstances.

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Buy Daft Punk Homework Now however, what are we faced with? The RTS genre has moved away from those humble roots with all bar a few exceptions and most can be boiled down to a simple matter of unit matching, choosing the best troops for the job with a guaranteed outcome each time. Hardly a matter requiring the attention of a modern-day Strategos… Wouldn’t it be great if there was a game that recreated the element of surprise at the heart of each conflict, one that would enable players to not only show the understanding of their arsenal but also genuine lateral thinking in the face of something unexpected?

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For starters the landscapes are huge. Vast maps that incorporate land, sky and sea, so spacious that no matter the size of the army under the players command they will always feel stretched and over committing resources will be at the forefront of the many problems to be overcome. Forget fog of war also. As a general the player will always know where the enemy troops are but how numerous and how strong the forces are will only be revealed once a direct line of sight has been achieved. Of course this makes reconnaissance and scouting important factors in the game, keeping tabs on everything is the key to not getting caught short.

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In the preview a lot of the RUSE cards aren’t available but each of the ones that can be used all tie into this simple ethos – knowledge is power and disinformation is the best weapon of all. Such an obvious, yet at the same time novel, twist on the genre makes each encounter a battle of wits rather than a battle of hand eye co-ordination. Each conflict is deliberately paced, slow and methodical. The best laid plans take time to come to fruition. That isn’t to say, on this showing at least, it is as clever as it wants to be. Clearly aiming to be the middle ground between PC and console RTS titles it walks that awkward tightrope of trying to be sophisticated while simple as well. The controls for example are very straightforward, which is no bad thing but at times it feels like it is lacking the shortcut functionality most PC RTS players would expect.

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The game isn’t also above throwing in some good old fashioned explosions too and why not? It is something that players have come to expect in their war games, a tantalising fireworks display that hides the routine mathematics behind the visuals. Bombardments, airstrikes and volleys of rifle fire are all here to be seen and appreciated and the game loses none of its potency whether or not a player wants to focus on the minutiae or the broad picture.

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Divorce And Child Custody Research Paper A lot of potential then between now and the full release. Anyone having played this will understand that this game, more than similar titles, wants to be part of the historic ideal. Forged in those ancient times, where generals relied on their wits and cunning to make the difference in battles that decided the fates of nations. If in any doubt that this is true, in the middle of a game if fully zoomed out what can be seen is nothing more than models on a table, just figures being pushed round in a General’s office. It is the minds behind the conflict that will decide if it is won or lost and the forces on the ground are simply tools to that end. A strategy game with a genuine depth that is gloriously competitive? Let’s hope that isn’t a ruse.

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