Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tom and Me - Part Four: It's the end of the world as we know it

In early 2008 a viral marketing campaign began on the Internet, teasing information about a new Tom Clancy game. It suggested widespread destruction, a global conflict that would encompass all arms of the Clancy brand.
Excited didn’t quite cover it.
And so, in November 2008, Tom Clancy’s EndWar was released – a real-time strategy game where you took a God’s eye view of the battlefield, commanding your troops in World War III being fought between Russia, the United States and a unified European alliance.

The problem with RTS games on consoles is the controls. They are primarily designed for point and click PC gaming and while games such as Command and Conquer and Halo Wars have a had a good go at adapting controls for the gamepad, it has still been a little awkward.
EndWar’s answer is a stroke of genius. Almost the entire game can be controlled through voice commands. “Unit 1, attack Hostile 5!”; “Deploy gunships!”; “Unit 2, secure Alpha!” These are the sounds of Tom Clancy’s EndWar and it all works brilliantly. Not only are the controls effective, but the use of voice is also incredibly immersive, making you feel like the commanding officer overseeing his forces.

Unfortunately, sales-wise, EndWar didn’t perform and we’re unlikely to get a sequel. Indeed, its story has since been written out of canon by HAWX and Ghost Recon Future Soldier. But EndWar will remain as a great example of innovation and how real-time strategy can be achieved on console.

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