Act of Aggression Review
Remember the days of Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2? You know, the days when RTS games packed over-the-top weapons, factions, and gameplay tactics? Eugen Systems certainly does, and it hopes to recapture it with its new RTS Act of Aggression. Should you take up arms, or should the past stay buried?
Act of Aggression Review
Act of Aggression goes for the more outrageous route when it comes to its factions. Those wishing to go on the offensive (and/or bleed red, white, and blue) can go with the US Army and its array of jet fighters and “Peacekeeper” nukes. Those looking for something a bit more exotic can go with the evil Cartel and its prototype technology, which specializes in camouflage stealth systems. The final faction, the Chimera, packs more defensive capabilities with its repair outposts and evac artillery.
While these three factions offer a variety of gameplay styles, there is a distinct advantage given to the US Army’s aggressive style of play. Cartel camouflage be damned – blitzing the enemy with loads of infantry and tanks tends to be the path to victory for many skirmishes. This is made worse when it comes to resources – it’s far too easy to grind for a period of time for money/material in the campaign and then come out guns-a-blazing. More balance would be appreciated, but future patches may help to balance things out.
That’s not to say there are no strategic elements to speak of. One of the defining features is the ability to stake out buildings and tanks with infantry. More often than not, gaining the upper hand can be done by stationing numerous troops amidst a building or vehicle. This feature helps you appreciate the terrain each map brings to the table, but strength in numbers is almost always the key to victory.
But what about the humor Red Alert 2 is known for? Unfortunately, while the weaponry can get a little outrageous, the campaign plays it straight. There is a decidedly serious tone in place here, with the story presented in news broadcasts and quick overhead views more at home in the loading screens found in Call of Duty. The unintentionally poorly acted dialog might channel the Red Alert series, but not in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way. In addition, there are only campaigns for the Chimera and Cartel – the US Army campaign is noticeably absent as of this review.
A game like Act of Aggression gets its legs through its online multiplayer, but already the game is quiet only. In the weeks post-launch, the most people concurrently online during peak times is in the 300 range – something unsettling for a game this new.
Act of Aggression wears its inspiration on its sleeve, but it just doesn’t have the gusto to be its own beast. Those dying for a new RTS may find something to enjoy, but the masses are better off sticking with the classics.