Saturday, April 4, 2009
Looking Back: Act of War
I played this RTS religiously for about a year before I moved on and found out about Dawn of War. Anybody who likes RTSs at all should try this little-known gem from Atari. To put it simply, Act of War is in my opinion the perfect Command and Conquer game. It takes everything that made Command and Conquer great and dials it up to 11. This is strange because Act of War isn't actually an official Command and Conquer game. IMO, Act of War got exactly the right scale of combat. With DoW 2, you have small intimate squad battles. With Supreme Commander, you've got a ginormous scale with epic battles across entire peninsulas. Act of War had the perfect average of scale with good infantry action (even inside buildings!), while also allowing for devastating nuclear strikes and massed tank rushes. They even managed to pull off air combat in an innovative realistic fashion, which Relic later mimicked in CoH. Even Command and Conquer 3 came out later and tried to follow the magic and execution of Act of War, but I think they fell short. About the *only* complaint I can ever make about Act of War is that the infantry are individual units rather then squads, but I played it before DoW so that didn't bother me at the time.