|By date||Most helpful reviews||By my score||By metascore||By user score|
Average User Score: 8.1May 30, 2013I resubmitted this review in order to clarify something very important.
This is more of an expansion (stand-alone) to the original than itI resubmitted this review in order to clarify something very important.
This is more of an expansion (stand-alone) to the original than it is a new game. For comparison though here are the differences between this game and the previous one.
EE is European Escalation; ALB is Air Land Battle.
-Campaign: EE had a very basic level structure. Level 1, then etc. ALB has a 'civilization' like campaign (minus civilization management. Only units).
-Units: There are at least 350 units in EE. Note though that these are limited to mostly ground units and
helicopters. ALB adds aircraft which is a massive new depth to the game. It consists of 750+ units.
-Multi: EE had up to 4v4 battles. ALB has up to 10vs10 and the campaign is multiplayer (1v1 only).
-Progression: EE had a command stars unlocking system. This system allowed players to purchase units with stars earned from multi and SP. ALB has stripped away this system. My opinion on this is in the review below. There is still a level ranking system in ALB for multiplayer (to show how long you've been playing).
Hopefully this covers most questions. Back to the main review :)
The massive depth of units and and attention to detail will astound anyone who takes the plunge. The game's updated engine can either give players a great amount of detail when viewing from afar (easy to read icons and a clean presentation) while showing off the firepower of your armaments in frightening detail when up close (from spinning death falls to plummeting planes. On the vehicle side the engine delivers. There are a few corner cuts here and there [in particular the infantry] but you'll not focus on these for too long). There is a lot of information to take in too that can be quite helpful. Unit statistics (showing how good a unit is at doing whatever job by detailing what weapons do what and other useful statistics like how good is the unit at spotting other units). All of this leads to exciting battles that involve a great amount of micro-management and positional planning.
In the game you will create a stack of units built in a deck system. Each side has a standard amount of activation points. The more of a single type of unit you add to the deck the higher the activation point cost is (to the total activation points). When you select a specific unit type you can either select the trained version (which is more accurate and less prone to morale loss in combat) but you end up with less of that unit as a whole for deployment. You can specialize your deck to be specific to one nation (nations make up each side of the game) which gives you more activation points as well as specialize in a specific type of deck (armored for example allows you to use a prototype tank and more of the tank class uses less activation points in total but then you cannot bring as many infantry out as before).
The game's units are called up via deployment points which you earn by holding capture zones (while in the normal RTS battle game). Spending points at specific intervals can either lead to the one unit that pushes you forward or the unit that merely fails to provide the needed kick into the game. On the campaign map this is even more important a decision as units that level up in rank (which gives them better stats and basic abilities) will keep their rank till they die. Once dead they will have to be reinforced with standard new units.
There are many systems at play that you constantly will need to keep a thought on. From suppression tactics to morale, from ammo counts to basic repairs and the like. The game does a good job of telling you when a specific unit begins to run dry (normally highlighted by icons near the unit name). So you'll never be caught without ammo unless you're having to watch a number of war fronts at the same time (which is when things get hairy).
The massive depth can also be its downfall in a sense. The current system allows players to use any units in the game in a deck system (no unlocking). Some view this as a crutch but personally I feel that it does level the playing field. However the problem with this is that new players will find the list of units and possibly be scared away by the depth. Don't panic! I recommend you specialize your deck in a specific nation to limit the view of units so that you can figure out what each one does (skirmish skirmish skirmish).
The other downside to the systems in place is that there isn't a fluent tutorial (basic tutorials cover deployment/capture zones, movement, airbase use and resupply) but it isn't as comprehensive as it may need to be. This means that there is a learning curve to the game that isn't gentle.
A tough RTS with great rewards.
Let me know if you enjoy this review. Have fun on the battlefield all of you.
Mail: RandomMaster@ymail.com… Expand