(http://ruse.us.ubi.com/)  Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  Some might say that developer Eugen Systems was crazy to release another RTS so soon after StarCraft 2 hit the market, but once you get your hands on R.U.S.E., you’ll understand why it can stand its ground against Blizzard’s blockbuster strategy game. Focusing mainly on deception and large scale tactics, R.U.S.E. is a game that definitely deserves your attention.

(http://ruse.us.ubi.com/)  Rated T for Teen by ESRB.  Some might say that developer Eugen Systems was crazy to release another RTS so soon after StarCraft 2 hit the market, but once you get your hands on R.U.S.E., you’ll understand why it can stand its ground against Blizzard’s blockbuster strategy game. Focusing mainly on deception and large scale tactics, R.U.S.E. is a game that definitely deserves your attention.

 

 

Presentation:
R.U.S.E. takes place during World War 2. You play as Joe Sheridan of the United States Army, where you follow his military career as he commands his troops all the way from Africa to Germany. The characters, while likeable, could have been a little less stereotypical, and make the cutscenes more interesting.

       

Graphics:
The graphics during cutscenes are quite acceptable, but the facial animations could have used a bit more finesse. However, during gameplay the graphics were pretty amazing. They weren’t of the highest quality, but the multi-layer zooming makes it a worthwhile experience. At the highest level the battlefield turns into a classic war room table, with brightly colored tokens and arrows representing your units and their orders; on the other end, zooming in rewards you with a much more detailed view, allowing you to see the units to scale with the environment as they fight for their lives on the battlefield. The graphical presentation is also central to the experience by highlighting the major contrast between being an officer of a battle and the general of a war, while most strategy games only provide one or the other.

Sounds:
While R.U.S.E.’s score may not win any awards, it’s appropriately intense to the setting and situations. The sound effects are however given a lot of details. Zooming in to different views of the battlefield will result in different types of sounds that you will hear. Zooming out all the way will reduce chatter to your lieutenant’s voice only, but zooming in will allow you to hear the chaotic sounds of war.

       

Gameplay:
What makes R.U.S.E. different from most other RTS is the focus of your strategies. While most strategy games focus on micro-managing, R.U.S.E. focuses on seeing the big picture of the battle. Because troops appear to move agonizingly slow (due to the scale of the maps) you must anticipate your opponent’s moves and counter them before they become a problem. Therefore, gathering intelligence on your opponent (and seeding false information) is core to gameplay. In addition, you are given “RUSE cards” to activate certain powers to either further your knowledge of enemy plans (such as spies or decryption) or deceive your opponent (decoys, etc).

       

Innovation:
RTS games rarely have the player focus on the big picture of combat, and while R.U.S.E. isn’t the only game to do so, it pulls it off better than any other game I’ve seen so far. In addition, the concept of deception and subterfuge in an RTS is unique and refreshing.

Conclusion:
With all the big releases that came out recently, R.U.S.E. probably snuck under most people’s radar. But even amidst all these high profile games, R.U.S.E. deserves some attention. Its unique strategy experience is not one easily forgotten. It is a godsend for those with the patience and has a niche for the strategy genre.

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