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Having really discovered the joy of computer games in the mid to late 90's, I have always had a bit of a passion for War Strategy games. Of course when you consider I was playing games when the likes of Command and Conquer were all the rage then it's hardly surprising that I've got a passion for war strategy games. So when I spotted RUSE on the PS3, I thought it would be the kind of game that I would really enjoy. I'd even played a demo of the game, so was quite sure I knew what to expect, however the reality was quite different.
The game is based on the real time strategy formula and you control your troops by ordering the into battle. Before each mission you are given the objectives and unleashed on the location in question. All of the action takes place during World War 2 and you take command of the Allied regiments, pushing the Nazi force back across Africa and Europe. Alongside the playable elements there is the story of US Army Sergeant Joseph Sheridan who has a personal vendetta against the enemy and the playable sequences are the development of his push against his enemy.
Overrun With Cut Sequences
The biggest problem with the game is that it tries to be a bit like a movie and that limits the playable element of the game. Unlike the Command and Conquer games the story doesn't always tie in and seems to be a little too over produced. I felt that the cut sequences between each campaign dragged on a little too much and whilst I do like games to have a decent plot to back up the playable elements, this one seemed to pan out like some terrible straight to video production. It wouldn't have been so bad if they'd all been relevant, but at times they didn't really make sense. When you add the fact that the subtitles were too fast for the voice track it just made this whole element of the game look poor.
Plotting Your Missions
The game can be controlled with both the PS3 controller or the Playstation Move system and to be honest there isn't really any difference. You select your units using the key pad and the only difference being that with the Move you point to the location you wish to move to, whereas with the controller you have to move the cursor. The controls are explained during the tutorial, however they are pretty simplistic and had the game actually been any good would have been a decent system to operate.
Graphics and Gameplay
This is really where the game lets itself down. The graphics, given the capabilities of the Playstation 3, are really basic and don't really look as good as you would expect. The maps are very one dimensional and even where there are hills or forests the designs have been left quite basic. It's a real disappointment as even the progression from one area to another really seems to be a little bland. The system seems to really struggle with the orders and skips quite often. Given the quality and complexity of certain games on the PS3, the quality of RUSE seems to be very low.
I found the gameplay to be very stilted and whilst this wasn't helped by the numerous cut sequences it certainly didn't help. It's the little details that make games like this more enjoyable and that seems to be where the developers have really slipped up. The only difference between Africa and Europe during the campaigns is the colour of the ground, changing from green to sandy yellow, whilst apparently all the troops in Africa were still wearing camouflage green. Had the gameplay been better these little details could have been overlooked, but they all add up to an end result of a very poor game.
As a game that promised so much the actual end result was incredibly disappointing. After playing the demo I had no idea that the game was so one dimensional and perhaps the only saving grace is the fact I didn't actually buy it. As a concept this type of game would work on the PS3, especially with the Move technology, but any potential developers would have to spend much more time developing the game to make sure it works. From the graphics to the gameplay there aren't too many nice words that can be said about RUSE and that is the reason I simply cant give it more than 1 star or recommend it.
Other Platforms: PC & Xbox 360
Age - 16 +