Digital rooftop: Prelude to the war (Tom Clancy’s EndWar)

by Grungi

(Tom Clancy’s EndWar review, Part 1 of 3)

So, today I bought Tom Clancy’s EndWar on PS3 (found it for a tiny 15€) and invested about 45 minutes in it, just enough to see how it played like. To be fair, the test conditions where far from ideal: small SD screen, and much worse no headset.

Which is a shame, because I’m sure this is going to get a thousand times more awesome played with speech recognition. It will…

What ? What do I mean with speech recognition ?

Well, EndWar is a real-time strategy game, which is a genre that always struggled on console. So, as it became clear that a gamepad would probably never trump a good ol’ keyboard-mouse combo, Ubisoft sat and thought about a new way to control the units on the battlefield. And they came up with a speech control scheme that, I read, works flawlessly. It’s one of the two things that made me buy this game.

The other is the setting, World War III (well, more like Northern Hemisphere War III, but I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it). I must say the perspective of playing the role of a commander uttering commands to his troops on near-future battlefields sold me pretty fast.

And as I tried the first two missions, I quickly saw how speaking instead of navigating menus would make for a much more dynamic experience. It’s a thousand time faster to say “Unit 5, Attack Hostile 3” than to click through 4 or 5 menus to achieve the same thing.

That being said, the game promises to be quite frantic, even a bit too frantic for me, but ultimately it promises a great deal of fun. The battlefields are large enough, the rock-paper-scissor mechanic for a relatively easy decision-making process, and everything looks rather good.

Should the speech recognition system live up to my expectations, this may very well become the first console game I try to play online. Its semi-persistant World War mode looks like a lot of fun. But first I’ll need to invest quite a bit of time in the single player modes, and we’ll see how it goes. See you for part 2 !

Part 1 score : 7/10