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Real War: Rouge States Print E-mail
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Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Thursday, 23 November 2006

Real War, a relatively unknown war game gets a sequel, will it take the games out of the RTS shadows? Read on to find out.

Real War by Virginia based Rival Interactive promised to be as real as it gets when it comes to real time strategy war games. The series was based on the Joints Chiefs of Staff simulation strategy game. However Real War was quickly forgotten after being noticed for a while in the defence sector. Real War: Rouge States, an enhanced version of the game was released in 2002. The sequel didn’t need the original game to play, it promised a lot of new units, better AI and graphics.

The story in Real War: Rouge States is yet another boring terrorist grown in to global army, threatening the free world type of thing. The terrorists in the game are called ILA and basically have everything a modern super-power has, including nuclear weapons, missiles, tanks, attack helicopters, aircraft carriers and fighter jets. How they were able to build up this massive army without being noticed isn’t exactly explained in the story. Anyway the good looking intro movie tries to smooth things out. If it wasn’t for the terrible narration it would even be viewable.

Real War: Rouge States features enhanced graphics compared to the original version. They are still not top class. The infantry is bigger than they were in the original version, and actually look bigger than the vehicles. However I really like the details on some of the vehicles and ships. The aircraft carrier is especially detailed with the planes on deck ready to be put into action.

One unique selling point for Real War: Rouge States were the number of authentic units used in the game. Most of the units are authentic and includes AH64D helicopters, M1A2 Abrams tanks, Rangers, amphibious troop transports and much more. You must give the developers some credits for this.

However the game does not give an accurate picture of what fighting is today. Most of the game is still about taking bridges, tanks attacking other tanks on barren fields and using air support. There is no urban combat, no civilians no real terrorists and no challenging real military scenarios. The so called terrorists in the game use tanks and planes just like you do. They don’t hide among the civilian population or run around setting off bombs.

The AI in the game is said to be based on the Joint Chiefs of Staff game. If that’s the case then I’m worried because the AI is terrible. At one point in the game an enemy tank trying to get to an outpost on the other side of my base went straight through my base getting totally hammered. The player’s own units are just as dumb, they just stand there when their buddy next to them is getting attacked.

In the Real War series you don’t have to gather resources as in other RTS-games. Instead the games feature a supply line system where you build supply depots. Helicopters lands and you get resources to buy units. The interesting part with this concept is that you can focus on attacking the enemy’s supply lines in order to win. In theory this works great, in practice the helicopters only have to fly a few tiles on the map so it’s hard to really make any damage.

Overall Real War: Rouge States is an interesting game, it promises to be realistic and it is when it comes to units but not the battles and scenarios. The game suffers from serious AI flaws but can be a bit entertaining if you are into the military and armed forces, otherwise stay away.


Related: Act of War, Command&Conquer, Command&Conquer: Red Alert 2
Developer: Rival Interactive
Website for Game: http://www.real-war.com/
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Interactive
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP
Year of Release: 2002

Requirements:
Pentium III 600 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 16 MB VRAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.




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