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Act of War: Direct Action (Windows)

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platform
Teen
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MAT (70549)
Written on  :  Dec 14, 2005
Rating  :  3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars

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Summary

Resurrection of a true RTS

The Good

This game feels and breathes like all those classical C&C games done by Westwood where you were compelled by the missions, diversity, storyline, and pretty much everything else to fight your way through the enemy ranks until the bitter end. Graphically, this game is a true marvel. Units and terrains are so detailed that when you zoom in the camera you'll still feel like being in a pretty solid FPS. Cinematics are plenty and they serve just wonderfully during missions to boost up the act of war.

Like in all of WS's C&C games, FMVs include live cast, and although it feels like a second rated acting, it does the purpose quite well. Opening cinematic pretty much feels like an opening to some movies. Missions are quite diverse and very from all-out-war to commanding a squad of few selected soldiers to do the job. The battles take place on sandy beaches, mountainous terrains, rural towns and capital cities, highways, and various other places. Your units get ranks rather rapidly so you can quickly make an experts out of them, and you always have a hero unit that represents you, though in bigger battles it isn't wise to go wandering around all alone.

There are three sides in total, one for the terrorists, and two against it, a regular US army, and a covert operations one with a bit more secret technology on the leash. Units are different and balance of the armies is quite visible as you need to change your strategy depending of which army are you in control with. Units range from all type of infantry which can use buildings, bunkers, and sandbags to dig themselves in and thus gain the upper hand against unprotected targets. Vehicles vary from buggies to all sorts of tanks and armoured vehicles. Naval units are present as far as I can recall, but air units are just as plenty, from choppers to fighter jets and bombers. Planes you call from outside the screen after you construct a radar or something. There are different types of planes, some can attack only ground targets like vehicles, while others can only be used to intercept enemy fighters or missiles.

The Bad

It's pretty good for what it tries to be, though I guess they could've done a bit better story as this one cannot compete with conflict between GDI and Nod.

The Bottom Line

Great set of units, truly wonderful graphics, loads of cinematics, action movie soundtrack, eye-candy visual effects, various terrains, three different sides, easy camera navigation, and great gameplay are what put this title ahead of many other real-time strategies, and honestly, I didn't expect something this good to come with Atari brand, not when we're talking about RTS, they really put a lot of effort in both programming and design.