Act of War: Direct Action

aka: Act of War: Direct Action - Tomorrow's War Is NOW
Moby ID: 17659
Official Add-on

Description official descriptions

In the near future, America is in crisis... In the midst of a worldwide energy crisis that has pushed gasoline prices to over $7 per gallon, worldwide economy is in a tailspin. Terrorists have taken advantage of this instability to inflict heavy losses.

The US Army, with the task of ensuring homeland security, has created a new direct action operations group known as Task Force TALON. Armed with the latest technology and tactics, and lead by the controversial Brigadier General Jason Richter, TFT will perform whatever missions necessary to restore order.

In their way are the terrorists, elaborately financed and backed by a group only known as "the Consortium". Who is the Consortium, and why are they doing what they are doing? And most importantly, can Task Force TALON stop them?

Act of War: Direct Action is a modern real-time strategy game based on the novel and background by Dale Brown, noted techno-thriller author. The player takes command of Task Force TALON in its battles against terrorists across America, from the oil fields of Texas to streets of San Francisco, and even in other places around the globe with missions in the deserts of Middle East or cities like London.

Money is the only resource in this game, but unlike in other RTS games, it can be generated in many ways. For example, one way is to build an oil derrick in an oil-rich area and protect it, or another to capture and hold prisoners. When trying to take back a city from the terrorists during some missions, the player can also raid banks and treasury buildings for quick funds.

Buildings play an important role in Act of War, as infantry units can be sent inside to hold them against all intruders. A couple anti-tank teams strategically placed in a few buildings, and the enemy will be forced to waste time blasting these into rubble, or send in their own assault teams to root the occupying forces out. The environment is fully destructible.


  • Act of War: Шок и Трепет - Russian spelling
  • 액트 오브 워: 디렉트액션 - Korean spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

393 People (355 developers, 38 thanks) · View all

Senior VP of International Operations
Project Lead
Head of Technology
3D Engine & Tools Lead
3D Engine & Tools R&D
Game Editor & Tools
Additional Tools
Multiplayer Lead
Multiplayer Sound Engine
Multiplayer R&D
Game Content Lead
FX Integration
Game Design Lead
Game Design
Level Design
[ full credits ]



Average score: 82% (based on 54 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 1 reviews)

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.

Windows · by MAT (238622) · 2012



Dale Brown, noted techno-thriller author, came up with the backstory for this game. The main character, as well as Task Force Talon, will be featured in several of his future novels. A tie-in novel was released in May 2005.

If the name sounds familiar to gamers, Dale Brown's Flight of the Old Dog was the basis for Megafortress, a futuristic B-52 bomber sim from 360 Pacific way back when.


  • PC Powerplay (Germany)
    • Issue 04/2006 - #4 Strategy Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Kasey Chang, Stratege, Patrick Bregger, Plok.

Game added May 11th, 2005. Last modified November 10th, 2023.