Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Universe at War: Demo

I tried the Universe at War demo tonight. I didn't spend too much time on it and left with somewhat mixed feelings.

The top menu item on the main menu was "Tutorial" so I jumped in on it. They had some decent ideas about how to map a PC RTS to a console controller (certainly no worse than other console RTS games out there right now) but the tutorial was pretty structured and boring. After completing it, I tried "Conquer the World" that at first made me think they just lifted the CTW feature from Rise of Nations. However, it turned out to be a multiplayer matchmaking interface that took place on a large conquer the world style map. I'm not sure if there was a meta game (I quickly exited when I tried to select a province and start a game as I didn't want to play against a stranger) but there's certainly some potential.

I then jumped into a skirmish battle on default AI. I'm thinking that the first battle should have probably been against a slightly weaker AI, though, as I was threatened the whole time.

While the UI seemed reasonable, it was extremely hard to find and select units (especially when there were a bunch of them). In the chaos of building up my base and trying to defend against attacks, I quickly lost my builders so I couldn't task them to fixing/building new things.

I may try it again if I work on another RTS, but for now I think I'll wait until someone revolutionizes in the space... None of the current generation of console RTS games really catches my fancy.

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