by Chris Davis, reviewed on
Changing Things Up
It is almost a guarantee nowadays that if you put the Clancy name on your game it will certainly sell like hotcakes. While Ubisoft’s breadwinning series of games has earned them untold billions in revenue, each game has stuck to traditional values while at the same time changing the landscape with nothing short of addicting tactical gameplay. EndWar, the first new Clancy series in almost six years, looks to shake things up once again thanks to a very different take on the real time strategy genre. But is it all talk?
The Beginning of the End
The Clancy franchise, though based upon dozens of games, follows a singular storyline. While there have been convoluted hints throughout the series that point to an eventual culmination of the various series there has yet to be such a title released, though we all know that that would sell bazillions of units. EndWar seems to be the first true step in this direction with characters, and units from the various series set as key players in the overall story. While it isn’t very relevant to the average player, seeing familiar faces like former Rainbow and Ghost operatives as commanders in the field gives a bit of a nostalgia trip to veteran players.
If there is one thing that the Clancy name is known for its creating scenarios based in reality that are as realistic as they are addictive to play. EndWar is no exception. Set in the year 2020, the game tells the story of how the world went to hell in a hand basket in just four years. In 2016, following a terrorist detonation of a nuclear weapon in Saudi Arabia that kills over six million people and cripples the world’s oil supply, Russia becomes the world’s leading supplier of oil thanks to massive fields in Eastern Siberia almost overnight. With its newfound wealth the country quickly begins to reconstruct its army with modern weapons to levels that haven’t been seen since the end of the Cold War. Meanwhile, as the rest of the world copes with the economic crisis, several remarkable evens begin to take place. The European Union finally unites under a single banner to become essentially a united states of Europe, placing their capitol at Paris. The following year the United States and Europe align to launch the world’s first global interlocking anti-ballistic missile shield, dubbed SLAMS. Russia quickly reacts by building an ABM system themselves, effectively ending the threat of a nuclear war. All sides dismantle their missiles and the world revels in the newfound sense of peace.
The world stage begins to change once again in 2018 as the United States announces their intention to begin construction on the Freedom Star, a military space station that is able to deploy up to three companies of marines anywhere in the world in just ninety minutes. Shocked at the militarization of space, the European Union and Russia protest this sudden gambit to regain dominance on the global stage which is promptly ignored in Washington. On the day of the final shuttle launch two years later a series of terrorist attacks break out across the three nations, culminating in the destruction of the Freedom Four launcher. This sparks a chain of events that culminate in all out war between them. And so the Endwar begins.
It is worth noting that there is no one good side in this war, given that both Europe and the United States are the victims and Russia is secretly the aggressor. Each side has their own intentions but Russia is clearly once again the bad guy as they both aided the terrorist factions as well as launched an all out invasion of Eastern Europe. While very little story develops after the first bullets start to fly little snippets appear between missions show you how the world state is rapidly deteriorating. Learning of events like assassination attempts, riots, food shortages, and even the destruction of the Vatican due to a terrorist nuclear detonation give you a strong sense for how frighteningly realistic a Clancy apocalypse could be.
No Pros and Cons at this time