R.U.S.E. is the
latest RTS (real-time strategy) to hit the XBox 360 that is set
during the turbulent era of World War II. Even though I’ve never
been a fan of RTS games on the XBox 360, the Halo RTS game was an
exception. In all honesty, you really can't beat them on a PC which
are more friendlier for this premise, especially with the accuracy
of a good old fashioned mouse. However, surprisingly enough,
R.U.S.E. actually works quite well with the 360 controller but we’ll
get to that later.
Like all good RTS
games, R.U.S.E. uses the classic base building archetype which
requires you to create your own army from scratch and as you
progress, so does your access to what you can create and build.
Fortunately, the game starts relatively slow and doesn't throw you
in the deep end but needless to say, there are a few frustrating
missions along the way. Controlling your troops can be done from the
sky or via the ground but for the majority, a birds eye view is the
best place to be, although it is interesting to get up close and
Story wise R.U.S.E. feels like a 50's war movie that follows a G.I.
Joe or more specifically, Joe Sheridan who has been given the task
of searching for the mysterious Prometheus, a vital German
intelligence source which could very well change the way this war
will end. Using cinematics and in-game movies, the developers
successfully tell the tale of Sheridan as he becomes a force to be
reckoned with in the army that he enlisted those so many years ago.
A twist to the story is that you also control General Richter, a
German commander who has quite the military mind and is the second
instalment of the campaign.
The control system of R.U.S.E. has been well mapped on the
controller and as opposed to the traditional mouse clicking
interface, selecting units is a flawless experience and all you need
to do is point towards your unit and push the button on the
controller. It's quite streamlined as is the menu system when you
Once you have selected the unit, you can then issue some
basic orders for it and on a FULL HD TV, it works exceptionally
well. At first you have limited access to how many units you can
build and even though reinforcements are sometimes available if you
don't err to the side of caution, things can quickly become
disastrous for Sheridan and Richter.
However, for those
who have never played an RTS before, more specifically on a console,
the title supports three levels of difficulty and we played it on
the mid setting which at times did cause some challenges as some of
the missions were a little relentless. But unlike games such as
Starcraft II or Command & Conquer, strategy plays a keep role in how
your mission will pan out and you need to fortify all facets of your
defence and offence. Another key factor of the game are ruses which
allows for different types of nefarious or sneaky techniques to be
used such as spying on enemies or decrypting their messages. The
single-player campaign is decent but it is lacking that true human
touch which at times is a little dry and uninspiring. Multiplayer on
the other hand is more entertaining then the single-player campaign
as this is where the "ruse" factor comes into play and you can
really bluff, cheat and sneak your way to victory like a good game
Graphically, R.U.S.E. is a good looking game on the 360 with some
exceptional attention to detail and some luscious special effects.
Vehicles are well designed and there are some great lighting effects
employed in the game to give the title a gritty RTS experience as
opposed to the bright lights of some other titles. The soundtrack
suits the title perfectly as does the voice acting which is
professional and only a little clichéd at the most expected times.
R.U.S.E. works as a console RTS game, thanks to its simplified
control system and entertaining gameplay. I still miss the
mouse but somehow the developers have succeeded and even though it
may not be as fast paced as some other RTS titles, R.U.S.E. is
definitely targeted to the more studious gamer who wants a true war
experience from the comfort of their lounge room. And besides, I
don't need the greatest PC in the world to play this RTS!