Act of War

No, it was not artillery. It was an invisible tank. I was talking to my friend, he told me where the tank was, and i look there, and I could not see it. It shot things, and the projectile path was short (not artillery). He said it was a normal tank, no stealth ability. When he placed it on my defunct oil well which was a percise spot, I had units attack the ground where it was at. It was unaffected. This was a bug and not my misinterpritation of the game mechanics.

Ah. Very odd. If that’s what was going on, then I apologize and am reduced to criticizing your spelling of “misinterpretation”. :)

But you mentioned it came up more than a few times last night. So you’re saying your friend in several online games had invulnerable invisible tanks? Could he have been cheating? Could I trouble you to email me the replay at [email protected]? I’d love a look at what’s going on.

-Tom

The other side of the coin, of course, is: how much confidence can consumers have when products continually have Day Zero patches?

We’re practically being trained to expect problems with games, so it’s no wonder people are so ready to jump to conclusions at the first sign of problems.

Umm I didnt save the replay unless its automatic, if it is, ill send it to you. It came up several times in the same game, at least if my friend was not lying to me. After the first time he said he would retire the tank because I could not see it or affect it (even automatic defenses didn’t target it). Twice more there were invsible tanks which he similarly retired. So unless he used the same one three times, it happened 3 times.

DeepT, replays are automatically saved in the AOW/Replay folder.

-Tom

I picked this title up a few days ago based on the constant comparisons to C&C Generals, which is still my favorite RTS to date.

I would say that comparing Act of War to what others have described as "Tom Clancy meets C&C Generals is a pretty apt description of the game play. I like some of the added complexities, such as the limited resources outside of capturing enemy soldiers and the rather beefy use of infantry.

I don’t really like the makeup of the faction forces in AoW, though. In Generals, the units owned by the factions made a sort of rough logical sense. The sub-factions in Zero Hour did so as well. It’s easy to see why there’d be an infantry orientated Chinese General or a GLA faction orientated around explosives or chemical weapons.

Outside of the US “Army” faction, the AoW units seem rather randomly chosen from techno-thriller fiction. You could have switched many of the Task Force units with those of the Consortium, and it wouldn’t have made much difference in the world logic.

I’ve only played a few skirmish rounds but I do have to ask if anyone else was somewhat surprised at just how brutal playing against the computer can be. Even on the easiest mode and on the largest map possible, it seemed like the computer had built through its tech tree pretty quickly and had a sizable combined forces group rushing down on my base within too short an amount of time.

As for the story in the campaign mode, the dark and grainy video fit the mood well, but the plot is, as others mentioned, forgettable. Any game that mixes units from the US Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force and calls them all the “US Army” isn’t exactly setting the realism bar all that high. But the campaign itself is fun to play through.

Overall, I like it, though I’m not sure I’m happy with the $45 price tag. It’s more of a $30-$35 game in my mind.

I don’t really like the makeup of the faction forces in AoW, though.

Agreed. It’s a really weak game world. The more I play it, the more some of the faction personalities start to emerge, but it’s not very clear who’s what with whom or why and how. I think it’s partly a factor of the developer not being very experienced, but I mainly blame them for being hamstrung by a crappy Dale Brown novel.

Even on the easiest mode and on the largest map possible, it seemed like the computer had built through its tech tree pretty quickly and had a sizable combined forces group rushing down on my base within too short an amount of time.

The AI is indeed rough, but I’m not sure how much of it is cheating. I think a lot of it is that the AI handles the twiddly bits better by being a computer. To the game’s credit, though, the tactical AI is far and away better than Generals. I never feel like I’ve been betrayed by dumbass units getting themselves killed because they’re doing something stupid.

FWIW, the tech trees are actually pretty vertical in that it’s relatively simple to get quickly where you want to go. This is true of some faction more than others, BTW. I was really beating up on some of the guys at Shoot Club by just jumping straight to the superweapons, which is much easier in Act of War than it is in other RTSs.

Troy Goodfellow (the Qt3 hobbit) and I were thinking of trying to get a game going this weekend. Drop us an email if you want in.

-Tom

Does it have the now ubiquitous “Tanks can run over infantry” thing?

I truely despise this; I know that a tank could crush an infantry unit, but in the modern age of war a tank will simply never get close enough to infantry for crushing it to be a reasonable option, as such the only thing this “realism” has done for RTS’ is make infantry really bad and require you to micro them just to keep several thousand dollars from going up in smoke because your guys are too stupid to step one foot to the left.

Please tell me it doesn’t have this mechanic, or at the very least that it never comes up.

Chris Woods

Hobbit?

Oh, it is so on.

Anyway, Friday night (Eastern Time) is really good for me, as is late Saturday afternoon or all day Sunday.

Troy

It’s definitely not cheating, at least outside of being able to multitask like a computer would. There’s a cheat that allows you to remove the fog of war, which allowed me to watch the computer go about its business. It did everything as a human opponent did, just faster.

That’s really my main complaint, that even in easy mode it seems like the computer has none of the delay in thought process we puny humans have.

You’re right about the tactical AI being far better. It almost has to be, with how the game allows more involved combat in urban environments with infantry.

I was fairly unhappy with this after playing it a while. What I really want is C&C Generals 2. The sides are just not differant enough and the units are a bit to generic. In Generals at least I thought each unit seemed to have speical purposes, like a buggy was anti-armor, and a quad was anti-infantry/anti air. Where as in AoW, it seems like tank X is margenly good at everything except air. I guess its also the feel of all the tricks you could do in generals are missing from AoW. Like the technical full of terrorists, or hiding black lotus near money pad stealing somone’s cash, and finally the general powers like pop-up tunnels, fuel-air bombs, or special units you could get.

I’d love for another C&C Generals game to come out, even if it was just improvements on the existing game. I’d probably even be happy if someone just modded AoW to support the three base factions and units of Generals.

Supposedly the Generals team is already working on Red Alert 3, or something.

Chris,

I understand your complaint, but think of it as a gameplay mechanic. The idea is that you can sometimes trade your attention – the most valuable resource in any RTS – for an infantry kill if you want to take the time to manually drive your tank around.

However, it’s not really as large a factor as it was in Generals for a number of reasons. Infantry are more powerful here. They can hide in buildings and among trees. Often, you’ll want to shoot infantry to try to capture them, which tanks can’t do. Also, I think there are more elite infanty who can’t be run over.

Absolutely not, DeepT. There’s a distinction between anti-vehicle, anti-infantry, and anti-building attacks. Many units, such as the TFT powered armor suits, are extremely powerful for being able to change their weapons on the fly. The same thing applies to aircraft, which are part of another weapon interplay. There are even counters to superweapons.

As I’ve said, Act of War is missing the imaginative sides of Generals. But I’ve tried going back to Generals since Act of War. It’s really difficult, given that Act of War does a great job of solving so many of the problems with Generals.

-Tom

I dunno, but for some reason AoW didn’t grab me or the group I play with. None of us are playing it now, where as we played generals for months (and personally I played generals for years).

My only gripes with generals were the cheating, and the fact that I view the infantry general as overpowered. Those mini-guners are anti-everything except heavy armor, and then just a few of those listening posts full of rocket dudes would take care of that. It seemed to me whenever id play online that half my oppoents were infantry generals.