RUSE, our full preview of the Xbox 360 RTS from Ubisoft
Posted | 0 comments | By James Pikover
Most games shown over E3 have some fanbase or fanfare from the get go, even if they are entirely new IP’s. Interested fans can pretty easily determine what the game genre is, what type of game it will be, etc. Ruse was slightly different in that we knew nothing of it except that the trailer showed two players using a touch-sensitive table, similar to Microsoft’s Surface, to play a strategy game. It looked good, but left us wondering.
Now we know. Ruse is a real time strategy by Ubisoft made after last year’s EndWar and it’s meant to make RTS gameplay both very simple, even with a gamepad, and diverse. Taking place in war torn Europe in World War 2, Ruse gives players the opportunity to fight both the Nazi regime in what, on a PC or Xbox 360, looks like an everyday RTS.
There are two very noticeable differences. First is the ability to zoom in and out of the game, to the degree that the entire map is in fact an animated map on a table in a war room. We’re not sure what Ubisoft’s fascination with games that don’t have virtually-tangible things occurring is, but it does give a unique effect. What’s impressive is zooming in, and the detail in every object on the massive maps. From what looks like a map from five feet away to being able to see the leaves on a tree, everything is visible.
The second is in the name. Ruse is all about planting false information and making your opponent attack or defend when they shouldn’t be, or to gain additional information about enemies for yourself. Different ruses include sending a UAV recon drone or a stealth commando to gain information; sending false intel to the opposition to make them believe something that isn’t true; or listening into their communications and planning based on that.
What these different ruses give the game is a surprisingly intelligent enemy, not just one who can win with overwhelming forces, but who can trick you or surprise you. It gives players the opportunity to play a strategy title that isn’t reliant simply on who has the fast fingers or better resources.
Besides that, Ruse is your typical WW2 RTS. Yes, it is in fact playable on a special touchscreen table, but we don’t exactly have the free funds to purchase one. However, while we didn’t get a chance for hands-on gameplay, the touchscreen version looks much more accessible and much more enjoyable than any RTS we’ve ever seen.