Act of War is a traditional Real-Time Strategy game developed by French developer Eugen Systems. The game is a throwback to Command & Conquer, featuring full-motion cut scenes and similar gameplay. Based on a story (and corresponding novel) written by author Dale Brown, the campaign story develops via FMV cutscenes between and even during missions in the form of intelligence bulletins. Act of War: Direct Action was released to favorable reviews and was successful enough for an add-on, Act of War: High Treason, to be produced, but as of November 2009 no additional content in the franchise has been announced.
The story takes place in the near future in which gas prices in the US have risen above $7 per gallon. A terrorist attack on an oil refinery in Houston causes alarm for President of the United States. Under National Security Advisor Robert Chamberlain's advice, the President activates Task Force Talon to provide security for the World Energy Forum in London. Major Jason Richter is in command fo TFT with Lieutenant Vega providing tactical support and Sergeant Major Jefferson leading the troops. At London, delegates are attacked by unknown terrorists who managed to kidnapp the Arthur Kingman, CEO of TransGlobal Energy and Yegor Zahkarov, representative of the World Energy Consortium. Task Force Talon manages to safely rescue the delegates before they are murdered.
The terrorists soon launch a full scale attack on San Francisco. Task Force Talon redeploys and drives back the invasion. Concerned about another attack, the President orders the withdrawal of all US troops stationed overseas. Major Richter however notices that the most recent terrorist attacks have been against TransGlobal Energy assets and speculates that the terrorist group is purposely attacking TGE because they are the only oil company whose oil prices have not risen. Realizing that the new TGE refinery in Egypt is undefended without US troops, Richter convinces General Kelly to allow Task Force Talon to deploy to Egypt.
In Egypt, TFT encounters well armed terrorists with stealth tanks and infantry. Gathering intelligence, TFT identify the terrorists as the Consortium, led by Yegor Zahkarov. TFT redeploys to Russia and with the help of the Russian army, Zahkarov is captured. Richter personally escorts Zahkarov back to the US. However, arriving back in the US, TFT discovers that Washington DC has been captured by the Consortium and the President held hostage. TFT, along with the US Army lead an operation to rescue the President. During this operation, the Consortium, masquerading as the 81st Armor Division, rescue Zahkarov.
The President is rescued but enroute to the bunker, Marine One is shot down. With TFT's help, the President eludes capture. Major Richter and General Kelly rally the troops to launch a counter attack on the Consortium occupied Capital Building. Zahkarov deploys the Falling Star, a superweapon capable of sending satellites at targets. Richter counters by deploying Wolverine cruise missiles to shoot down the falling satellites and uses the missiles to kill Zahkarov.
Act of War plays like a traditional RTS. Money is the only resource in the game and can be generated by building oil refineries and depots which convert oil to cash. The game has three factions: the US Army, Task Force Talon and the Consortium. Each faction has their unique strengths and weaknesses. Ground-based unit effectiveness is dependent on health. When the unit is at 25% health, the unit suffers a speed penalty. At 10%, the unit cannot fire, and in the case of infantry, they become immobile and slowly lose health until they die. Units gain promotions and stat bonuses by killing enemy units.
Act of War has a variety of unique gameplay mechanics that differentiate it from other entries in the RTS genre. Infantry play a key role in the game. Infantry can ambush, doubling their firepower and gaining stealth at the expense of becoming immobile. Players can garrison infantry inside buildings for added protection and the player can choose which side of the building the infantry occupy. Infantry occupying banks can drain the bank of money, providing additional income. Destroyed vehicles, helicopters, or buildings will generate non-combat personell. Returning these personell to the HQ will generate money. Players can use Infantry to capture wounded soldiers and vehicle crews for money. If the player has built a POW camp, the player can hold captured soldiers for a continuous source of cash. A fully occupied POW camp will generate almost as much money as an oil derrick and because it is an infinite resource, POW camps are high value targets. Friendly Fire kills will cost a player $200 but the cost may be worth it to prevent the enemy from capturing a POW. Fixed-wing aircraft such as fighters and bombers are produced and upgraded at an Air Control Tower but do not enter the map until they are called in for an airstrike on a player-determined target or flightpath.
Players are able to command the forces of three factions: US Army, Task Force Talon and the Consortium
Comprising of the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force as well, the US Army is comprised of modern military units used by the US military such as M1 Abrams tanks and AH-64 Apache helicopters. Though initially weak, the US units are powerful but not very versatile. As such they have more units than the other factions. The US provide power to their buildings through field generators and can build their buildings anywhere on the map. The US advances through the tech tree by upgrading their DEFCON status, starting at DEFCON 3 until reaching DEFCON 1.
Task Force Talon
A secret, elite sect of the US military, Task Force Talon comprises of units using advance experimental technology such as the RAH-66 Comanche stealth helicopter and the unmanned Spinner tank. TFT has a strong early game army but later in the game, they sacrifice some strength for versatility; many units have different firing modes to attack multiple types of targets. TFT structures must be built near the HQ or a Mobile Command Center which provide power to buildings in their radius. The TFT tech tree consists of a branched tech tree; players can choose to upgrade SHIELD tech and/or DRONE tech. SHIELD unlocks more mobility and utility oriented units while DRONE tech offers unmanned tanks and aircraft for more offensive capability.
The terrorist faction and antagonist of the single-player campaign. The Consortium is the only faction with a flying construction unit. The Consortium has two tech levels, Undercover and Revealed. Units in Undercover tech are comprised of mostly cheap Soviet based weaponry. Upon upgrading to Revealed mode, the Consortium gains many powerful high tech units such as the railgun equiped Akula stealth tank. The Consortium has the most stealth units in the game, all of which are unlocked in Revealed mode. Consortium buildings must be built within the vicinity of another Consortium building. Undercover structures require no power but Revealed structures require reactors to provide power.
PC System Requirements
- Windows 2000/XP
- Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 1.5GHz Processor
- 256MB RAM
- 6GB Hard Disk Space
- 2X DVD-ROM Drive
- 64MB Video Card with Hardware T&L
- DirectX compatible Sound Card
- DirectX 9.0c
- Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 2.2GHz Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 128MB Video Card with Hardware T&L
- TCP/IP compatible Network or Broadband Internet Connection