What Do We Love About… EndWar Online?
We’re taking a look at EndWar Online from Ubisoft for our next “What Do We Love About…?” article. The game, in case you don’t know it, is a lane based real time strategy that pits players against each other in a fast paced highly tactical free to play MMO. Each player has their own base to defend and three lanes in which to send troops down, to both try and destroy their opponents base whilst simultaneously reacting to their opponents’ troops and defending.
Currently in Open Beta the game has been a big hit and is quite an original title mixing RTS with a MOBA style gameplay; here’s a few of the things that we love about the game:
- Beyond Rock Paper Scissors - The game introduces rock-paper-scissors mechanics... then blows it out of the water. The first three units you are introduced to are the tank, the gunship and the anti-aircraft; anti-aircraft beat gunships, gunships beat tanks, tanks beat anti-aircraft. Your initial AI battles revolve around trying to constantly counter what is being sent at you, however as the game advances you get Infantry who capture various points, Artillery that do AOE ground attacks, Airstrikes and more. Then you throw in the ability to upgrade your units and equip them with different technology and learn new skills, so a tank is no longer a standard tank, but might have a flamethrower attached for finishing off infantry. The developers have taken the classic rock-paper-scissors mechanic and gone to town with it.
- Forced Offensive - You can’t simply play defensively. Against the AI it’s not too difficult to play on the defensive, let the AI throw their units at you and just send the right counter-unit up the right lane, kill off their units and steamroll for a victory. Then you play against another player and you can’t actually see what they are sending up the lanes until one of your units, or a capture point, comes in contact with you and suddenly it’s getting a little too late to try and react because they’ve pushed all the way down your lane. This type of mechanic forces players to try and play aggressively with a plan in mind and working with particular tactics based on their armies composition of units, the layout of the map, and trying to second guess what your opponent might try and do based off the units they have available.
- Lane Based Map Design - The lane based strategy is quite deep. When players send their units down a particular lane, usually two or three lanes, there’s no turning back and the units are committed to the fight, to that lane and will automatically attack anything that comes their way. The actual variety of strategy available from different lanes is quite impressive and the map design has been well thought out, whilst one three lane map might seem the same as the next it really isn’t. Along the maps there are typically capture points; uplinks, barracks and artillery locations, each of which require a particular unit to capture them and will help a player in one way or another. Aside from this, something as simple as where map lanes might come close together, yet still be their own independent lane, means players can use attacks to fire into the other lane providing enemies are in range, and so creates some interesting bottleneck mechanics.
- Choosing Your Team - Players can choose the composition of their team. With all the above in mind, and the amount of strategy available, this is further enhanced by the complete flexibility that players have in choosing and customizing the units that they will take into a match. Players can have up to six commanders (as they level up) in their team, each commander leading a certain type of unit, allowing players to go for a more diverse mixed bag of units, focusing on lots of tanks and devastating infantry and anti-aircraft, or whatever strategy they can think of.
- Interesting Campaign - A useful and fun campaign. The main Campaign has the story driven element, a mix of quests to get resources (energy) and rewards, where players will roll across Europe with their respective faction and take over territories. Not only is this a source of interesting storylines, an advanced tutorial, but it is also the players main income of energy which provides the main currency for purchasing and upgrading buildings in their headquarters, buying new commanders and upgrading their gear in the crafting system.
These are some of the things that we love about EndWar Online, but what do you think? What do you love about this game? Would you add anything else to the list? We await your opinions! Let us know!!!!!
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