World in Conflict takes place in an alternate history where instead of the Cold War ending, it went hot and erupted into a third world war. At the beginning of the game, we are treated to a vert entertaining cutscene setting up what ends up being the Soviet invasion of Seattle. Cutscenes are done both in-game and pre-rendered, both befitting the game’s mood. The story is very engaging, due in large part to the voice acting which is very good and only sometimes unbelievable. Alec Baldwin lends his voice as the narrator who also happens to be your character. Unfortunately, in trying to tell a hodgepodge of personal soldier’s stories, the story sometimes loses focus and presents us with characters we don’t care about as much as those present throughout most of the game.
Graphically, the game is stunning with a very realistic depiction of explosions, projecticles, and military units. The environments feel large and have been put together with great detail. Your APCs roll under a freeway in Seattle teaming with refuges attempting to flee the city in the wake of the invasion; Missiles streak across the sky, contrails flaring; And smoldering ruins will litter the battlefield after you are through (war is messy after all). With DirectX 10 enhancements to boot, the game is absolutely incredible but be warned, you need some serious hardware to run this game the way it was meant to be played.
The sound design in the game is excellent, with sound details relaying to your pov as they should. From above the battlefield you are treated with most of the macro noises present but as you zoom down to a soldier’s eye level you hear whizzing of bullets, clanking of ejected casings, and tank treads flexing. The score is good and epic in tone, but nothing overtly worthy of note.
Gameplay is smooth and highly dependent on your style of command. Using formations similar to Ground Control II, you can be precise and angle unit lines towards the enemy or throw them to a position in a cluster pattern. You can micro-manage your forces or let them act on their own rules of engagement once you point them to their destination. Instead of harvesting resources, you are given a certain number of points with which to call in reinforcements. These can be anything from infantry to helicopters and will land at a drop zone of your choosing. Support points are used to call in air support and artillery barrages. These points will recharge slowly and are also given as rewards for accomplishing objectives.
Go get this right away and push the Soviets out of our homeland!