21 October 2008

Tom Clancy's EndWar Coming to Handhelds

I just read here that Tom Clancy's EndWar, in development by Ubisoft Shanghai, is getting a PSP and DS release in addition to it's console and PC releases. To those who don't know, EndWar is Ubisoft's new real-time strategy game, set to revolutionize how we think about RTS on consoles with its voice controls and simplified, fast-paced gameplay. I didn't know what to think of this game when I first heard of it, but I had a chance to play the beta when it was released earlier this year and I've been hopelessly addicted to the demo since it hit Xbox Live marketplace. I've been anxiously awaiting this game's release ever since.

So, of course, I was happy to hear that a handheld edition was in the works as well. RTS games are severely underrepresented on handhelds, particularly the DS. I know part of this lies in technical limitations, but an unorthodox RTS like EndWar would be just the thing to change our expectations of what a portable RTS can do. I mean, hell, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings was fun enough. Unfortunately, I read on to learn that both of the portable EndWars are turn-based strategy games. Not only that, but that they're completely eschewing EndWar's "simplicity is perfection" philosophy with 20 unit types per faction, incorporating ground, sea and air tactics. What? Even the screen captures make the games look less like EndWar and more like a fancy Advance Wars knockoff. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure both of the games will be excellent in their own right, especially if they maintain the standard of quality set by their console counterparts (if nothing else). I just thought that a portable EndWar had potential for so much more. The simplified rock-paper-scissors RTS formula of EndWar would make for a seamless transition to handhelds, with the expected graphical downgrade (though, on PSP, maybe not so much). Hell, the DS is uniquely equipped to handle voice commands!

At any rate, keep an eye out for EndWar this November, regardless of the platform you play it on. If you're an RTS fan at all, it's at least worth a look.

1 comment:

Entreri said...

You make some very good points one would think that a ds EndWar. Would make full use of the mic so nice built right in to the system, just begging to be used for something good. still while it may not live up to it's console big bother, a sweet advanced wars clone is not entirely a bad thing. After seeing the beta i can't wait to dive in to the rock-paper-scissors madness.
"Long live the Mother Land"