Order of War Review
Order of War box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Wargaming.net 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Square Enix 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep. 22, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-4 (Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Despite this, though, the earlier missions will supply you with a seemingly endless stream of reinforcements, which allows strategy to be throw out the window in favor of brute force. Later levels do become a bit more challenging, and a resource management system is introduced which plays out more or less like most other modern RTS games. You have a certain amount of points that you can spend on troops and armored vehicles, and the more control points you've taken over the faster you gain those points.

Order of War screenshot

As new unit types come into play, and the control point-based reinforcement system comes into play, things get a bit more interesting. However, the clunky controls and slow response time of your units bottlenecks your strategic options. Rarely will you come across a mission that isn't best solved by drag-clicking your entire force and charging straight ahead into the fray.

It's not all bad. The game features a really neat option that instantly switches the camera from the user-controlled camera that hovers over the battlefield to a cinematic camera that zooms right in on units and captures the action like you've never seen it before in an RTS - up close and personal. This can be done on a moment's notice too, since the button to change the camera is always in the top-right of the screen. It's a good bit of fun to initiate a battle then switch to the cinematic camera to watch it play out. That said, the only reason the player is able to do this is because there isn't much to combat other than telling your units to attack. It's a nice consolation prize though, and it certainly lends to this game's action-based style.

Advertisement

This feature feeds into Order of War's greatest strength. While the gameplay itself obviously falls short in a number of different areas, the trappings that surround it are all quite good. The presentation of the story of the war is very well told, and the cutscenes before the battles give you a good idea of where and, more importantly, why this battle was fought. It's as much an educational tool as it is a video game. Beyond that the scenes feature a technical flourish that is unexpected but much appreciated.

The only significant problem with those scenes is that the voice acting is pretty bad. That's not really saying much for a video game, much less the RTS genre which has played host in the past to some notoriously awful cutscenes (e.g. the early Command and Conquer FMVs), but the faux tough guy attitudes of the war-time generals is rather poor and distracting.

Graphically, Order of War looks nice. It doesn't have all of the polish of other modern PC games, but it still looks good. Tanks are surprisingly well-detailed, and it's easy to distinguish different types of tanks even when zoomed out. The one issue that annoyed me is that the infantry foot soldiers are so small and camouflaged that I would often lose entire units of riflemen in the middle of a field - they blend in so well that they're easy to miss.

Overall, Order of War asks consumers to forgive quite a few major gameplay errors in favor of a $10 price cut from the PC standard MSRP. This is a game that will be a tough sell for anybody who is a veteran of real-time strategy games, but it's not entirely bad. The right type of gamer (RTS newcomer/casual tactician) will be able to have some fun with it.

By Andrew Groen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
The graphics are good for a budget title. Units are distinct, even from far away, and surroundings can be very beautiful. Although, infantry can be so small and camouflaged that you can lose them.
3.0
Control
The controls are conventional RTS-style. A couple of strange changes may slow down hardcore RTS players.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is very standard war-time orchestral, and sound effects are effective but never impressive. Voice over work is consistently bad.
3.3
Play Value
There's a fair amount of content here, and the single-player has enough content to last at least 10-15 hours. The multiplayer probably won't take you far though.
3.2
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Experience WWII warfare on an epic, cinematic stage that truly captures the intensity and scale of the battlefield.
  • Take command of an entire armored force consisting of up to 1000 soldiers, tank divisions, armored vehicles, and air force.
  • Players can choose between two different campaign modes offering completely different storyline, missions, objectives, and environments.
  • Experience the unique dynamic camera that allows players to command troops over huge geographical scale whilst maintaining movie-like vistas and detail.
  • In-depth gameplay modes featuring 2 x different campaign modes, multi-player, Deathmatch, and skirmish mode.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge Order of War screenshot - click to enlarge

    X
    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook