|System: PC, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Petroglyph||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 10, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
After a handful of rather straightforward campaigns, in which there are no research trees or customizing options, a territory conquest scenario is offered. It gives you a chance to flex some of your factions' muscles as you prepare to take over the planet.
The fighting and strategic elements are relentless, and it's all in real time. The micromanagement is streamlined, allowing you to make quick decisions regarding where best to spend your resources. For greater consistency, you can employ your favorite units in each and every fight. Each of the three factions has its own map of the territory it controls. You can also use these maps in the Skirmish mode which is where this game begins to shine.
Online is where Universe at War: Earth Assault comes into its own. It's not overly complex, but it offers plenty of depth with all of the various options and customizing features. Here you will get to access all of the factions' unique abilities. The matches are intense, and one could say they are a little short, but it's the quality of the gameplay that counts. There isn't a lot of people online as of this review, but you can line up matches for later dates, which gives people time to prepare, (i.e., get everyone at home off their back for a few hours). There is a Gold membership available for an extra fifty bucks, but I wouldn't even concern myself with that at this point. The gameplay is fun the way it is - and it's still free online.
Control can sometime be an issue. The camera doesn't always afford the best view and zooming is limited. Pathfinding errors will rear its ugly head from time to time, causing your units to go to the wrong place or even leave a place they were commanded to hold. This can seriously cost you the game at times. Very frustrating to say the least. Graphically the game looks great, with robust 3D structures displayed in great detail. The character models, though unimaginative, look good and animate well. The tunes are generic rock, with requisite blazing guitar solos and ominous synth chords. Voiceovers are weak, and are somewhere in between corny and annoying.
Universe at War: Earth Assault has a lot going for it, but you've got some work to do before it pays off.
CCC Senior Writer