are some aspects of Will of Steel which are quite
good but overall this is a game that suffers from
technical problems which will only serve to frustrate
meticulous RTS fans.
of Steel requires a great deal of micromanagement.
I know that alone will scare some people away. What's
even worse is that for a game that demands so much
attention to detail, the payoff is typically an army
that has a mind of its own and refuses to obey orders
- or can't find its way out of a parking lot - literally.
Steel is the Marine officer in charge of the battalion
which is engaged in modern urban warfare in Afghanistan
and Iraq. His father is a highly decorated general
which explains why William is so driven; has a lot
to live up to. The story really doesn't go much beyond
that. Everything you need to know will be revealed
in the missions and various objectives. Suffice to
say that there will be a mix of combat locations including
rugged mountainous terrain, the desert and urban areas.
your command will be infantry, snipers, medics, tanks
and aircraft. For the most part the formation of your
units will take place rather easily. Issuing commands
is straightforward as this modern-day approach to
warfare virtually takes care of itself. Send out some
recon to assess the situation and take the appropriate
measures. You'll find there's little room for error.
The game takes a very realistic approach to some aspects
of warfare such as the limited number of soldiers.
They don't respawn and you can't recruit new ones.
The medic is capable of restoring some back to health
but that's another story that I'll get to shortly.
will only control about 30 units, give or take. They
won't be able to sustain too many hits so you have
to make sure they have some kind of cover or escape
route. Unfortunately your units don't always do what's
best for them. Expect to spend all of your time on
micromanagement. Even when you issue strict orders
they will be disobeyed. Most of this can be attributed
to the pathfinding which will have units stumbling
over each other and getting hung up in places like
a parking lot where they can't get over a fence. Other
times, some units will just walk out into the open
for no reason at all to be taken down by the enemy.
It's some kind of glitch in the system. I'm sure we
would all agree that we'd like to take control of
units that did more thinking for themselves - but
not when they act like multiples of the Three Stooges.
are required to rebuild damaged vehicles and medics
will heal the wounded. You will spend a lot of time
overseeing each repair to both vehicles and humans.
In a strange twist of fate, once the vehicles are
fixed they automatically come equipped with human
operators. I don't know where these men came from
since you are only supposed to have a limited amount
of soldiers. Perhaps they are ghosts.
the game works, it works well. The various locations
require different strategies. You can take cover in
the mountains but tanks are useless. In the desert,
tanks are invaluable. Aircraft are useful in both
areas but are not effective for urban combat. There's
a lot of variety to this game that would make it such
an interesting game if only it weren't plagued by
problem is the voice command system. It just doesn't
work. It's as though it was programmed for another
language. When I ask for one thing I get another.
Talk about frustrating. Add to this the choppy framerate
and the occasional lag between commands and you have
more than just a war to worry about.
the game is good, aside from framerate. It's nicely
detailed although the desert scenes get a little repetitious
looking. Urban areas have narrow streets, a variety
of shops, houses and war-raved ruins as well as cars
that give it a lived-in look. With the camera you
can zoom in and check out the explosions. The special
effects are limited to a few flashes and puffs of
smoke but they look realistic enough. The sound effects
are equally realistic and will server to remind you
that you're in a danger zone.
can't recommend Will of Steel even to the most ardent
of RTS fans. It's just not the kind of game that will
stand up to the scrutiny of a demanding gamer. Don't
give up hope just yet, there may be some patches available
or a low-priced expansion pack that will address some
of these issues.