Summary Of The Game

It’s hard to believe that in 2005, someone somewhere had the audacity to make a real-time strategy game stuffed with live action cutscenes. It’s even harder to believe that it works. Yet with Act of War: Direct Action, Atari and developer Eugen Systems have managed to turn convention on its head. Here’s a real-time strategy game with the soul of a sleek techno-thriller, stitched together with live action footage that, despite the acting and budgetary limitations, will remind you of the riveting television drama 24 at times. And if that weren’t enough, it’s also a visually splendid, exciting, and well-paced game, to boot.

Yes, Act of War has live action cutscenes, but don’t hold that against it. In fact, these live action scenes actually work.

The last time anyone attempted anything quite like Act of War was 2000’s Command & Conquer Red Alert 2. But where Red Alert 2 played entirely for camp, Act of War goes for grit. The game feels very much like a Tom Clancy-penned techno-thriller. Or, to be more exact, a Dale Brown techno-thriller, as Brown, a best-selling author, worked with the French team at Eugen to create a story about a looming energy crisis (Americans pay $7 for a gallon of gas) and how an international criminal conspiracy is perpetuating it. Act of War’s opening introductory movie, cleverly placed so you watch it during the lengthy installation process, lays the groundwork, but the fun starts in the game’s opening missions, where you’ll discover that you’re in for something more than the usual real-time strategy experience.

In Act of War, you assume the role of Major Jason Richter, the commander of Task Force Talon, an elite direct action force equipped with state-of-art weaponry.

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