24
Dec
07

World in Conflict

World in Conflict The game was released in North America on is a real-time tactical video game developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows PC and Swordfish Studios (a division of Sierra Entertainment) creating the Xbox 360 version.18 September 2007, 20 September 2007 in Australia and New Zealand and, in Europe on the 21 September 2007.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues an alternate history scenario where the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power.

The game will be played in the 2007 Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) World Tour.

Generally considered a real-time strategy (RTS) game, World in Conflict includes gameplay typical of real-time tactical (RTT) games. Nicklas Cederström, one of the designers of the game, stated that internally, World in Conflict is considered an RTT.

Factions

World in Conflict contains three main factions: USA, Soviet Union & NATO. The three are playable on Multiplayer games. However the Soviet Union is not playable for the single-player campaign, as the campaign is based on the USA and NATO points of views. The USA and NATO are allies; thus they can’t fight against each other; they can only fight the Soviet Union on multiplayer games.

Roles

Another feature is a system where the player may choose a one of four roles in battle: infantry, air, support or armor. Each role has its own exclusive units, which aren’t available for purchase from other roles. The basic units of the roles can be purchased by everyone but are more expensive for players with a different role.

  • Infantry – players have access to specialized infantry squads and light transport vehicles.
  • Armor – light, medium, heavy grades of tanks as well as APCs and amphibious troop carriers.
  • Air – consists entirely of helicopters suited for different purposes including scout, transport, medium attack helicopters and heavy attack helicopters.
  • Support – players have access to repair tank, light transport (doubles as light repair vehicle), medium anti-aircraft units, heavy anti-aircraft units, medium and heavy artillery units.

Units

Units in World in Conflict have various special features. Most units have special offensive abilities which recharge after use. Examples include standard infantry with grenade launcher attack, medium tanks with fragmentation shells, heavy (main battle) tanks with HEAT shells, medium attack helicopters with anti-aircraft missiles, heavy attack helicopters with anti-tank missiles, medium artillery (mortars) with white phosphorus shells, and heavy artillery (howitzers, rocket launchers) with smoke screen shells. These special abilities require a fair amount of micromanagement in order to optimally make use of the troops. In addition, most units also have a defensive ability, e.g. infantry capable of sprinting, tanks with smoke screens, and helicopters with countermeasures. Some defensive abilities, such as smoke screens, affect the player with both advantages and disadvantages, allowing a unit to remain hidden but at the same time also clouding its own view.

Single Player Campaign

The single player campaign, owing to inspiration from Call of Duty and Medal of Honor (see the ‘Influences’ section below), gives the player the role of an officer of some importance, in charge of a company, while the AI handles the remainder of action on the battlefield. This contrasts the approach of most RTS titles, in which the player is in charge of whole armies and thus responsible for most of the action on the battlefield. The player will experience many different locations from various parts of the United States then to Soviet-occupied Europe then Russia and then back to the United States for the grand finale.

The storyline ultimately forces the player to differ from the usual reinforcements seen in the skirmish mode or the multiplayer mode. The campaigns limit what the player can order and where they can deploy. The Single-player campaign is narrated by Alec Baldwin. The AI in the campaigns could be considered inferior when compared to the skirmish mode, as their locations and moves are fairly predictable. The Friendly AI also frequently gives hints and tips making the game too easy, though it may aid struggling players. The campaign can be played on Easy, Normal and Hard. At the conclusion of a campaign mission, a summary screen shows the usual performance statistics as well as any combat medals, ribbons, badges that a player has earned based on their performance.

The player experiences the war through Lieutenant Parker of the United States Army. At the beginning of the game he is on leave in Seattle at the onset of a Soviet surprise invasion of the city. Through the course of the game, Parker is promoted to the rank of Captain.

The player controls Parker’s role as the West engage the Soviets across several combat theaters from the west coast of the United States during the surprise invasion of Seattle to NATO’s defense of Europe, particularly that of southern France. Two commanders which fight alongside Parker are – Captain Mark Bannon and Captain (later Major) James Webb. The trio are under the command of Colonel Jeremiah Sawyer who has been called out of retirement.

The game pursues a “what-if” scenario where 1989 did not signal the end of the Cold War. In the 1980’s, the Soviet Union found itself unable to compete with the United States because of its bankrupt and disorganized economy. Funds for the Soviet nuclear and conventional arsenal were becoming scarce. This led to increasing cuts in the civilian sector, which created widespread famines and supply shortages. As a result, the Soviet Politburo decided to blackmail Western Europe to get the aid they needed or invade Western Europe and take it themselves.

The Western Alliance viewed the Politburo’s threats as a bluff and attempt to orchestrate an end to the crisis through diplomatic channels. As the crisis continued, the Warsaw Pact increased its readiness level compelling NATO to mobilize a defense along the borders of the Iron Curtain. The Soviets eventually invaded West Germany and faced an undermatched NATO. As the battles continued, REFORGER convoys resupplied NATO troops with fresh reinforcements and weaponry. This led to a stalling of the Soviet advance.

At the time of the initial Soviet assault, Lieutenant Parker, Captain Bannon, and Colonel Sawyer were a part of the American presence in France. They were deployed to southern France after the Soviets invaded it by sea. The trio worked there alongside a French battalion leader, Commandant Jean-Baptiste Sabatier. NATO forces attempted to throw back the Soviet advance in Marseilles. As battles were won, an overconfident Bannon, commanding a tank platoon, decided to leave Sabatier to reinforce Parker against Sawyers’ orders. Soviet forces took advantage of this weakness in the front lines to launch a heavy attack in which Sabatier is killed. The Soviets were eventually thrown back into the Mediterranean.

Severely reprimanded by Sawyer, Bannon’s guilt over his actions came to a breaking point when NATO troops infiltrated the northern Soviet Union. During the mission, Bannon kills surrendering Soviet troops while assisting the operation. Colonel Sawyer, infuriated at Bannon’s incompetence, plans to reassign him to another unit, but the military denies the transfer as officers are desperately needed on the front lines. The intelligence recovered from the operation reveal plans to attack the US east coast. Another operation was launched to stop the attack, but it had only partially succeeded, allowing the Soviet Union to heavily damage the naval base at Norfolk. A limited invasion of New York City by Soviet Spetsnaz centered around Liberty Island, Ellis Island and Governors Island is also launched but thrown back with the help of Colonel Sawyer and his officers who are recalled from Europe. With the threat to US soil appearing to be over, Parker is sent to Seattle on leave to see his family and Sawyer is finally able to transfer Bannon to a supply depot in the city as well. US intelligence did not know that the city was the Soviets’ next target.

Several weeks later, the USSR attacks America using disguised cargo ships to deliver their forces and quickly take Seattle by surprise. With much of the Army in Europe fighting alongside NATO allies, the Soviet Union quickly advances through the city and into the Cascade Mountains. Colonel Sawyer and his officers rally together to provide protection for the fleeing civilians. US forces manage to regroup and reorganize themselves in the Cascade Mountains in a desperate bid to defend Fort Teller, the headquarters of the United States’ Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The project, however, was a bluff but the threat of its existence had kept the Soviet Union from launching a nuclear strike. To keep this a secret, the defense of the facility had to be staged as if it were true. The battle would eventually draw a large bulk of the invasion force to the town of Cascade Falls where a nuclear strike was eventually ordered to destroy them. Captain Bannon volunteers to stay behind with his company to maintain the attack, drawing in more Soviet forces. Bannon and his unit sacrifice their lives to ensure that Fort Teller’s secret remains safe. The US forces then mop up the remaining Russians and secure the base.

China officially enters the war on the Soviet side by sending an invasion fleet to reinforce the Soviet beachhead in Seattle. The President orders a nuclear strike on Seattle if it cannot be retaken before the fleet arrives. Colonel Sawyer orders his forces along with Parker and Webb to break through the Soviet defenses and retake Seattle at any cost. Viewing the nuclear strike on Cascade Falls as a failure on his part despite the strategic victory in preserving the secret of SDI, Sawyer’s decisions push his forces nearly to the breaking point. After one final, desperate attack, Sawyer’s forces manage to push deep in Seattle. However, Webb is severely wounded by a sniper’s bullet meant for Sawyer, leaving only Parker to hold the city against the massive Russian counterattack. Finally, additional reinforcements arrive and Seattle is safely back in American hands. The Chinese fleet turns around as they lack the equipment to perform a full scale amphibious assault.

It is implied that the narrator is Parker (voiced by Alec Baldwin), conclusively proven at the end (“Webb pulled me aside and said, ‘Parker, I think [Sawyer] may have finally taken us too far. Be careful.'”), as he recounts the war from his perspective. The game concludes with a statement that Parker may be called upon to fight later on, hinting of an expansion to World in Conflict or a sequel, as fighting continues in Europe and elsewhere.

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