Tom Clancy's EndWar - Cheat Happens Game Review
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Tom Clancy's EndWar
PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Developer:
Ubisoft Shanghai
Publisher: Ubisoft
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
   
   
Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
   
CHEATfactor: 6
   
     
On October 17, 2006 I lost faith in the Tom Clancy franchise. The date, as random as it may seem is when Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent hit North American shelves. Don’t get me wrong – the title was still better than most, it just lacked that little something extra that made past games like Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and even earlier Splinter Cell titles so great.. Since then, I’ve been hesitant to pick up anything bearing the Tom Clancy name.

Tom Clancy’s EndWar takes the franchise out of its third person action comfort-zone and takes it into the brave new world of Real Time Strategy. Though it has incredible production values and aims to take the genre further with a few features that work surprisingly well, its fundamental issues and repetitive gameplay make it hard to recommend over many other PC RTS games.

In the year 2020, a joint project between the United States and The European Federation has resulted in a missile defense system that makes nuclear war all but impossible. While the occasion should be marked with celebrations and happiness, rising tensions between the world’s superpowers and no nuclear threat to speak of have the world worried about the possibility of another great war.  It’s a typical Tom Clancy –esque story, but how it’s handled is quite novel.

"EndWar takes its time to craft a drama filled story..."

 
   

While most games about war take you right into the conflict -- EndWar takes its time to craft a drama filled story – the first six levels in fact. Though elements of the story are quite predictable, the choice of using a longer exposition genuinely makes it easier to have a vested interest and care about the action on screen.  It’s also important to note that EndWar doesn’t take the predictable "America is the heroes and everyone else is villains" approach. Every nation has their reason for fighting, and being fought against.

Sadly though, apart from the exposition – there’s little to no story to speak of and the title’s negatives really start to become evident.  RTS games have always been about choice – and there seems to be a very limited amount of choices available to players in EndWar.  Though the exposition paints them as unique and differing, each squad plays exactly the same.  Furthermore, the factions used by each nation are also identical. You can probably guess where this combination leads us – incredibly redundant battles that get old very fast. There’s really no benefit to the choices you make in EndWar, as strategies that work for one squad will work for the others.

Where EndWar makes up for its reppetive gameplay is its mission types, which truly set it apart from most similar games. Of course, there’s assault which is your basic kill everything that doesn’t look like you type of mission; but there’s also objectives like raid which finds you either defending or attempting to take down specific buildings or map points and siege mode charging you to either defend or dismantle communication uplinks from your enemy. Gamers looking for a more traditional RTS experience will be spending most of their time in the Conquest mode.

Most RTS games aim to make you feel like you’re the commander of an army – and no game does that better than Tom Clancy’s EndWar. Rather than issue commands via typing or clicking – you’ll command your armies through voice commands.  By speaking into your headset you can issue a number of preset voice commands.  Using the headset is a cool way to expand on the genre and genuinely makes you feel like you’re in charge, and not just another grunt, but it’s also incredibly limited. Since you won’t be able to rely on the voice commands for some of the smaller micro managing features, you’ll find yourself reverting back to the traditional way of issue commands for quite a number of tasks.  For the most part, the game picked up on the voice commands quite nicely, but there were times it completely screwed up and sent squads in the complete opposite direction that I sent them.

"...constant radio chatter and superb sound effects make for an incredibly engaging experience."

 
   

EndWar does a great job pulling gamers in to each battle mainly because of its exceptional production values.  Most RTS games use a familiar top-down camera view to portray the action, and while it is useful to view a large amount of action at once, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re part of the action – it makes you feel like a spectator.  EndWar lets you get incredibly close to the battles, using a more zoomed in street level like camera system.  The animations are superb, and there is little to no framerate trouble – even when the action gets frantic. This combined with the constant radio chatter and superb sound effects make for an incredibly engaging experience.

While the single player campaign is nice, any RTS gamer knows that where a title truly earns its stripes is in its multiplayer.  Online battles were quick, fun and mostly lag-free. Victory in the online battles earns you credits, which more or less are experience points you can use to upgrade your vehicles or squads, alleviating some of the repetitiveness.

On consoles, EndWar is nothing short of a RTS gem, but it doesn’t have much competition.  The crowded PC RTS arena makes its problems stand out just a bit more. Still, the voice command system is pretty cool, and if you can manage to level your squad up enough to avoid having each match play the same – you’ll find much to like in Tom Clancy’s Endwar.  

 

CHEATfactor

CHEATS USED: Massive Reserves, Massive Credits, Invincible Forces

Undoubtedly, EndWar’s biggest problem is that it’s just so predictable and repetitive. With each squad playing exactly the same, there’s not much depth to be found until you get enough credits to upgrade your squad significantly.  Using the massive credits cheat allows you to get these upgrades quicker, therefore adding more depth to the game.

Feel like you need to at least play through the game to earn the credits? Try using the invincible forces and massive reserves cheats. Not only will these cheats give you an advantage in battle, but you’ll also be able to experiment more with strategies that work, and cast aside those that don’t.

The best thing about the cheats in EndWar is that these cheats seem to be just the beginning; there is seemingly an endless amount of possibilities to toy with cheats. Stay tuned to Cheathappens.com for more as they become available.

 

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