Tom Clancy's EndWar Preview
Let's face it, without the Tom Clancy games, Ubisoft wouldn't be anywhere as successful as they are today. The brand really drives sales for the third party publisher, allowing it to quickly join the ranks of other mega publishers like EA and Activision. After branching out from Rainbow Six with Ghost Recon, and creating Splinter Cell, it looks like we've got yet another Tom Clancy spin-off, and it's called EndWar.
The superbly talented bunch at Ubisoft Shanghai will be behind EndWar, and the team will be lead by director Michael de Plater. Development of the game has been underway for quite some time now, and the current release date is pegged somewhere around the first quarter of 2008.
Unlike other war games, EndWar is more akin to the direction Call of Duty 4 is heading: as it takes place during a fictional rendition of the third world war. But of course, COD4 isn't about WWIII, so don't think that that's what both games are about. In any case, the goal for EndWar is to showcase an envelope of technology by putting to use spectacular artificial intelligence (A.I.), with visuals to match.
Today, when you're developing a game with complexities in its A.I., and catastrophic action, you'd better be certain that you have a proper physics engine, with convincing animations, coupled to the entire experience. After all, when things start blowing up, we need to be entertained with how the bodies of our enemies scatter around from the wave of each explosion. As you would expect, EndWar will feature all of those aspects to ensure that the game feels and animates as realistically as possible.
Furthermore, as I said, EndWar is unlike other war games. This is a strategy game. You are the general of the entire game, and you command your squad with orders. Moreover, commands are performed by using your voice. Yes, you're communicating with A.I. via a headset or microphone of some sort, and they'll talk back to you.
When your strategy is being enacted, you can take control of a sole character on the ground and shuffle around to another one at any point. Basically, as the game's director Michael de Plater says, think of Madden's gameplay, but in a war setting. Ubisoft is claiming their goal for the game is a "revolutionary war strategy game". And going by the looks of things, it seems like they may end up delivering.
Be sure to expect everything you've seen from shooters in the past, such as helicopters, tanks, and all sorts of other absurdly destructive artillery. In addition to that, EndWar won't just feature a couple of dozen characters on screen that you'll have to eliminate to move on. Instead, there'll be nearly 1000 characters displayed on screen, and your goal as the general wil be to use your best tactile thinking to take out as many as possible with different sweeps of attacks.
"Our development teams are invigorated to be creating the first 100 percent next-generation Tom Clancy brand," said Serge Hascoët, chief creative officer at Ubisoft. "Our success with Tom Clancy franchises is unparalleled in the next-generation and Tom Clancy's EndWar will be a marvelous addition to the already critically acclaimed library of games. A strategy game like no other, EndWar will allow gamers to lead their own armies against hundreds of others online in real global locations on the massive battlefields of World War III."
Tom Clancy's EndWar is coming along exceptionally well, and will surely be the first strategy game of its kind. Keep your eyes peeled on this one, because it's bound to be huge.
8/29/2007 Arnold Katayev