Hands-On: World in Conflict 360

We get hands-on with Massive's new strategy offering.

Meet the strategy stunner that answers the question of just what would have happened if two tribes went to war...

What if in 1989, instead of crumbling into lots of tiny countries who don't really like each other, the USSR did something proper massive in its dying days? Like go a bit mad and invade America? Well obviously it wouldn't have been particularly nice, and civilization as we know it may well have been annihilated, but through World in Conflict at least we know that the explosions would have been pretty.

Xbox 360 gamers have already been treated to a taste of PC-style strategy gaming in the form of C&C3, but the premise of WIC suggests that it'll work even better. Rather than all that base-building, book-balancing and harvesting (when was the last time you honestly saw Army-issue farm equipment?), here the more enemies that meet a fiery demise at your hands, the more cash you have to splash on bigger and better armaments. Armaments that get so big and so much better that you'll eventually find yourself cushioning your jaw in preparation for nuke drops - which are so stunning that you'll find yourself tilting your head and staring like a happy, yet confused dog as you temporarily forget everything but their shining brilliance.


Suburban Warfare
So there you'll be, in control of a fairly tight number of land and air units duking it out alongside US allies against the red menace - with all the action initially kicking off in the car parks, malls, freeways and fast-food joints of smalltown America. Ruskies might, for example, be camping out in a nearby petrol station - so it's up to you to take out a nearby sniper (by planting explosives at his tower-hideaway's base under the cover of a smoke grenade and watching happily as it collapses spectacularly according to the precise laws of physics) and then send your boys in to predefined hotspots around the fuel pumps to win it back for Uncle Sam.

It's an RTS, but one built with the heart of a shooter: smaller-scale skirmishing, intricate scripting and an eye on causing as much destruction as your Xbox 360's whirring brain will allow. With a script being commandeered by writer Larry 'a bit less expensive than Tom Clancy and he's probably busy anyway' Bond, stunning plans afoot for multiplayer and explosions that'll make household pets assume that November 5th has come early, it's hard to see how WIC can fail.