Where: PC, PS3, Xbox 360; from £35
What’s it about?
Often shout at the telly in frustration? Now try shouting to order round entire armies. Built from the ground up, EndWar is the first console strategy game to dispense with arthritis-advancing hand contortions. Instead? Pretty much the entire game can be played using the “hold to speak” right trigger and barking an order. Calibrate the mic correctly (tip: a Windsor Davies growl is hard to keep up), monitor the onscreen command options, then prepare your best war cry as the US, Russian and European forces are plunged into World War III over oil.
What’s good about it?
The voice control really works. Bellow, “Unit Three, upgrade Sierra air strikes!” and as long you don’t have a mouthful of pizza, Unit Three will indeed start prepping airstrike capabilities. Visuals are also unique: unless you deploy a Command Vehicle (using up a valuable slot), you don’t get a top-down view at all – you see what your troops can see, meaning you’re in the thick of the battle most of the time. And online multiplayer has a few new twists, from two-on-two all the way up to the “Theatre Of War” – where individual multiplayer matches are totted into a changing Risk-style world map result on a weekly basis.
What’s bad about it?
Wildly spiking difficulty levels in single-player mode; slightly repetitive maps/strategies in single-player; remains to be seen how Theatre Of War plays out.
Strategy gaming built for normal gamers, not geeks? That’s worth shouting about.