Tom Clancy's EndWar is a strategic variant of multiplayer Call of Duty 4 or Counter-Strike. It's a game of constant give and take, action and reaction, and deliciously rewarding upgrades in between battles. Better still, the game's built-in voice recognition system takes it to a whole new level of gaming.
Tom Clancy's EndWar: Talking Heads
The premise of EndWar is quite simple: in the near future, the world goes absolutely nuts as a result of missile defense systems, oil shortages and rekindled aggression between Russia and a United Europe.
The Russians sabotage the launch of a groundbreaking US satellite and frame Europe, which sparks a cross Atlantic war. In turn Europe attacks Russia, and Russia attacks America. Can you say 'World War III'?
Plausible apocalyptic scenario aside, EndWar's main draw is its innovative voice-command system. I have to confess that I loathe the notion of playing games with a mic-headset on, but that has changed thanks to EndWar.
To issue orders, you hold down the right trigger and identify the unit, issue a command, and then state a location. Something like, "Unit 4, Attack Hostile 2," or "Calling All Gunships, Move to Bravo", or "Unit 5, Secure Lima". If you listen carefully, the unit's replay back to you will indicate how capable they are of performing the task.
The only trouble I ever had with voice recognition is that it kept confusing my "Unit 5" with "Unit 4", which resulted in a few awkward moments.
Tom Clancy's EndWar: Say It!
The system works great and I was able to master the new interface right from the get-go. The beauty of the voice command system is also readily apparent right away. The ability to deploy tanks, secure enemy bases, and command three or four different attacks almost simultaneously allows for a much faster and more intense battle experience. Smart tactics now count for as much as having a fast trigger finger, which in many ways, is not that different from games like Counter Strike or Ghost Recon.
If I have any complaints about EndWar, it's that at times, fighting World War III feels overly subtle. I realize this is a weird sentiment-after all, we're talking about a conflict on a global scale-but I never got that "We're fighting for the fate of the free/communist world!" feeling, which was a bummer.
Tom Clancy's EndWar: Word Of Mouf
Regardless, I learned a long time ago that one of the surest ways to differentiate a good game from a bad game is my level of desire to keep coming back to play, both during and after the review period. Thanks to its slick voice command system, its depth of strategy and its frenetic action, I'm giving EndWar 4.5-stars and an Editor's Choice award because even after finishing this review, I know I'll still be playing it.
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