Bemused Gamer here.
Oh, Christ, I don’t want to do this review. I really don’t. See, I read the novelization of Endwar before I ever heard of the game, and the last time I read a book before I played a game about it, I could never bring myself to play the game again. This was not an encouraging second experience. If I hadn’t paid a whole 7 dollars for this game, I would have binned it. I hate it that much.
Fuck it, let’s get this over with.
Tom Clancy’s EndWar is one of the now fifty-plus games that bear Tom Clancy’s moniker. Frankly, if he was involved with this one, I’m going to re-possess his writer’s license. I’ve got better plots and stories than this sitting in my recycle bin. Fuck, if Tom Clancy can get away with publishing this shit, why haven’t the publishing companies been kicking my fucking door in?
Oh, that’s right. Because I’m not Tom fucking Clancy.
Anyway, EndWar. You know this shit of making it all one word got old years ago, right?
Fuck. Anyway, EndWar is supposedly an RTS about a war between Russia and America. Because we don’t have enough games with this fucking storyline. Really! What the fuck is in America that Russia wants? Gold? Colombia. Oil? In this universe, the Middle East is a nuclear wasteland, and Russia (which has the most petroleum deposits and natural gas deposits and mineral wealth ANYWAY, even in the real world) has a firm grip on the rest of the world’s balls because it now has the only viable source of oil. People? Why would you want to enslave the Americans? Speaking as one, we’re lazy, overbred, overly religious fucknuts who can’t recognize a good thing and spend more time tripping each other in this rat race than we do actually working towards a goal that isn’t fucking each other over.
Anyway, a terrorist attack is launched on the Euros, staging from a beached cargo ship. Never mind that this isn’t possible (as if you could beach a cargo ship without killing everyone onboard, and then somehow unload the stuff from the top down to ground level, something that is impossible without specialized equipment that doesn’t fit on cargo ships), Tom Clancy is too busy saluting the flag while wanking onto his word processor to be bothered by petty things like common sense. Russia frames the Europeans for terrorist attacks on all three countries (figure that one out) and after a long series of shitty, contrived fuckups and misunderstandings, all three of them go at it. Keep in mind I got this game back around the end of November, but it took me until now to finish it for reasons I’ll explain later. There are three endings, depending on which side you choose to play as, and all three of them are equally ridiculous.
The characters are god-awful, and the voice acting is worse. The sounds are uninteresting, and the graphics are murky and poor, with draw distances that would embarass a 90’s sidescroller. Hell, the idea of making the camera HAVE to follow one of your units had to be among the worst design decisions. It was supposed to bring you down into the action. That would be a good idea for an FPS or a simulator. For something claiming to be an RTS? It makes it harder to see what’s going on and control your units effectively. Frankly, I think it was an effort to compensate for the godawful draw distances.
The gameplay is worst of all. I could have forgiven everything else if the gameplay had been good. God knows I did for HAWX. But the thing is, EndWar is only lumped under RTS because no other genre will have it. You don’t command your units directly as you would in a real RTS, you give them commands either through an overly complicated menu system, or a buggy voice command system that this game was heralded as the next step in gaming. Honestly, I think the voice command system could have been very interesting…if it worked, and if it was attached to a game that didn’t make me want to take a cheese grater to my own face. But don’t worry, if you skip the voice command system, you can go through the menus (the complexity and bullshittery of which are on a par with those of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis) without a problem, because things move so goddamn slowly in the game that you could move an entire planet’s worth of units around instead of the 12 you are allowed to control at any one time. And you’ll often be controlling far less than that, because the opponents always have more units and the units that yours are weak against, in the ridiculous rock-paper-scissors matchups that this game has reduced itself to. Games are supposed to get BETTER. Not more stupid. If this was baby’s first RTS, I still wouldn’t recommend it, because things are so unforgiving that anybody who wasn’t already an RTS fan would be permanently put off the damn things. And considering that this is the only RTS that bears Tom Clancy’s Seal of Shittiness, I have to wonder if this isn’t an attempt to get people to play the FPS field more, which contains most of his intellectual property. It took me this long to finish the damn game because I just wasn’t having fun, and I kept finding myself making excuses not to play it.
The entirety of the game can be summed up in one quote from the ‘Creative Director,’ one Mr. De Plater. “Every time they cut features out, it just made the game better.” No, no it didn’t. It made it less of a game. Final Fantasy tried that shit, and Square Enix had to apologize for the game they put out. YOU DO TOO.