Tag Archives: eugen systems

Thoughts: Red Dragon.


Another year, another Wargame. Eugen are releasing these things like clockwork, but while last year’s Airland Battle was a massively polished and improved version of European Escalation that more than justified a cheeky release of something that looked like practically the same game just one year later, the simple fact that it was so good has created some problems for Red Dragon. After Airland Battle already raised the bar to a point pretty close to where I suspect the ceiling is for the Wargame franchise, Red Dragon was going to have to do something pretty damn special in order to warrant filching yet another £23 from my pocket – and unfortunately for Red Dragon, thanks to that ceiling there doesn’t seem to be any more latitude to refine the series any further in terms of the core mechanics. It’s already as good as it can be, and so Red Dragon instead needs to concentrate on framing those core mechanics in new and interesting ways. And it only partially succeeds.

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Thoughts: AirLand Battle.


First, there was Wargame: European Escalation. Now, almost exactly a year later, there is another one of it. Since I loved the first Wargame I’m more receptive than I might otherwise be to a sequel that’s been turned out in such a short period of time, but if it were another developer and another series I’d probably be inclined to assume that AirLand Battle was a low-effort attempt to cash in on the original game with another made using the same assets. AirLand Battle asks for the full £30 on Steam (although it was 25% off if you already owned the first Wargame and you can pick up a disk copy on Amazon for just £20) and so it was going to have to do more than be a slightly shinier iteration on the Wargame concept in order to justify its asking price. Fortunately – and actually somewhat surprisingly – it delivers in spades.

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Thoughts: RUSE.


I was a little puzzled by Ruse (or R.U.S.E, as most people never call it) to begin with. Specifically, I was puzzled by its UI. Whoever designed the visual elements deserves a medal; the menus all use bright, vibrant primary colours and abstract geometric symbols to produce a wonderfully warm, stylish interface. It’s the style Civilization V wishes it had, basically. On the other hand there was something slightly off about data presentation and unit selection. The game is controlled almost entirely via left-clicking, box-selecting units is a little over-generous and ends up selecting units which are just outside the box, and the text is bloody enormous. Which seemed like somewhat baffling design decisions until I realised that Ruse was developed for consoles. The text is designed to be read on a TV screen from across the room and the game is supposed to be played with an imprecise controller, hence the overcompensation from the UI.

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