R.U.S.E. is a real-time strategy game on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 that has excellent presentation value, but painfully slow combat
- The virtual tabletop concept and cutscenes have a great level of presentation and production value
- Combat is very slow and the Ruse mechanic doesn't count for much -- as throwing a big army can win 95% of your matches
On paper, R.U.S.E. seems like an exciting idea: a real-time strategy game played on a virtual tabletop with realistic landscapes, infantry, tanks and airplanes, coupled with special espionage abilities called Ruses sounds like the kind of concept that strategy fanatics would kill for. But in reality, R.U.S.E. feels kind of forced and aimless, with a lot of questionable design choices that betray its potential.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
Setting the game in the over—trodden World War II era is probably the first misstep, as all of the locations you'll visit have been seen by anyone who's played a first—person shooter or RTS in the last ten years. Then there's the story, which focuses on an American General burdened with an overconfident counterpart whose hubris costs too many lives in battle: it's just too contrived and predictable to be enjoyable. It's a shame that the story and setting are both fairly bland, because the cut—scene work, voice acting and overall presentation in R.U.S.E. is very well done. Ubisoft should probably get the people responsible for those elements onto another, more exciting project.
The game also features a zoom mechanic that quickly goes from "fun idea" to frustratingly overused concept. Supreme Commander 1 & 2 both featured a similar mechanic, wherein pointing your cursor at a location and rolling the mouse wheel would sweep the camera in or out. What makes R.U.S.E.'s attempt at this basic RTS convention so miserable is that the map scales from life—size replicas to tabletop wargaming miniatures. If you're fielding say, ten or fifteen units, the miniatures stack onto one big largely unhelpful pile, resulting in a cluttered mess. Worse yet, the entire game is designed around this zooming mechanic so it's practically impossible to play through any single mission or skirmish without having to regularly regain your bearings after zooming.
R.U.S.E.'s battles are also frustratingly slow, with every conflict boiling down to a repetitive checklist of building a base, rolling out a big army, and fighting with the unnecessarily complicated zoom function to manage your troops. Resources accrue at a snail's pace as you wait for your supply trucks to motor their way to your HQ, and your troops move like they're slogging through a sea of goo. The molasses pacing means there's no immediacy to your battles, which is one of the key aspects of a good RTS game. I originally thought that the deliberate speed was done to accommodate console players-R.U.S.E. is also available for the Xbox 360-but I'm convinced that it's actually a side—effect of the constant need for zooming in and out of the map.
Ordering your troops around in combat isn't any easier, and the game requires you to make heavy use of key groups (binding a group of troops to a single hot key for easy selection). This is true of any RTS, but in games like StarCraft 2, key groups are a valuable strategic asset; in R.U.S.E., it's an antidote for the broken gameplay mechanics. The annoying part of this is that aircraft aren't affected as they get their own UI element on the bottom left of your screen. From here, you can build and order aircraft to attack and move from anywhere on your map. It's a functional system that should have been adapted for the ground forces as well.
Another example of an interesting feature gone awry is the Ruse mechanic. Every map is broken up into several smaller zones, which operate as areas where the espionage abilities can be employed. A Ruse can let you spy on enemy orders and enemy units or, conversely, trick your enemy by sending fake wooden units into one of these zones. Basically, they're tricky little tactics meant to keep everyone guessing what their foes are up to. The problem is that winning through Ruses doesn't seem entirely necessary. Often, I found myself attaining victory more through sheer numbers of tanks and aircraft while making minimal use of my Ruse abilities. In fact, one Ruse known as Blitz makes your units move faster, and I used it to make my supply trucks and offensive units do just that.
While the Ruse mechanic will sometimes help in a rare key moment, it still seems too easy to simply build up a large army and throw it at your enemy. Sadly, it makes most skirmishes fairly mundane, and coupled with the overused setting it quickly becomes very difficult to feel all too interested in shuffling your little units about the digital tabletop maps.
While I recognise the appeal that R.U.S.E. might hold for fans of tabletop games and the WW2 era (each nation represented in—game appear heavily researched for historical accuracy) there isn't much to get excited about. It's a poorly executed game whose key concepts are either broken or mismanaged, and definitely won't displace THQ's stellar Company of Heroes, or any other worthwhile RTS, from your hard drive.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Toys for Boys
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Fallout Geeki Tikis
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTJunior C++ Developer x 3Other
- CCSenior System EngineerNSW
- CCControl Systems SpecialistACT
- FTMid-Level Project Manager - IP and Voice ProductsOther
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk TechnicianNSW
- CCOperations Manager - Data CentreWA
- FTEnterprise Solution ArchitectOther
- FTO365 ConsultantOther
- FTMySQL Database Administrator- Meadowbank locationOther
- CCTelco Project ManagerVIC
- FTTechnology Engineer | 6mth ContractOther
- FTETL DeveloperOther
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTLevel 2 Support Engineer | 12mth FTCOther
- FTSolution Architect - Desktop ArchitectureSA
- TPProject Manager - IaaSQLD
- FTAccount Manager - Enterprise AccountsOther
- CCProject Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- FTLevel 2 and 3 Support TechnicianOther
- CCJava Developer - BrisbaneSA
- FTStorage EngineerACT
- CCITSM OR iTIL Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior AngularJS DeveloperNSW
- TPPrincipal Project Manager | ApplicationsQLD
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther