281 of 291 people (97%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
296.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Wargame: Red Dragon, despite its bare-bones naval combat, is the greatest Wargame to date. It is difficult to write a review in a traditional manner with this game as it has depth akin to a black hole, so I'm just going to list down in-depth pro-cons of this fantastic, fun game.
1. - This game is far more accessible than most folks give it credit to. The controls are not convoluted, nor do things have unnecessary functionalities or five thousand menus to grind through to complete simple tasks. This game is complex in the best possible way for a game of its caliber; the depth of its combat. This strength makes the game an extremely enjoyable experience as none of it is bogged down by simulation-esque frivolities. Mechanically it is somewhat similar to games like StarCraft (this isn't Harpoon or Jane's Fleet Command ), although the scale is increased one-hundred fold. The game is complicated only in that it requires not only knowledge of units and their roles, but also quick-thinking and problem solving. The learning curve is steep but I'll be damned if I didn't say I had a blast getting to the point where I could consistently win matches.
2. - This is any political/military nut's dream. There is a reason why much of its consistent playerbase is made up of people from /pol/ (don't let that intimidate you, the community is leagues better than most skill-based RTSs). You can simulate any "What If" scenario using countries like the People's Republic of China and North Korea all the way down to nations such as Norway and Sweden. And the game's compelling campaign missions simulate this also; what if the U.K. had not peacefully given back Hong Kong, and had to defend against waves of PLA tanks? You can do everything from sending Navy SEALs behind enemy lines to destroy Soviet command structures to launching massive armored offensives using the latest modern equipment. And it is all (mostly) pinpoint accurate.
3. - The game is well-built, diverse and reliable. They aren't kidding when they say "1,450 units that have been meticulously reproduced from their source!" There are maps ranging from suburban sprawls to massive tracts of forest prime for special forces operations, using anything from Polish commandos to Czechoslovakian airborne. If you find the game enjoyable it is difficult to get away from, as there is so much content to explore and master. Every unit has an easy reference-sheet that you can view at any time, and all of them (save for PACT/NATO copies of Soviet/American equipment) have unique stats. Some countries have more options than others, but that is only to maintain realistic integrity. You cannot expect Norway to have a better military than the United States, but that doesn't mean they wont have superior niche units such as special forces. Countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia recently were balanced in a patch, making them up to snuff with everyone, so you can likely expect more free DLC patches to the other nations as well. Not only that, but this game is incredibly resistant to technical issues. I have not crashed once in all my hours of playing (this always varies with different machines, though, but I've but this game through hell and its always been fine). Your experience will rarely be interrupted.
4. - Deckbuilding is EXTREMELY enjoyable. I've spent half of the time in this game making decks. It may just be personal preference, but because of the thousand+ units, you can find yourself sinking a lot of time into this; not out of necessity, but simply to create fun and personalized armies.
Those are my major PROs. Now I believe I should address the hindrances to the gameplay here.
1. - Naval combat is easily the weakest part of the game. It is painful saying that, honestly, but that is the truth. It is horribly imbalanced, inaccurate and barebones compared to every other part of the game, and this is especially true in NATO's case, but I'll get to that later. Combat revolves around three principles which usually do not interact with eachother whatsoever; you either mass missile-heavy ships and launch them all at the same time at another blob of ships hoping to get through its CIWS guns, mass low-cost ships and rush them at lower numbers of expensive ships to stun them with cannonfire, or mass aircraft and do the same thing mentioned with the first option. It makes for a very uninspired and boring experience, and although it somewhat resembles small-unit naval combat well, beyond that it is entirely inaccurate. There are no submarines, nor aircraft carriers, no exciting fringe ships such as Soviet battleships. You get a very thin selection of classes which makes large engagements very stale. The worst part of this feature is that it is terribly imbalanced in favor of PACT. Most of NATO's ships are comprised of Japanese ships, with occasional exceptions. The flagship of NATO is some ship I've never heard of called a "Kongo." No Ticonderoga or Arleigh Burke's here, folks. Just awful surface ships with inaccurately-modeled weapons (harpoons can't hit anything!). This is in vast contrast to Soviet ships which outclass them in nearly every category; superior accuracy, firepower, durability, range, etc. Their flagships are the popular Udaloy/Sovremenny class destroyers, which are infinitely more famous than the Kongo. Riverboats can be fun (the napalm Minotaur can torch vast swatches of riverland in fire, the SHMEL can launch hundreds of missiles) but are ultimately uninspired as they, too, revolve around massing and throwing at the enemy.
2. - Frustration comes easy at times. Games drag on, especially if you're losing. Comebacks happen often but many times the case comes down to you being dominated for half an hour, and it makes this game a huge time sinkhole. You learn slowly and losses can be draining once you feel you've gotten better at the game than before; it takes constitution to get to a point where the shoe is on the other foot. It is difficult to be carried in this game as well, since it usually comes down to whatever team is best coordinated wins. This is not always the case, as skill is definitely involved and one person on a team can slaughter half the enemy's army through shrewd positioning, but that's an "If."
~PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Yes. If you have an interest in modern military combat, or even if you just like a fun and deep RTS, this is the game for you. I adore it for all of the reasons above, and I think the pros vastly outweigh the cons with this gem of a title. If you can spare the cash and you like the concept, go for it. You won't be disappointed.
351 of 375 people (94%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1,151.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
800+ hours in Wargame Red Dragon hundreds of hours on previous wargames.
This is one of the best, if not the best real time strategy ever made.
Wargame has many realistic features such as: ammo, gasoline, morale, veterancy, supplies, recon, with countless possibilities and methods of securing victory, which fit nicely making this a realistic game, while not too complicated.
The game has a steep learning curve, but if you want to play the best RTS out there, you have to get this game!
PS: The devs care about the community and suggested changes are sometimes implemented, especially if it benefits the gameplay, or balance, while staying as close to realism as possible.
Got into the closed beta for my dedication to the series, and was not disappointed at all. China could use a little buff considering the fact that the game is called Red Dragon after all, and half of China's within time frame units have been questionably ommitted. Naval warfare could use a little tweaking as well, because its implementation was poor at first. However the upcoming naval patch notes look extremely promising.
In terms of improvement over the AirlandBattle, this game has done it all. Land battles are now far more realistic, intense, and tactical thanks to some of the revolutionary changes that Eugen has made in map design, pace, and terrain. Indeed, this game has taken the openness and unlimited tactical/strategic opportunities that were the trademark of W:EE, and combined them with the ferocity that was characteristic of W:AB battles.
But overall, from my many hours of closed beta testing, this is the ultimate culmination of the awesome Wargame series. The enormous scale, realistic terrain, and the unlimited tactical, operational and even strategic options that this glorious game provides has never ceased to amaze me. Indeed, this is any amateur wargamer's/armchair general's (like myself) wet dream, and I would fully recommend this to anyone seeking an immersive, immense, and ultimately fulfilling historical/military experience.
I wish I had the Mad Money guy's bullish button to press right now...
992 of 1,180 people (84%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
886.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
DO YOU WANT TO: - HAVE DRUNK PILOTS REFUSING TO DROP BOMBS AFTER YOU ORDER THEM TO? - BE CHARGED FOR FUEL BY OTHER PLAYERS? - RAGE QUIT? - MAKE OTHER PEOPLE RAGE QUIT? - HAVE STUPID DISCUSSIONS ON CHAT? - MAKE FUN OF PEOPLE IN CHAT? - BE MADE FUN OF IN CHAT? - DISCUSS POLITCS IN CHAT? - DISCUSS WORLD DOMINATION IN CHAT? - PUT UP WITH NATION FANBOYS? - HAVE HELICOPTERS DO PIROUETTES? - BIG EXPLOSIONS? - BIG BOMBS? - HELP THE GREAT LEADER? - BE THE BEST (NORTH) KOREA? - LISTEN TO "IN SOVIET RUSSIA" JOKES? - BE COMPLETELY FRUSTRATED IN YOUR TEAMMATES? - BE KICKED FROM SERVERS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO AWESOME? - BE KICKED FROM SERVERS BECAUSE YOU SUCK? - BE KICKED FROM SERVERS BECAUSE SCREW YOU? - BE TEAMKILLED BY BOMBS? - BE KILLED BY MAGIC DISAPPEARING LA BAGUETTE? - BE TOASTED BY THE BURRITO? - EXPERIENCE STEEL RAIN? - DEMOLISH ENTIRE TOWNS? - USE GREAT LEADER TAC NUKE? - KILL UBER-EXPENSIVE ANTI-EVERYTHING INSANE-HEALTH OP SOVREMENNY WITH CHEAPEST HELI? - PLAY ULTRA-USEFUL TEAM HELPING AND PLAYING THE OBJECTIVE SUPPORT DECK? - BE COUNTERED ON ALL ASPECTS? - COUNTER OTHERS ON ALL ASPECTS? - USE FLAGS? - USE COLOURS? - USE FAIL WHALES? - FEEL PATRIOTIC WITH YOUR STRONG NATION? - FEEL ANGRY THAT YOUR NATION IS PATHETIC? - FEEL THAT THE VATICAN SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS A COUNTRY? - FEEL STRONK RUSSIAN STEEL? - GO TO TOWN WITH SPETSNAZ? - KILL EVERYTHING WITH FALLSCHIRMJAGER? - HAVE SUKHOI DODGE EVERYTHING? - SHOOT DOWN THAT MAGIC NIGHTHAWK? - BIG MISSILES? - BIG GUNS? - BE A NINJA? - BE RUSSIAN? - BE GENERALLY AWESOME? - TEAMCARRY? - DELIEVER FREEDOM? - WIN AGAINST 4 PEOPLE BY YOURSELF? - BE CONFUSED AT NAVY (TURTLES!!!)? - BE AMAZING AT GRAPHICS? - ASK WHY NO DRAGONS? - CLIMB THE STEEPEST LEARNING CURVE YOU HAVE SEEN IN A WHILE?
In this astounding masterpiece of RTS games, you can control many of the major military powers on earth. I have participated in the closed beta and was granted access for being dedicated to this ground-breaking series from Wargame: European Escalation to Wargame: AirLand Battle; Wargame: Red Dragon is set to be the greatest modern military strategy games of all time. With access to nearly 1500 units at your command on land, sea, and in the air; the methods of your attack and defense are limitless.
The terrain is so gorgeous and vibrant that it will make one hesitate before calling in an artillery or napalm strike and desolate the area. The dynamic campaign is something to salivate over and you will even be able to simulate a battle between the two Koreas and see who will be the last nation standing. Play as the Soviet Union versus the United States and find out if you have what it takes to sink the enemy fleet to the bottom, pluck the feathers of their air force, and fire the last shot to claim your victory.
For prospective buyers, here's what you need to know:
The game features a great number of nationalities, etc that are rarely (if ever) included in games with this sort of setting. Countries such as France, Canada, Norway, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and North Korea are fully playable with their own pallet of men and material to work with. The introduction of the Coalition deck type, which allows you to build your own army of units drawing from a pool of two or more countries, allows nations deemed to be 'minor' to join forces and in many cases become more relevant than the period giants of the United States and the Soviet Union.
Red Dragon maintains the playable nations and features of the previous titles. The setting being moved to Asia really just means they've added new nations, and the maps available for multiplayer have shifted to that setting, as well as a time line bump into 1991 for non-prototype units.
The units are acceptably rendered. Save for some model and texture nitpicks for grognards and military enthusiasts (ERA tiles in the wrong place, etc) the graphics are overall pleasant.
While the ranges of weapon systems represented in the game are by no means realistic, they are still measured in thousands of meters.
If you liked World in Conflict, this is the closest thing to a spiritual sequel you will have access to.
You may notice that in the above, I didn't mention the much-advertised naval component. Roughly 50% of this game's seling point, the naval game is completely botched. It's a sloppy mess with no direction, where the prime strategy is to huddle up your ships and pray that their combined CIWS can shoot down incoming missiles. There is no witty maneuvering involved. In multiplayer games, few players bother with the naval maps. And whose who do find an imbalanced implimentation where ComBlock ships objectively trounce NATO vessels every time due to more powerful anti-shipping missiles and better CIWS scores. Eugen is supposedly going to address these issues, but it has been over half a year.
Multiplayer community is measured in the hundreds, rather than the thousands one might expect from other genres. RTS games tend to struggle if it's not Starcraft or Company of Heroes. Because the game has boiled down to its hardcore online community, public games tend to be with people who are extremely experienced with the mechanics that will obliterate a new player without the new player having a chance to learn anything. This is definately a game to play with friends, unless you're an RTS pro or a masochist.
Modding support is on the low end of the spectrum. Modders can edit unit code and behavior, but there will be no mapping.
Previous titles in the franchise, I feel, had better maps.
Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who has a passion for this era in history and 'what if' scenarios. There is an upcoming (free) DLC worth of content which may or may not address some of the cons I pointed out above. The relative scale of the game is something we don't get to see very often and promises a unique experience. Because the developers are planning to move on to a different franchise after development for Red Dragon ends, there is no fear of this game becoming 'obsolete' in a matter of months.
138 of 150 people (92%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1,831.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
One of the best strategy titles ever released. An otherwise perfect game dragged down It's by subpar naval and horrible community. The Wargame series is unique in that it takes away some of the more tedious aspects of RTS games such as base building and resource gathering, but still manages to be more complex and harder to play than most RTS titles.
The scale of this game can be truly staggering, even for veteran players. Even the smallest of maps will divide your forces between two or three fronts, and having a good unit composition (which is key to winning any RTS game) requires combining a lot of different unit types to support each other. You won't be able to win by simply spamming one or even a few types of units. Positioning and logistics are key, even the heaviest armored tank will die like a ♥♥♥♥♥ if hit from the rear and It doesn't really matter how powerful your units' weapons are if they're out of ammo and panicked.
Another feature that sets Wargame apart is the deck building. You're spoiled for choice when it comes to units. With over 1500 units between 17 countries and 7 deck types, you're bound to go up against a bunch of really interesting armies while playing. Objectively weaker nations are given more unit availability, ensuring they stay viable and each nation has their own unique playstyle; UK being the slow moving juggernaut while nations like France hit hard and stay mobile. With the addition of national coalitions to all of this, there's an amazing amount of strategic depth just in nation choices themselves.
Ultimately, this is a game that heavily rewards common sense and intelligent play, if you simply attack move your units without a care in the world, you will get obliterated. This is likely the source of a lot of complaining that the game is "unbalanced", "♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥" or just "too hard'. I can honestly say that most people I've met who complain about balance talk about the game more than they play it. Spam Artillery? Your opponent will simply fast move into your sectors and destroy you. Forgot to take AA? Enjoy watching your entire army get massacred by a few helicopters.
The game does, however, suffer from a pretty horrible community. Most people seem unnecessarily rude and are so impatient that about 50 people join and leave lobbies before a game can actually get going. The naval aspect of the game is so barebones and poorly balanced that I almost never play naval maps. This is by no means an easy game to get into, but once you get rolling; It's one of the most rewarding experiences you'll have.
Outstanding quality RTS that any military nut would enjoy. Will also stress out your grey matter, too. If you aren't familiar with the Wargame series, it's a borderline strategic simulator more than an RTS. No base building, no real resources (besides point income from holding sectors), and every unit has morale, health, ammo, and fuel that needs to be tended to carefully with supply lines.
The scale is unlike what most other games in the genre offer. It reminds me almost of the original Supreme Commander in terms of sher volume of units on the field and map size. Every unit you take into battle will never come back alive once destroyed, and you need to make your own decks of units to take into battle, which is almost a kind of game in itself...finding the right unit combos or roles to take. One of the major reasons I recommend this game is because of that.
The army variety and unit selection is also awe inspiring. You can pick from about 1,500 units, all modeled correctly to their real counterpart and act like the real one too. Nations to build from include the US, Canada, France, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Russia, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, China, and Best Korea (I mean North Korea). There's an army for everyone's taste and they all feel and play unique.
Naval battles need some work and balancing, though, but it also may be just the nature of modern warfare on the ocean. It revolves around who makes the biggest ship blob and has the best radar gattling gun screen to stop incomming cruise missiles.
Overall if you wanna work your brain a little in an RTS and focus entirely on the war and not the bases/economy, this is the thing for you.