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Most RTS players will still have their hands full with the game Starcraft 2, but the RTS genre is not standing still. Ubisoft comes with a new strategy title that does something slightly different. RUSE is a strategy game that is all about the action and making strategic decisions under pressure. In addition, we now also have to deal with a new part that also gives the game its name. We can use ruse to a limited extent in order to put the opponent on the wrong track. Of course it sounds very interesting on paper and the advertising with the touch table may also give the wrong impression of the game. The game is also playable on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. But nonetheless, RUSE is a great title.

A cinematic single player

The game contains a very extensive single player that is interesting from the first minute and completely sucks you in. You put yourself in the shoes of Joe Sheridan, an American officer, who is suddenly given command of part of the army in World War II. He is placed in various dangerous situations in Italy, North Africa, the Netherlands and finally in Germany. The story is fictional, so you don’t immediately know the ending and this makes the story more exciting. During the single player there will be many and extensive cinematics that show the story in detail and during the fight the situation will also be outlined in a cinematic way with commentary. This, in combination with the action, makes for an intense experience. The cinematics also look very good, so you can definitely watch the movies. Once you have watched the first cinematic, you will be mainly prepared in the first mission for the later missions, because there are quite a few parts that are different from the regular RTS game and therefore require some explanation.

RUSE is very much about the action and you could almost call the game more of an action title than RTS. The assignments are very straightforward in the beginning, but luckily you are released more in the later missions, so that you also have the feeling that you are making some tactical decisions. The level is shown zoomed out as a map with tokens that represent the armies. So they have taken this very literally and it is a nice fresh way of dressing. So you can play the game zoomed out by moving the chips, but if you want to have more control over the movement of the units, you can zoom in further and plot the paths. This zooming in and out works very smoothly and is certainly necessary to keep the overview. You can set up a base and factories, but this is kept to a minimum. The units in RUSE differ from infantry, tanks, cars, as well as planes and ships. As a result, there is enough diversity and each unit has its strengths and weaknesses. It also regularly applies that by using your environment with weaker units you can disable strong units. So there are always plenty of choices to make. But why the game feels more like an action game is because of the way of placing and attacking. You either give your units the order to go somewhere or attack and you usually only do this with a few units, leaving little tactics. This can vary a lot per level, especially the later levels, but the first 6 hours will feel very straightforward. The way of attacking and moving, on the other hand, works very well and smoothly and makes the action fast and dynamic.

Wooden tanks as a ruse

To give the gameplay more diversity, they have added a part to the genre, namely the ruses. The amount of lists is getting more and more extensive and the number is large enough not to make it too simple which list is used. Think of wooden tanks as a distraction, radio silence so that your units are invisible and blitz to make your units move faster. There is a ruse for every situation that can help you survive and you will soon notice that you regularly use a ruse. Your opponent can also do this and you will have to take that into account. For example, there is attack from 4 sides and there is only one side with real tanks. It makes playing this game very entertaining especially against a human opponent. At the top left you can see a meter with the amount of money and number of ruses available. By clicking on this you can choose one from a menu and choose an area. Selecting the units also works in this way and is therefore very fast.

Besides the single player, this game contains everything you expect from a strategy title. You can play multiplayer matches against other people, but it is also possible to play a match against the computer or play an extra mission in the “operation” mode. You can see your data and view all your achievements. All your data from previous battles can also be found. This will give you enough content to keep you busy for quite some time. Graphically, the game is also very strong, especially the cinematics and the soundtrack also does its thing. RUSE is actually a complete package for a strategy enthusiast, but also suitable for the novice, because the focus is on the action and you don’t have to spend hundreds of hours on the proportions and skill trees. A game that you quickly pick up to play for a few hours, but offers enough depth for hundreds of hours of fun!

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Author: Christiaan Ribbens | Genre: Strategy & Action | Release: 09-09-2010 | Publisher: Ubisoft | Developer: Eugen SystemsGraphics: 9.0 † Sound: 9.0 † Gameplay: 9.0 † Controls: 8.5 † Playback: 8.5 9.0+ Epic Single Player+ Lots of Options+ Graphics Strong- Straightforward–