In 2016 the unthinkable happens: An atomic war in Saudi Arabia not only kills over six million people but also disrupts the flow of the oil to the rest of the world. As a consequence, one year later America and Europe build a global missile defense network in space while Russia becomes the most important energy supplier and comes know the true promise of an economic boom making them once again a super power. Europe also unites itself under the flag of the European Federation – but without the United Kingdom.
Now we write the year 2020 and the United States is almost finished building their Freedom Star, a orbital heavy weapons platform which once again will shift the balance of power on the planet and greatly increases the tension between the three super powers. It’s only a matter of time until this tension unleashes itself in the last war mankind will ever fight: the EndWar.
Tom Clancy’s EndWar is a real-time strategy game without base construction and single unit control. Instead the player orders squads of gunships, tanks and such around while being able to order reinforcements after a certain amount of time has passed. It is however wise for the player to look after his squads as they gain experience during the course of the battle and advance in six ranks after a successful battle making them more and more powerful. It is even possible to upgrade the units in the four categories “Attack”, “Defense”, “Mobility” and “Proficiency” with credits earned at the end of each mission.
What makes Tom Clancy’s EndWar unique is the way how it is controlled. Instead of using a cursor, all actions are performed by voice command.
Each squad and hostile as well as important points on the map have numbers and letters assigned to them and the player uses these in combination of a few keywords to issue an order. If the player e.g. wants to send his first squad of gunships to attack the second squad of enemy infantry he has to press and hold a button to activate voice recognition, say “Unit 1 Attack Hostile 2” (in the English version) and release the button. If the system understood the order it is then carried out. It is also possible to issue a series of orders by completing the first order without releasing the button. The system will then await the following orders to be spoken before activating them all upon the release of the button.
To make it easier for the player to know what he can say, an onscreen pop-up window opens up as the player progresses through the command chain showing all possible words that can be used in the current context.
During all this the camera always follows a squad. Freely moving around the battlefield is not possible. Instead the player jumps around with the command “Unit Number Camera” or activates the overview map called “Sitrep” which shows a abstract real-time map of the battlefield.
The single player campaign puts the player in control of all three armies while fighting battles all over the world against an unknown terrorist group. The game also features 1on1 and 2on2 skirmishes with bots, cooperative campaign play and a permanent online World War III-scenario in which thousands of players fight for world domination by joining one of the three factions and help conquering and defending points on the world map. These include air force bases which give access to air strikes and additional infantry units and capital cities that have to be conquered in three stages. Once a day a campaign-update rolls out which updates the map to reflect the territorial changes based on the battles fought in the last 24 hours.
As opposed to the the console-versions, the windows release also allows for control with mouse and keyboard, features an updated UI and camera and includes several new missions and multiplayer maps.