Top Critic Average
I enjoy a lot of things about Act of Aggression: the bloody, orgiastic spectacle of it. The tactical combat that puts a premium on winning the battle for map vision and positioning. The nuanced faction differences. But Act of Aggression is also a game that obscures information rather than reveals it, and attempts to bewilder you with a million minor choices rather than a few clear-cut strategic decisions. In sharp contrast to Eugen's previous work, my first enemy is always the game itself.
Move over, Command and Conquer, there's a new king of the genre. Act of Aggression is a perfect recreation of the elements that made '90s and early '00s real-time strategy games such a joy to play. Diverse factions and units, continually evolving gameplay, and authentic-feeling maps make for a must-own game for RTS enthusiasts and newcomers.
A wonderful entry into the RTS that's full of promise and has a great future as a multiplayer powerhouse. Act of Aggression should definitely be tried if you're a fan of the genre and want a modern take on a classic story.
For those only interest in single-player, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. If online multiplayer or even AI skirmishes are all you need, Act of Aggression delivers a wonderful product.
Act of Aggression is a visually appealing and well-designed strategy title that stands amid its peers as a worthwhile and slightly flawed throwback to a bygone era.
But back to the original question "does it deliver?" Yes and no. I can see what it's trying to do and there are moments of fun, but for me it just lacked a degree of polish or something that would make me eager to get to the next level. Instead progression felt like more of something I had to do rather than wanted to do. I will no doubt play more in the future, but it doesn't have the same simple brainless fun that the classic C&C series did. A noble effort that many will find a great deal of fun in, whilst others might find it lacking something.
If you crave an old school RTS with updated graphics and unique factions to play, then this might be what you are looking for. The game is solid and has a great amount of polish; it just lacks anything innovative enough to keep players enticed for too long.
It's rough, it's incomplete, it's awful in places. But it's also raw and decadent. Soaked to the core in that quintessentially nineties cocktail of cynicism and an exultant love of violence, playing Act of Aggression feels like going back in time and returning to a home that only exists in your oldest memories. And that's special, even if it means dealing with some obtuse design issues.
Fans of Command and Conquer will feel right at home here. Act of Aggression feels like a spiritual successor to the series, right down to some of the interface options and the overall pacing. Unfortunately enough time has passed since the last C&C game that I would have liked to see a few more risks taken, because I don't see the newer generation of RTS fans biting with this one.
Act of Aggression wears its inspiration on its sleeve, but it just doesn’t have the gusto to be its own beast. Those dying for a new RTS may find something to enjoy, but the masses are better off sticking with the classics.
For fans of RTS, Act of Aggression may serve as a quaint diversion with its great textures, particle effects, and unit diversity. On the other hand, this is a game that lacks polish, and may be unable to maintain the attention of the most hardcore strategists for long.
While drawing inspiration from what has gone before is to be expected in any creative endeavour, failing to put your own mark on your source material can leave the finished product feeling like little more than nostalgic indulgence. It's a trap that Act of Aggression has thrown itself into willingly.