Act of Aggression Review
-Awesome level design
-Solid resource management
-No innovation - might as well play an old C&C game
-Bland campaign mode
Act of Aggression doesn’t bring anything unique to the world of real-time strategy games, but it does come off as well polished and even perfected for what it is. To be honest, Act of Aggression is very similar to the Command & Conquer series, and I believe it was meant to be that way in an effort to bring back the RTS golden era of the nineties.
If you think about it, Command & Conquer: Generals had the United States, Chinese and the bad guys. In Act of Aggression, it’s the US, Russians (Chimera) and the bad guys – but the similarities don’t stop there. Both of these games have soldier units, planes, and tanks. The main difference is that Act of Aggression is newer and has better graphics and explosion effects.
The story is actually interesting if you’re into this kind of stuff, but nothing original or unexpected. Set in the 2019, not too far away from now, in a world where the Chinese financial system has crashed and the entire world has fallen into an economic recession, causing third world countries to get overran by the Cartel. The Cartel has basically become a dominant superpower, taking control of third-world armies and turning them into puppet regimes.
The Chinese financial system went down the drain after the Shanghai Crash, which happened to be planned by an unknown group of people. Since there wasn’t any evidence to prove the financial collapse was caused by anyone, the initial investigations were shut down and it was labeled a conspiracy theory.
However, the United Nations were of course determined to find out the truth behind the Shanghai Crash, leading to the Chimera Protocol to get signed in secrecy. This protocol basically puts all the UN members working together and sharing military intelligence to uncover any evidence on the case. It doesn’t stop there, they even pull off some black ops operations to uncover more of the truth.
At this point in time, the United States is also suffering from the economic crisis, as well as defense budget cuts and the ability to keep their influence as a global superpower. Then, in 2025 things get crazy in Mexico, causing the US to get involved in a conflict that involves all parties.
In the game there are three playable factions, they are the Cartel, the Chimera and the United States Army. As expected, they each have their own pros and cons, which I go over with you.
The United States Army: These guys are doing their best to prevent the United States from losing it’s superpower dominance over the rest of the world. They are well-rounded in battle, capable of handling any situation, but these forces rely on combat skills more than technological weaponry.
The Cartel: I know, it sounds like a large organized gang that sells drugs, but the Cartel is actually a private military corporation from America that was originally established to take out Communist threats in the 80s. Shortly after the Shanghai Crash these guys moved in on failing government around the globe and gained power over them. In battle, they are equipped with high-tech equipment and stolen prototype weapons.
The Chimera: Formed by the United Nations and armed with foreign equipment from around the world, the Chimera is a multinational task force capable of upgrading its units during combat. This task force always has a plan and is highly capable during battle.
Act of Aggression is very similar to the Command & Conquer series, and nothing is really innovative or unique about it. You will begin by building a base for your army, collecting resources and developing army units to battle against AIs. Online multiplayer is the same, except with real people and not artificial intelligence, the cooperative gameplay is actually quite good.
I believe the story is interesting, but not executed properly, as the single-player campaign is kind of bland, not something I will ever play again in my life. I do however like the road system, where vehicles travel much faster when they’re on roads. This is good as you will be able to predict where your enemy is coming from, so it adds some strategy to the gameplay. Helicopters are great because you avoid this altogether and completely surprise the enemy.
Having three different types of resources is also great, and there are red, yellow and blue resources. Yellow is necessary to build basic units, blue helps with the mid-level units and red will get the toughest units, and you will need red to survive past the beginning. I’m not sure if it’s just me but by the time I get enough of the red stuff I am out of the blue resources and that’s no fun. But, the resource model in this game does promote players to battle more and fight for resources like no other RTS I have played in recent years. You will not forget that the game is about the economy and if you control the economy you will dominate the map.
Graphics and Map Designs
I do believe the maps are designed well, and I personally like them. The graphics aren’t groundbreaking, but the map design is nearly perfect for the way I imagine the world within the story to be. I mean, the road system is nice, but the building, the explosions, and objects within the maps look proper. The world looks authentic, the locations are spots where epic battles would go down in the real world (hopefully not for real) and the developer did a great job when it comes to map design.
There were a few people who I played with online, and all of them have quit playing Act of Aggression by now. Actually, I asked a buddy to play and he refused to play because he’s already sick of this game. It’s not that interesting and there are much better RTS games out there. It’s got its pros and I don’t mind it myself, but I’m not a picky player at all. In fact, I always look for the good in video games and do my best to appreciate them for what they are. If you’re like me, you can probably enjoy Act of Aggression, at least for a little while. The resource management is on point, the balanced units are nearly perfected, and the interface is well designed. If it came out 5 years ago I would give it a much higher rating, but it didn’t, and for that reason I am giving it a 6.5/10.
Check out the gameplay footage below to see if Act of Aggression is worth purchasing. I included what I believe to be the best gameplay footage, along with the official trailer if you’re interested in watching the gameplay for yourself…