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RTS Year Already Over

April 14th, 2007 by Troy Goodfellow · 9 Comments · RTS

Or at least that’s the impression I get from Jason Ocampo’s feature on 2007 real time strategy games. Supreme Commander“>Supreme Commander and Commander and Conquer 3 are already out, leaving us with not a lot to look forward to.

Yes, we have the Medieval 2 and Company of Heroes expansions, but they don’t really count, do they? And it’s much too early to have any firm opinions on Empire Earth III – I’m sort of looking forward to it, but the series has let me down in the past so I’m hedging my bets.

I have no real knowledge of Universe at War or World in Conflict, both of which have titles straight out of a real time strategy title generator. Sins of a Solar Empire has a great title, but I’m equally unexcited, in spite of the Stardock name behind it.

There will surely be a dozen smaller Euro-RTS games this year, but it’s odd that really no high profile RTS is on tap for the 2007 holiday months. I can’t remember the last year that had the real time strategy season end so quickly.


9 Comments so far ↓

  • Ryuken

    Maybe Dawn of War 2 is on the way as well (the end teaser of Dark Crusade gave the impression that something DoW-related will be available in 2007).

    And who knows, StarCraft 2 seems to be the only title Blizzard has had years for to work on (unlike Diablo 3 after the Blizzard North exodus).

  • GyRo567

    2006 was Year of the Niche. It wouldn’t be fair for 2007 to hog all of the non-dead genre’s sales & game quality, would it?

  • Dave Long

    Theatre of War is shipping this week. That might not be traditional RTS fare, but I think it’s definitely something for us genre wonks to check out and play for quite awhile.

    I think there’s also this odd silence now because there’s no real E3 this year. Games in all genres will be sneaking up on people this year.

    BTW, this was posted from the new Wii Opera-based browser. Works well!

  • Troy

    Theater of War is a real time wargame – a Combat Mission type thing. And I’m looking forward to it. And there is the real Combat Mission sequel coming out later this year. Neither is really a real time strategy game as traditionally understood, IMO.

  • Dave Long

    I’ve spent a bunch of time with Theatre of War and it’s not that far from what we typically expect in an RTS minus the economic game. It’s actually somewhat comparable to Myth.

    So while I would definitely term it “real-time wargame”, it’s definitely closer to RTS than it is to a wargame IMO.

    Anyway, there are enough released games here at the beginning of the year that with the expansions coming later I think I’ll have plenty to do in the genre through to the end of the year. :)

  • Troy

    People like you are part of the problem with RTS terminology, Dave. ;) If it’s real time and has killing things, you think it is an RTS. Games are defined by more than their lack of turns.

    Take the economic side out, and it becomes a wargame, in my opinion. Theater of War, Combat Mission, Myth, Sid Meier’s Gettysburg, Close Combat and Harpoon are cut from the same cloth. You start with a set allotment of troops or points and must use those to achieve your goals.

    Same with turn-based games. Birth of America is a wargame. EU is a strategy game.

    Semantic quibbles aside, I agree that the year has started well enough that I shouldn’t complain. Maybe we’ll be surprised by a Rise of Legends expansion or something.

  • Dave Long

    Yeah, I’m one of those bad guys that thinks games are games and don’t particularly like scaring away potential players by narrowly defining things as wargame. :)

    I really do think that moniker scares a large group of potential players away from these titles and the best way to avoid that is to simply call them real-time strategy. Economics don’t have to be considered for a game to fit that genre label, and I really want people to play these things regardless of setting or mechanics because I think a lot of the folks that are turned off by the C&C type of RTS end up loving stuff like Theatre of War, Close Combat, Myth or even Company of Heroes…which has resources, but tied to map conquest in a way that makes them somewhat transparent.

    It’s the old Tom Chick “Games are games whether they’re on consoles or PCs” nugget but shifted down to the genre level. These games are all about commanding and conquering the other guy in real time. It just so happens that the settings for many of these non-economic RTS games are more wargame-like. If you build one of these games with future units (Ground Control?), would that make it less likely for them to be called wargames? I doubt many folks would put Myth under that category either.

    Anyway, I think we’re going to get some great RTS stuff between now and the end of the year. I also have a lot of time left in all these spring releases and expect their expansions to add plenty more gameplay to each of them. Word is that Blizzard will show us Starcraft 2 sometime this fall, though maybe not release until next year. That would be cool.

    Oh… and Universe At War is the Star Wars: Empire At War guys while World In Conflict is the Ground Control people. Both of those are pretty big games. World In Conflict especially will get lots of press and it also features a lack of standard resource management. :)

  • Kieron Gillen

    Universe at War and World in Conflict – despite their names – actually had my housemate coming home and blurbling excitedly when he saw the pair of them. Dark Horses, etc…


  • Troy

    Dark horses are great. I’d love to be really surprised by a game this year as much as I was with Company of Heroes last year.