World in Conflict: Soviet Assault - PC - Review
Released a few years ago, the original World in Conflict was a top-tier strategy title that stands the test of time as one of the best strategy games that you can find. The game offered a very refreshing take on an often stale genre, with a compelling single-player campaign and some solid multiplayer to boot. Now, developer Massive Entertainment has launched their first expansion for the game, Soviet Assault.
World in Conflict: Soviet Assault adds an extra campaign of missions that follow an alternate history of the end of the Cold War, where instead of collapsing, the Soviet Union instead makes one last ditch effort and stages an assault on the US, erupting into global conflict. The campaign will take you to a variety of locations throughout Western Europe and the US, and features a pretty compelling story arc.
For fans of the original game, Soviet Assault offers the same level of quality that fans should expect. The story in the campaign is pretty solid, and the gameplay is just as intense and engaging as anything in the original game. As in the original, Soviet Assault foregoes much of the unit building mechanic that is common in the genre in favor of more intimate battles between smaller unit numbers, which lends it a different feel from other strategy titles.
However, Soviet Assault’s main problem doesn’t come from quality, but rather brevity. The expansion is very short, featuring only six missions, and the content shouldn’t take the average strategy gamer more than three or four hours to complete. While the missions are a blast to play, the added content is comparable to a mission pack that you’d download via Xbox LIVE or PSN for around ten bucks (maybe less), and there aren’t any improvements or additions as far as multiplayer is concerned. Therefore, the fact that downloading this expansion for the PC will set you back $20 is definitely a downer.
The much better deal here would be for players who haven’t experienced the original World in Conflict. The expansion’s retail package is called the Complete Edition, and it is just that. The boxed version comes with both the original game and the expansion bundled together for about $30, and the investment is definitely worth it, considering that the original game is one of the best strategy games around, and additional content sweetens the deal.
Graphically, the expansion doesn’t change the look of the original game, which isn’t a bad thing at all, since the original World in Conflict was (and still is) one of the best looking RTS games around. The unit models look great, boasting a lot of details that are often omitted from strategy games, and fantastic looking environments. The special effects and debris effects are still excellent as well after a couple of years.
The sound is also quite good. The music adds an appropriate amount of mood and ambience to the on-screen action, and the voice work is competently done. The sound effects are loud and crisp and sound great.
As the retail package for Soviet Assault includes the original game as well, it comes wholeheartedly recommended for strategy fans that missed out on the stellar original title the first time around. However, while the new missions are fun and will be worth the time for fans of the game, the fact that there are only six of them makes the $20 price point somewhat hard to stomach. Still, if you go in realizing the brevity of the new campaign and still don’t mind dropping 20 bucks for more from the series, then this is definitely worth a look.
Review Scoring Details for World in Conflict: Soviet Assault
The expansion’s mission set is fun and engaging, but the whole experience only lasts for six missions.
While the graphics haven’t changed since the game launched a couple of years ago, it still represents some of the best visuals in the genre.
The music sets the mood nicely, and the voice work and sound effects are solid.
The gameplay and the campaign are engaging as ever, but the whole thing is awfully short, making it hard to justify the $20 price tag.
Soviet Assault is a fun, albeit very short experience. While gamers who haven’t played the original title will get the best deal with the Complete Edition, the $20 price tag for the expansion by itself is a bit harder to stomach.