December 17, 2007 by Tim

I started keeping up on Universe at War: Earth Assault a couple months ago when I saw some showcase on the different alien races in the game. I enjoy RTS games even though I hate, and suck at, the “rush rush rush” mentality that seems to permeate all online aspects of every RTS in existence. And UaW looked like it was going to be a solid title, with some neat features to set it apart. So far it hasn’t disappointed.

I installed it a couple of days ago, and I’ve only had time for a few skirmishes thus far, but they’ve been fun. I got locked into a wretched stalemate with the computer last night though.

I was the Robotech-looking guys (Novus), the computer were the aliens with the giant walking structures (Hierarchy). My super weapon came online right after theirs, and then it was a back and forth of whatever their “warping huge asteroids right onto my base” weapon is, and my gravity bombs on theirs.

Inbetween they’d build another giant walking battle station, and I’d manufacture a few dozen Ohm robots and send them in waves, instructing them to the overload their energy cores at the last minute, after which they’d leap onto the legs of said walking battle station and self destruct. After a few waves, of Ohm robots, the battle station would be a hulking wreck practically on my doorstep, which my drones would harvest for resources to fuel my next Ohm robot defensive.

With a 40 unit population cap, neither of us were gaining much headway, and I was kicking myself for building my black hole generator at an expansion base (because I didn’t know what it was at the time), which was constantly under attack. So this went on for an hour or so, until they finally dropped some asteroids on my little expansion and halted my super weapon capabilities, and then I just said fuck it and went to bed.

My experiences with the game so far are enough to confirm what I suspected all along, and that is that UaW is a solid RTS title. Not a “genre revolutionary” in terms of graphics or gameplay, but extremely solid in both areas, and with enough cool little unique details that really compliment the experience.

Now that I know the game is solid, I can announce Universe at War as the game for our RTS tournament at Digital Overload 2008. It’ll be a 1v1 tournament, so it should make for some pretty intense competition. There’s a demo out if you want to give the game a try, and if you like RTS’, I recommend giving it a shot.

There’s only one more PC tournament to announce, which will be our 1v1 FPS selection, I’m just waiting on our tournament guy to decide which game he wants to run.

The final tournament in the console games category will be a Burnout Paradise Biggest Crash Competition. If you’ve played Burnout before, you should have an idea of what to expect. Players will have three chances to create the biggest, most expensive crash they can to advance to the next round. I expect it will be a pretty fun event for both participants and spectators.

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