Given that Act of War's realistically modelled cityscapes have had so much care and attention put into them, it's almost a shame that the first thing everyone's going to do is blow up the biggest, most famous building they can see.
Not really. Set in some of the world's most famous cities like London, Washington DC and San Francisco, Act of War's futuristic techno-terrorist storyline is going to be given exactly the kind of real-world atmosphere it needs by the inclusion of painstaking polygon reproductions of Buckingham Palace, the White House and the Air Space Museum.
And blowing them up is going to be the fun part. Every building in the game - including every famous landmark - will take real damage from any of the present-day and futuristic weaponry in the game. Bricks will pit, wood will splinter, steel will bend - until the whole damn thing hits the deck. Of course, you're only doing it to save the world from terrorists, so it's okay.
But the buildings don't just blow up pretty. Act of War's adding an interesting urban warfare spin to the RTS genre by allowing you to use buildings as part of your tactics. You'll be able to station troops within structures to hide them from enemies and gain a better vantage point onto the action. With a stiff single-player campaign to play through and online multiplayer skirmishes guaranteed, the prospects for ambushes and counter-ambushes are endless.
Take a recce on the screens and hold your position for more on Act of War, which will hit PCs in Spring 2005.