Previews

RUSE gameplay preview

Ubisoft finds a new use for the RTS fog of war

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Besides, eventually every unit will impact on you (ain't it always the way?) as you frantically defend multiple points and formulate more complicated attacks.

But it's RUSE's title feature that has the potential to knock this RTS into the big leagues. The game lifts the traditional fog of war right away, making no apologies as it shows you the position of your opponent and the number of armies present. Okay, so the strength of each military cluster isn't immediately apparent - but even that's revealed with a basic line of sight.

You might think, then, that there's little incentive to hold back and play a conservative game. You'd be wrong. 'Ruse cards' give you the opportunity to delve into much more interesting tactics than relying on fog of war.

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The cards are almost like one-shot special abilities that give you a chance to pull the wool back over your opponent's eyes - or enhance your own intel in ten delightfully devious ways.

'The Spy' Ruse, for example, unveils details on enemy armies without the need for a line of sight - so you know what you're up against before you move in for the kill (or not if the opposition is particularly impressive). 'Radio Silence' conversely hides your units entirely until they're seen with the naked scope.

Other Ruse cards allow you to create completely fake wooden armies - or sex up your military numbers to throw a bluff towards the enemy.

The rest of RUSE is more or less what we've come to know and love from the RTS genre; you manage resources, establish a base and build up units from fleshy infantry to armoured tanks and their anti-tank foes.

But it's the titular, manipulative, user-generated fog of war that makes RUSE stand out - allowing generals to play off each other in a way that's never been seen before.

Add an accessible control system that works on console and vivid, detailed presentation and Ubi won't need to fool any RTS fans to get them interested in this one.

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