In an industry filled with fantasy MMO clones of World of WarCraft, it’s always refreshing to see a developer strive for something unique. In this case, Petroglyph’s attempt at an RTS/MMO mash-up, End of Nations, seems poised to introduce fans of one genre to those of another by virtue of some explosive, tank-on-tank action.
The game takes place in a near future in which economies and governments have collapsed and the world has fallen into a state of perpetual conflict. As factions and agencies compete against one another, the wars continue to rage. There’s a large, persistent world here that’ll call gamers home from a long weekend only to find that the global conflict has escalated, or that their friends have successfully vanquished a particular foe.
A massive world-map sets the stage for your online crusades, an adventure which plays, on the surface, like a traditional RTS. You’ll manage your arsenal of vehicles, weapons and superweapons, moving them around the field in optimal combat formations while attempting to gain control of specific points on the map. End of Nations can be played PvP or with up to 50 friends against the game’s A.I., setting the stage for some massive battle scenarios. The combat animations are fairly smooth and graphically impressive, offering a decent sense of scale, and the superweapons – which can be earned as you progress throughout the game – are visual spectacles of utter annihilation.
In true MMO style, there are skill trees to be fleshed out and levels to be attained, opening up new combat options and available tools. These will be reflected in your personal headquarters from which you can upgrade and customize your army. Colors, patterns and emblems will ultimately help you distinguish your convoy from others on the field.
If it works, it’s a helluva military mash-up, and the promise of jumping online either with or against 49 other friends is compelling indeed. But it’s the fans who will ultimately decide whether these are two great flavors that go great together…