End of Nations prepares to serve up massive online battles, customizable units, and for the low cost of nothing for the fall of 2012. Instead of focusing on resource gathering and tech trees, this MMO/RTS hybrid looks to rush head long into battle with unique skills that are closer to a League of Legend-style of play. Instead of a single hero, End of Nations lets you bring a highly customizable artillery with you to strike down your foe.
I recently got some hands-on time with an army in their persistent world and have the virtual bruises to prove it.
And They Shall Rise...
It might not have been a wise decision to deviate from the norm. As the rest of my opponents loaded up their massive thanks and choppers to plow through the environment, I picked a quicker unit of small trucks and footmen to supply my team. End of Nations balances the game by putting a cost cap on the armies you create. Powerful units cost you more. Though small in stature, my men greatly outnumbered any army out there. Though speed and numbers, my enemy would come to know my name – Team Pizza Box.
While pizza boxes may not strike fear into the hearts of men, End of Nations lets you customize your army in different skins from rust to bacon. When the game launches, there will be more skins for you to buy along with experience boost and the chance for loot drops. Don’t worry about the kid down the lane buying up all the nukes. The only thing you pay for is convenience in this RTS. Power must be earned, not bought.
Rising up the ranks lets you access different units, structures, and different commander abilities. Unlike the powers of your units like the ability to throw down mines, launch spy units to keep an eye on your territory, and showering your opponent with missiles; commander abilities affect your whole squad and work with any of the armies you assemble. I picked shield I could quickly throw up around my fleshy units. Commander powers work along side your play style no matter whom you bring to battle.
The developers at Trion and Petroglyph, the makers of the classic RTS, Dune II, hinted at hero units that could buff or give bonuses to your squad entire squad. Cheetah, as her name may imply, allows your foot soldiers to run faster. As before, she’ll cost more than your typical unit, but a little extra speed could be the difference between taking the flag or taking a missile strike.
The War Comes Home
On a map called Deep Hammer, twelve armies rushed the field to make a mad grab for resources and field placement against twelve other armies rushing to do the same. My light units allowed me to sneak in and make a grab for some of the smaller territories that were often overlooked and gain resources for my team. While I could never hope to take on the opposing base, you little contribution of resources helps everyone on my team to buy repairs, reinforcements, or to drop a dreaded nuke.
And with only on man standing while I held desperately to a base, I launched a nuke on myself. I held my ground to the bitter end. As the fog of war began to roll in one last time, I saw nuke hit the ground. While my suicide tactic might not have won the war, every unit plays a part in this epic battle of base versus base. Other maps focus on grabbing more resources than your opponents on smaller map. And then, there’s the big 52-man battle.
The persistent world shifts between sided with occupied areas giving your team bonuses or strategic advantages over the other team. To keep one side from completely annihilating the other, a third computer-controlled faction comes into play, The Order of Nations. While the two sides The Liberation Front and The Shadow Revolution stand toe-to-toe with one another, this third faction bring in firepower that could crush either one single handily. Opposing forces will need to put aside their difference to take on this mechanical monster. Live together or die alone.
With over ten units per company and more than five hundred units on the map, we’re looking at millions of possible matchups when it comes to battling your way through the world. With the game launching this fall, look for an open beta to happen the summer or 2012. The End of Nations looks like the beginning of something amazing.