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Wargame: European Escalation

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Wargame: European Escalation is a real-time strategy video game developed by Eugen Systems and published by Focus Home Interactive, released on February 23, 2012. It is set in Europe during the Cold War, most specifically in the years 1975-1985.

Gameplay

Wargame's playable factions are the Warsaw Pact, which is subdivided into the Soviet Union, Communist Poland, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia ; and NATO, which is subdivided into the United States of America, United Kingdom, France and West Germany. Players can choose various units from the four subfactions of the side they are playing on, unlocking new units or improved variants through game progression. In all, there are 361 historical units recreated in Wargame.

Each country has its own arsenal of units, reflecting their military doctrine.

NATO

USA: America is NATO's Jack of all trades. They may not have the strongest armour, nor the most precise artillery or best air defense, but they have no obvious shortcomings unlike some of their more specialized allies or enemies. Their helicopter branch is generally superior to that of its NATO allies.

France: France's combat doctrines were forged in the constant colonial wars of the 1950s and 1960s, giving priority to light units. French vehicles are both accurate and fast, but very fragile. They are at their best performing fast strikes, ambushes and hit-and-run tactics, but aren't strong in head-on engagements.

United Kingdom: British tanks are opposites of the French ones: they are heavily armoured and armed, but very slow, and are at their best in a defensive situation. To contrast with this, their infantry benefit from fast troop transports and support vehicles.

West Germany: Traditionally equipped with downgraded US Army vehicles, Germany has now caught up with its allies at the beginning of the 1970s. Fielding modern vehicles of its own, they are usually very efficient but come at a price. Their Panzergrenadiers are among the most heavily armed infantry units.

Warsaw Pact

Soviet Union: Just like its American counterpart, the Soviet army has no obvious shortcomings, but it relies mostly on its tank formations and vast array of artillery units to break the enemy front. USSR also use heavily armed and armored helicopter units.

Poland: Poland's equipment is mostly borrowed from the USSR arsenals, but counts more on its elite infantry units than its armored formations. Equipped with the fastest troop transports available in the Warsaw Pact, they are very mobile and are able to attack or redeploy with little notice.

Czechoslovakia: But for the tanks and helicopters, the Czechoslovakian army had its own arrays of vehicles, based on its national military industry. With excellent artillery and air defense units, and among the best special forces, it is perfect to support other players.

East Germany: Like Poland, East Germany is mostly using Soviet equipment. Relying mostly on heavy infantry formations, it is also the keeper of most the Cold War's heated border, the Iron Curtain. Therefore, East Germany had developed a lot of dedicated recon and intelligence gathering units.

Solo Mode

Wargame's solo mode is divided into four individual campaigns called "Operations", two for each faction. Each are unrelated and chronicle scenarios based on actual events that came close to triggering open war between the two superpowers.

1975 - Brüder gegen Brüder

In his successful escape to the West, National People’s Army's soldier Werner Weinhold leaves two dead East German border guards in his wake, gunned down while they tried to stop him from defecting. This event aroused tension along the Iron Curtain while East German authorities vainly asked for the double murderer to be handed back to them ...

Played as NATO, this operation sees the two German states going to war, slowly driving their respective allies into the struggle ...

1981 - Dabrowski's Mazurka

Fearing the rising popularity of free union Solidarnosc (a.k.a Solidarity), Polish head of state General Wojciech Jaruzelski orders Martial law in Poland. When miners from the Wujek mines in Katowice answer the declaration of Martial Law with a strike, paramilitary militias and army units are sent to break the strike by force.

Played as Warsaw Pact, this operation places the player in the position of a Soviet commander faced with a Polish uprising against Jaruzelski's regime and its Soviet allies. Inspired by the Polish revolution, Czechoslovakia quickly follows Poland's example and defects to NATO, driving Europe into a new full scale war.

1983 - ABLE ARCHER

November 1983. NATO organizes a multinational military exercise called "ABLE ARCHER 83". The timing couldn't have been worse; after a year of rising tensions between the USA & USSR, the Soviet leaders believe "ABLE ARCHER" to be a smokescreen for an actual NATO attack on the Warsaw Pact.

Played as NATO, this operation sees NATO's Fulda Gap front dissolving before a full scale Warsaw Pact "preemptive" attack.

1984 - Wasteland

Which side has fired first? Or why? No one knows, but no one cares anymore. In the following days of a nuclear war that has wiped out most European cities, the survivors from both sides are only obsessed with survival ... and vengeance.

Played as Warsaw Pact, in this operation the player embodies a Soviet commander gone rogue, gathering survivors from both sides to complete his vengeful scheme.

Expansions

There are currently 4 free to play expansion packs[1]:

  • New Battlefields
  • Conquest
  • Commander
  • Fatal Error

Engine

Wargame uses an improved version of R.U.S.E.'s IRISZOOM engine. It features large maps up to 150 square kilometres in size, which can have up to 100 million scenery objects. It gives the player the ability to zoom in and out and to get, in an instant, from a large commander's view to a ground view closer to the combat. Another useful feature is the "Track Cam" feature which makes the camera lock into place around a unit, following that unit. The player can then swivel and zoom around the unit.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 81%
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.5/10

Wargame: European Escalation, has received generally positive reviews upon release, with a Metacritic score of 81%.

Sequel

On August 10, 2012, a sequel, Wargame: AirLand Battle, was announced with a release scheduled in the spring of 2013. Like its predecessor, it will be set in the Cold War period of 1975-1985 but will focus the NATO-Warsaw Pact war in Northern Europe, notably in Scandinavia, along with the addition of the player's own air force.[2]

References

External links

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