The Command and Conquer series has always been my all time favorite RTS game, since there hasn’t been much going on with the C&C world, last year when Act of War: Direct Action came out that became my new favorite RTS. I still revisit it now and again to play on different difficulties or a bit online when I get time. Now that Act of War: High Treason has come out I can continue my RTS playing, while waiting patiently for the new C&C to come out. AOW:DA was wildly popular when it came out and it still does enjoy quite a large fan base but as with any game over time the fans find something else to do, can AOW:HT bring the fans back to the AOW series? Is AOW:HT much of an improvement over the original? Surely a year should bring about improvements in all aspects of the game? Read on to find out my impressions of the game….
Act of War: High Treason
Reviewed by: Kristofer Brozio AkA Dracos
Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:
Act of War: High Treason (dvd-rom)
On the eve of the presidential election, disaster strikes in a horrific way. Both presidential candidates are attacked as the sitting president is assassinated. Unsure how to react to such an attack, the scared, grieving nation becomes paralyzed as chaos takes over. It is up to you, Major Jason Richter, and your Task Force Talon to disrupt the enemy plot that is tearing apart the country at its seams.
Unravel the plot to destroy the world’s only super power that has connections to the Consortium. Wage war throughout North and Central America, from New York and Manhattan to Florida, Cuba and Mexico. This expansion pack also takes the battle to the waters, through realistic modern naval combat featuring more than a dozen new units designed specifically for naval combat.
-Enjoy even more intense multiplayer action with fully customizable games and additional
-Take down your enemies with revised aircraft and artillery
-Take control of new units and mercenary units
-Expansion pack requires the original version of Act of War to play
-Expansion pack for Act of War lets you explore all-new campaigns set in new real-world locations
-Enjoy realistic modern naval combat with bump-mapping and physics
-Improved control system for enhanced gameplay
Minimum PC System Requirements:
PC Processor Type Intel® Pentium® 4 processor or equivalent
PC Processor Speed 1.5GHz
PC Operating System Windows 2000, Windows XP
PC System Memory 256MB RAM
PC Hard Drive Space 7GB
PC Video DirectX 9.0c-compatible ATI RADEON or NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 or better video card
PC Sound Card DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
PC Drive Type and Speed: CD-ROM/DVD-ROM
Notice it says ‘Expansion pack’, nowhere on my box does it say that, also nowhere does it mention on my box that it requires Act of War: Direct Action either. I’ve been checking Atari forums, Act of War: High Treason forums and others are saying the same thing. Another odd thing is that (at the time of this review writing) this game isn’t even supposed to be on the shelves yet, but there it was at my local Best Buy, on the shelf. Apparently I have a ‘stand alone’ version of Act of War: High Treason, am I lucky or is this a goof in the printing? Another note is that I have noticed many people encountering problems running AOW:DA and AOW:HT on Windows XP64, I have never had a problem, XP64 is my main OS.
A Better Look at Things
Taking a quick look at the packaging, what a gas mask has to do with “High Treason” I don’t quite know but that’s what they put on the front of the box. The back has some screen shots and features of the game.
Inside we find the DVD and a brief instruction manual…
Well the first thing I noticed and that actually disappointed me was the lack of the cool movie during the installation process. If you recall AOW:DA, there was a cool movie/talk show type thing going on you got to watch while the game installed. So the installation process was boring just sitting and watching it install, oh well…
After the install I clicked the AOW:HT icon and up popped the Windows Security Alert/Windows Firewall Alert that AOW:HT was trying to access connections to the internet, is it calling home or something?
I’m not going to go through the developer and publisher screens and that stuff, we don’t want to see those when we play the game let alone in a review right? So here is the load screen:
Pretty cool, but it sure takes a long time to load this game, I mean I walked away, went to pee, got something to drink from the fridge, came back and it still wasn’t finished loading. It was doing that shader compilation thing for quite some time.
Finally I was greeted with the main menu screen, no title screen or intros at all. The main menu hasn’t changed much, except for the background and colors basically.
Clicking on options takes us to the settings, not much to choose from really, but having a 7800GTX card I can max everything out which is nice.
Of course before we start the game we have to create a profile that will be used in game.
That done we can check out all the other options but we won’t as they didn’t change much, the LAN and Online option screens look the same as well as the Engagement and Operations screens.
It seems Act of War: High Treason is pretty much the same as Act of War: Direct Action with some color and scenery changes. I guess we will find out once we get into the game itself, so let’s do that now…
(One note for you, the screen shots were originally 1280×1024, I dropped them down to 1024×768 to make them more web friendly.)
AOW:HT is obviously about treason, when we start a new game we are greeted with a CG cinematic that takes us into the games’ first level.
After we find out what happened we get a fly by through the city.
And we land on the roof to begin our first mission.
The interface is pretty much the same here as well, and honestly I expected the graphics to be better. Look at the railing in the bottom right corner of the roof, look how jagged it is, all over the straight lines are not straight. What happened to utilizing the technology of a video card?
Moving on into the first level we get to shoot a few bad guys in our attempt to rescue the senator. Which we really don’t get to do as the other unseen team takes care of those bad guys for us.
Finally we need to escort the senator to the helicopter and then onto the next level.
While we are being briefed about what is happening and what needs to be done next I roamed around to check out some more of the graphics. Not bad but I expected a lot better, it looks the same as AOW:DA. Was there no improvement on the graphics engine at all?
The next mission takes us to JFK Airport to rescue the Vice President now, here we meet Oz Jackson, a new character for AOW:HT.
This time we get a small team of five, and we get to pick up SWAT on the way to the objective.
Gameplay has not seemed to have changed at all, nor have the graphics. Characters are all controlled the same way as before select, point and click.
Moving on into the game, here is another screen shot close up of one of the other missions where Jefferson has to infiltrate an enemy airport by himself, tough mission… The point of the screen shot is to show the graphics actually.
Here are a couple more shots further on in the game,this is of water, not bad looking.
It seems the grphics aren’t that bad, but there are no high end features like AA and AAF involved or in us in AOW:HT. Why? I don’t know, considering you do have the option of zooming in to the ground level to see details, why wouldn’t Atari want the details to be nicer?
Of course during AOW:HT we get to see new vehicles, I’m not going into all of them, let it be a surprise for you, but here is a troop transport hovercraft:
Helicopters, of course are in this version, but they seem to have a new paint job now.
During a few parts of the game you get to control destroyers, aircraft carriers (with the planes to use) and lots of other vehicles.
Anyway, AOW:HT is a welcome addition to the series, but I would have liked to have seen more improvements to some aspects of the game. With the availability of new graphics cards today, why not take advantage of them if possible? Everyone likes a little eye candy… As I mentioned the game play is virtually unchanged, except this time around it seems there is lots more to do and many more units and vehicles to control at one time, sometimes it does get a bit confusing. One cool new feature I noticed was the ability to select units and have the ‘Fire at Will’, I don’t recall that option being there in AOW:DA, also you can have units blanket an area with rockets or rounds on command.
If you played the multiplayer version of AOW:DA then you’ll find the same things here as well, with of course new stuff from this version.
Overall Act of War: High Treason is a great game, as I mentioned game play is virtually unchanged. The lack of movie cut scenes was kind of a letdown, there isn’t much there really like Act of War: Direct Action. In AOW:DA, the cut scenes were and integral part of the game, they helped the player really get into the game, there are a cut scenes but just not like those of AOW:DA.
I haven’t quite finished the game yet, but after only playing for about six hours I’m more than half way through the game, I really haven’t encountered much in the way of new vehicles or troops, at least nothing exciting anyway. I was really looking forward to this release, but it kind of let me down, I really expected much more out of this release, but it is playable and fun. I will be spending many more hours finishing the single player campaign and more on the multiplayer part I’m sure. Though the game is not much of a real improvement over the original, fans of the series, like myself, will be happy and play it.
My advice is don’t get it expecting to see something drastically different, get it because you are a fan of the series and want more of a good thing.
DragonSteelMods gives Act of War: High Treason a 4 out of 5 score and a solid Recommended for fans of the series.
-gampeplay virtually unchanged
-gameplay virtually unchanged
-graphics virtually unchanged
-not much really new