R.U.S.E. screenshot
R.U.S.E. screenshot

There are ten in total. Well, five say they're ruses but are actually just regular perks: there are no implicit ruse-y qualities to Blitz, which increases your units' movement speed by 50%. Maybe that is the R.U.S.E. Or is it? Multiplayer is clearly the game’s strong suit, and the bold expanses of territory become home to some thrilling and detailed military skirmishes.

Others, such as Reverted Intel - a stalwart favourite - make your opponent see your light units as heavy and vice versa. It can be a deliciously insidious way to sneak a bunch of cheap grenadiers up on the enemy's expensive anti-tank encampments.

There are some other standouts, too. Radio Silence hides all your troops, whereas Camouflage Net disguises all your buildings. You can deploy fake, booby-trapped structures with Decoy Armour Base and make it seem like you've got a far bigger army than you actually do with Fake Offensive. All very useful, and all are brilliant.

Needless to say, getting one over on your opponent with a cheeky Ruse skill is an absolute triumph of slightly evil game design, and a genuine thrill to boot. You can't fire them all over the place, of course - they're limited by both a recharge time and limited range - but that just makes it even more satisfying when you successfully pull one off.

It's not nearly as satisfying to deploy a Ruse on a CPU opponent, so the single-player campaign clearly suffers. I've only played through the first six levels, but the full game will take you on a whistle-stop tour of World War II across six significant theatres of war. You can probably guess most of them, to be honest.

I'm not a big fan of the single-player's po-faced FMV cutscenes and flim-flam characterisation, either, but it doesn't really seem to be the point: Ruse is about outsmarting and outgunning a human opponent, getting the best of them using your brilliant and magnificent grey matter. No campaign mode is ever going to sufficiently capture that.

The 360 version of R.U.S.E. might not control as smoothly as its counterparts, but it definitely manages to adequately capture the raw feeling of the game itself. Developer Eugen's IRISZOOM (silly name) engine holds up well, but texture quality has taken a bit of a battering compared to the overall might of the PC version - clearly the one to gun for, in my opinion. There are some funny visual quirks across all platforms - it's always quite amusing to see infantry units transform into tanks and vice versa - but, ultimately, the engine manages to scale well on 360 and handle the many explosions without suffering.

And no matter what version you pick, outsmarting your opponent with a last-minute Reverted Intel is always going to be a classic dick move. Which, let's be honest, is always going to be the best part of R.U.S.E.

R.U.S.E is due for release on 360, PS3 and PC on 10th September.

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Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Most cringe worthy tag line ever!

Intresting read, but didn't really tell me anything I didn't know from the BETA. Still, I think that I will pick it up though - I love it!

(Sorry for sounding like a dick in this post)
Posted 15:49 on 16 August 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 10/09/2010
Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Real-time strategy
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 865 26
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