Rusted Warfare Review
- A pure RTS with no microtransactions and no DRM
- Online and offline multiplayer over wifi and mobile networks
- Campaign, skirmish, survival, and challenge missions, with full AI
- Over 40+ unique land, air, and sea units for balanced gameplay
- Experimental units and nuclear missiles for the big endgame battles
- Tactical And Strategic opportunities with unique units such as
→ Flying Fortresses
→ Combat Engineers
→ Amphibious Jets
→ Shielded Hovertanks
→ Laser Defences
- Fast interface: Issue commands through the minimap, multi-touch support, unit groups, rally points
- Strategic zoom: Zoom out to view and issue commands across the whole battlefield
- Save and load games including multiplayer games for that quick lunchtime battle
- Reconnect disconnected multiplayer games and avoid any disappointment
- Create and load your own custom levels
- Fully scales from phones to large-screen tablets
- A USB keyboard and mouse support
For those unfamiliar with the RTS genre, a brief explanation seems like a good place to start. At the beginning of each level, your military strength will usually consist of just a handful of basic units. The aim is to build up your strength by gathering resources and building factories and new units, whilst taking care to defend your base from enemy attacks. You get precious little time to consider your actions as, to add to the tension and excitement, everything is a constant battle against the clock. Eventually, one player will have a large enough army to overcome their opponent’s forces, at which point destroying the enemy’s base will result in victory.
Rusted Warfare takes a rather simplified and streamlined approach to the RTS genre. Resource management is kept to a bare minimum. Once you have set up a couple of mining units the money will start to roll in. You do not have to concern yourself with supplying factories with power or refining resources – the game is all about cold, hard cash. Once the money does start to flow you can begin to churn out an impressive array of over 40 land, sea and air units. Rusted Warfare manages to introduce a range of unique units whilst maintaining game balance. Some of the more unusual units include amphibious jets and flying fortresses, and, later in the game, there are even experimental units and nuclear strikes to ensure that you can end the game with a bang.
Any developer wishing to produce a mobile RTS has some pretty tough barriers to overcome. The chief problem when designing an RTS game for touchscreen devices is that the genre relies on quick and accurate inputs that are ideally suited to mouse control. Rusted Warfare does support both a USB keyboard and mouse control, but most mobile gamers will still be reliant on touch control. Although far from ideal, the touch controls work reasonably well. The interface is both fast and smooth. Orders can be issued at both close quarters and from a zoomed-out perspective, which allows players to view and issue commands across the whole battlefield. There are also options to group units together and to set rally points. However, when the battle heats up, selecting and directing units becomes hectic and rather hit and miss. Frustration sometimes sets in as you select the wrong units and then send them off in a mistaken direction. The problem is compounded when playing on a small screen, which makes identifying and selecting units extra fiddly. The graphics do scale nicely on a larger screen, but this feature also makes the lack of visual frills even more apparent.
The AI offers up a decent challenge, with enemy units grouping together before ruthlessly homing in on your base. There are six difficulty levels, so plenty to keep the solitary player occupied. Thankfully, the AI seems to play fairly and not too predictably. However, the game really begins to shine when you begin to explore the numerous multiplayer options. Matches can be played both online and offline and the game includes cross-platform play between Windows, Linux, and Android.
Rusted Warfare’s simplistic approach to resource management will not appeal to everyone. Like an obscenely rich football club owner, the path to success lacks subtlety, which means that throwing enough money at a problem will usually end up getting results. The maps, although numerous, are bland and featureless and do not feel distinctive enough. Technology development also takes a rudimentary approach. The only real option is to invest money in your factories to produce better units. Sadly, none of this is adequately explained. The game could definitely do with a much better rule overview. Apart from three diagrams the player is left to work out things for themselves.
Rusted Warfare – RTS is the perfect starter or refresher course for anyone looking to get into an RTS series. It isn’t as tightly designed and poured over by hundreds or tens of developers for half a decade. Rusted Warfare is fun, simple, and tense.