F2P End of Nations Preview
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: RTS
It wasn't till E3 that we got a first glimpse of End of Nations, the new RTS with MMO offerings coming to PC by Trion Worlds. From a game design standpoint, End of Nations has a proud pedigree coming from the creative minds from old Westwood studios (Command and Conquer - Dune); and the MMO experts behind RIFT. End of Nations marches into new territory for gamers by being a real-time strategy game and the world’s first premium Free-to-Play MMORTS. When we say premium we mean it. This is no simple iPhone or Facebook Free-to Play. From presentation to game play, the people at Trion Worlds are releasing experimental but extremely high quality free games that may have you reevaluating your assumptions about what Free-to-Play means.
The scale of engagement range from classic RTS game modes of 1v1’s, 2v2 skirmishes to an astonishing 28v28 battlefield. Thats 56 in one match! Though the game requires a persistent internet connection to play, you can play against AI and coop with friends. The world of End of Nations takes place on earth shortly after a geopolitical armageddon has rendered many super powers like the USA and Europe smoldering ashes. It is up to you and your armies to restore balance with the Liberation Front, or rule it from the shadows as the Shadow Revolution. Both these play like the classic GDI vs NOD of old Westwood C&C. Together the two factions are waging ware on a common enemy, the Order of Nations.
Every battle fought and every victory won affects the delicate grasp of territorial control in an ever-evolving conflict. (think RTS meets Risk) Players quickly move from one combat zone to another as a lone wolf or as a team. Unlike traditional RTSs, the gameplay works with no building management. End of Nations is commander and army focused, avoiding all the resource micro that comes with base building.
The MMO aspect of the game comes in with your commanders. These hero type troops have special abilities, unique combat vehicles, and gain experience (think Advanced Wars). This experience allows commanders to gain levels which allow for points in talent trees. The trees allow more variance in gameplay. Go all out offense, balance, or even take a supportive role. While you can have multiple commanders, only one can be on the battlefield at a time. Commander setups and army unit configurations can be saved and used for situations where a change in tactics is needed. Trion makes their money back letting you customize the look of your army or run prebuilt armies. They promised us that the default game with no purchases is winnable, and at no time with it be Pay-to-Win. If you want to start out with balanced and strong army, Trion will be releasing ‘army packs’ that come pre-tested to provide for a quick way to get into the action in new ways. Kind of like how Wizard of the Coast has prebuilt Magic decks that allow for quick ways to try new tactics.
To anybody curious about a free game by the masters of old Westwood, I suggest giving it a shot. It’s certainly created by passionate people who convinced us that they have a game worth checking out on its own merits. And for the low price of Free it’s a must try. End of Nations deploys out TBD 2012.