This review is strictly for the single player portion of Universe at War.
Like most RTS games UaW has it’s flaws. The AI isn’t too creative, the path finding could be better, some units act awkwardly. The major problem with the game is that it is bugged. The game supports DirectX 10, but playing in DX10 mode will cause the game to crash after a few minutes of playing, of course this is easily fixed by switching to DX9 mode. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about the DX10 version anyway. Interestingly the version of the game that was released is version .9 which should make anyone wonder why the final version of the game wasn’t 1.0, the most likely assumption being that the game wasn’t really ever completed. Indeed when the game crashes, it says something to the effect of “UAW Beta has crashed”. It seems a lot was overlooked when this game was completed. The X-Box version may have been completed, this applies strictly to the PC version.
The second complaint worth noting is that units sometimes act awkwardly. This is especially true with the Hierarchy walkers, which are extremely difficult to get to change directions once they’ve been issued and order. This did not seem to be a major problem during the single player campaign.
With the negative aspects of the game discussed, some positive one’s are due. Surprisingly the game is very fun. The game begins with two missions which you play as humans, then the Novus, Hierarchy, and Masari campaigns.
The Novus campaign is the most fleshed out, with the most story, and most interesting mission. Certainly worth playing. The Hierarchy campagin, though the shortest, is probably the most fun, simply because using the walkers is a hell of a good time. The Masari campaign is easily the most boring, with really only two missions, and then a lot of work in what’s called the global campaign.
Basically it seems that a lot of work was put into the first campaign, some work into the second, and then nothing into the final campaign. The “global campaign” is basically a multiplayer game mode that was incorporated into the single player, it doesn’t have any story, and all the missions are basically the same. Not very fun, and somewhat of a chore to get through.
Overall the game is still really fun, the hierarchy being the most fun, simple because using walkers as mobile bases is a much more unique way to play. The story isn’t bad, though it seems hacked in the further you get into the game. Multiplayer could potentially be fun as well, but some of the problems seen in the single player campaigns could make multiplayer frustrating as well.