Act of Aggression acts aggressively at changing its mind

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If your game doesn’t do well, that’s obviously because you made it wrong. So just make it correctly. Then people will like it and therefore buy it. That seems to be the thinking behind drastic gameplay overhauls in titles like Skyshine’s Bedlam, an egregious multi-staged effort at a do-over that fastidiously wrings out the Bedlam in favor of more XCOM. If people on forums complain loudly enough, they’re obviously better at making games than people who actually make games. Hence, Skyshine’s Bedlam Redux. And now Act of Aggression Reboot. Act of Aggression, a Command & Conquer General clone that never quite caught on, has had the Eugen wrung so it can be fortified with 100% more Command & Conquer: Generals. Here are the bullet points.

* Streamlined Economy: Manage only one resource as oil is automatically converted to cash, allowing you to focus on the action. Unit expenditure is up-front, meaning no more micromanaging production lines.

* New Base Building System: Like a traditional RTS, base building units are selectable. Build directly from the builder (or destroy your opponent’s builder!)

* New Airstrikes: You no longer control the planes mid-flight. They go directly to their target and strike, much faster than previously.

* Huge balancing update and unit model improvements as well as UI tweaks and changes: for example, all units now accelerate and decelerate faster, guaranteeing more streamlined and action-packed RTS gameplay.

The problem with Act of Aggression wasn’t any of the stuff changed in this update. The problem was a lack of personality. It had all the character of unpainted furniture. This is the kiss of death for any RTS, a genre where one of the prime design directives is to make players care about the little dudes on the map. Although Eugen cut their teeth making a better Command & Conquer: Generals, their latest work has been supersexy realworld military hardware porn. Big surprise that fan base isn’t interested in a Command & Conquers: General clone, rebooted or otherwise.

Age of Aggression: The Reboot Edition (their name) is available now as a free update for Age of Aggression.