Back in 2007, Massive entertainment launched World In Conflict. I remember it appearing on the radar because there was a tournament scheduled for the game, right around the time it was released. Its difficult to hype a tournament for skill when nobody has had the chance to really play the title, so as someone who has been in the competitive world for so many years, it didn’t give me a great first impression.
Fortunately, the game was actually quite impressive. The graphics were stunning for the time, and still look great today. The style of gameplay was a bit different from normal RTS games, but it actually worked fairly well. The storyline was cohesive and flowed beautifully through the single player, and the multiplayer felt chaotically organized. While there wasn’t a huge variety of unit types, the balance was well defined and with a little teamwork a few individuals could dominate the battlefield.
Fast forward to 2009, and we’ve got Soviet Assault. But a lot happened to Massive Entertainment in between 2007 and now. In 2009 Activision went through some consolidation and put the studio up for sale. Later in the year, Ubisoft acquired the studio, and with help from Swordfish (The developers behind Chronicles of Riddick), the PC expansion was finally released. Unfortunately for console owners, the planned game release in 2008 got cancelled before it ever hit the streets.
In the midst of the entire business drama, it seems that Soviet Assault could have been much, much more. The game introduces 6 campaign missions that fit in between the original campaign, building upon an already very solid storyline. The problem is that there’s really not very much new here. Ubisoft included some microphone commands (sharing the tech from EndWar possibly?), which PC gamers will probably not end up using anyway. There are some new multiplayer maps, which is a welcome addition (though the original set were excellent), but individuals who already own World in Conflict can download those additional maps for free.
So is the expansion really worth the money for 6 additional campaign missions? If you have not played the original game, you can pick up both the original and expansion on steam for just $30 bucks, that’s definitely not a bad deal for what still is a beautiful game. Purchasing the expansion alone for $20 doesn’t seem worth it, especially if you’ve gone through the campaign already. Having to play through the missions you’ve completed already just makes about 2/3 of the game a drag (unless you want to play it all again).
So my suggestion is: if you’re new to the series and want a change of pace, go ahead and pick up the original + expansion, it’s a wonderful game. But pass on it if you’ve already played the title, it’s hard to say those 6 missions are worth the asking price. It’s a short review for a short title.