The Cold War, aside from hanging the threat of nuclear annihilation over everyone’s heads, had also given birth to James bond, chilling thrills for Tom Clancy’s fans, Tetris, and plenty of tactical fodder for armchair generals to duke it out in the Fulda Gap between the former East and West halves of Germany.
During that time, a wealth of PC titles dedicated to military scenarios built around WW3 filled store shelves from shops such as SSI with their “When Superpowers Collide” series to shoot ‘em ups such as Access Software’s “Raid Over Moscow“. Although it’s no longer around, its indelible presence on history continues to provide developers ideas on where to take their own stories and answer several “what-ifs” of their own, even if it means fighting Russian ultranationalists as the new bad guys with Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare.
One particular title had asked the question of what would have happened if the Soviet Union hadn’t fallen, if the Kremlin had decided that war was the only way to survive inevitable collapse. Massive Entertainment’s “World in Conflict” was an incredible RTS released in ’07 focusing on an invasion of the United States in 1989 and which had an expanded re-release in ’09 which included the Soviet perspective. It’s an RTS with a good story, too, focusing on the soldiers and even the letters written to their families.
It was slated to come out for consoles, but the plans were scrapped last year. It could have made a great compliment to other RTS-type titles on the Xbox 360 alongside Halo Wars or the PS3 but whether Ubisoft, the new owners of Massive Entertainment, will ever revisit the IP is hard to say. I wish they would, though. The game ends on something of a cliffhanger.
Trailer: World in Conflict – Soviet Assault (WARNING: Some graphic violence)