Petroglyph targets X360 with Universe at War

Details persistent online elements.

SEGA's previously-announced real-time strategy collaboration with Star Wars: Empire At War developer Petroglyph - Universe at War: Earth Assault - will see players fighting off an alien invasion on Xbox 360 as well as PC.

Due out on PC in the autumn, the newly-announced Xbox 360 version will arrive in Q1 2008, and Petroglyph's also been talking this week about the science-fiction-themed title's multiplayer features, said to be "inspired by popular massively multiplayer online games and competitive online playable titles". Persistent elements will allow groups of gamers to fight for "ultimate faction supremacy" across a global battleground, potentially giving the game a similar premise to SEGA's own Chromehounds.

Both companies are keen to emphasise Universe at War's console credentials in light of its unveiling. Petroglyph has been working on the console version's control scheme with a view to delivering intuitive, combat-intensive strategy gameplay, it says, with fully customisable tech trees, and a range of "achievement points, rewards and medals in a balanced environment to encourage players to progress in the game". The console's multiplayer features have received special attention, apparently, in the interests of ensuring balance.

Sounds good to us, and given last year's success of The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth 2 on Xbox 360 - and indeed today's critically acclaimed launch of Command & Conquer 3 - it sounds as though SEGA aims to give Electronic Arts a run for its money in the burgeoning console RTS market. Take a look at Universe at War PC screenshots to get a clearer idea of what you're up against.

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