Universe at War in autumn.

Getting its hands dirty under the hood of a PC this afternoon is none other than SEGA, which has announced Universe at War: Earth Assault, due for release in the autumn.

It's being created by Empire at War developer Petroglyph, and sets you the task of stopping aliens dominating the planet. In many respects it's a traditional RTS experience, with base-building, tech-trees, and multiplayer skirmishes available. However, "Tactical Dynamics" and its persistent world presentation make it somewhat different.

Units will be fully customisable and modifiable, you see, and you can retrain them on the battlefield, making a swap of tactics more achievable and immediate.

Aliens will use deadly sci-fi weapons and powers to destroy entire cities, and this damage will be waiting for you next time you play the same map. This persistence is echoed in an online on-going battle for ultimate faction supremacy of Earth, which shares more common-ground with an MMO.

"Petroglyph has a long and prestigious heritage within the RTS genre with key members part of the original Command and Conquer and Command and Conquer: Red Alert teams. Their determination to create the very best makes Universe at War: Earth Assault one of the most exciting games in development right now," said Matt Woodley, SEGA Europe's creative director.

"The RTS genre is once again becoming competitive and hugely popular and we're confident that Universe at War: Earth Assault will be at the forefront of the next generation of RTS gaming."

It's refreshing to see a publisher like SEGA introduce a new IP to the PC. Perhaps we really are on the verge of a renaissance. Or perhaps we really are on the verge of going to the pub.

Look out for the new screenshots elsewhere on the site.

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