Universe at War: Earth Assault

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Universe at War: Earth Assault

Universe at War: Earth Assault

What is it good for?

The first-person shooter, once legendary for its inferiority on consoles, is now firmly established as a cross-platform genre to be reckoned with. So much so, in fact, that any claim that mouse and keyboard are better than joypad is now down to personal preference rather than technical truth. Which just leaves real-time strategy as the last bastion of PC snobbery.

Shooters may have evolved on the mouse, but all it took was some rethinking for the principles to work on twin sticks. RTS, on the other hand, is designed for the mouse from the ground up, relying on precise clicks, menu navigation and fast map sweeps for its success. Things are starting to change, slowly, but Petroglyph's Universe at War - developed simultaneously for both PC and 360 - was supposed to be the game to really break through and open up the genre to consoles.

Sadly, the PC version didn't exactly blow us away - "simply too flawed to spend too much time on" trilled Rob, as he signed off with a disappointed 7/10. Wouldn't it be awesome to report that the 360 version of this game was not only superior to its PC sibling, but represented a strategy experience that finally makes RTS gameplay work on a joypad?

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Coming Attractions: Strategy and Simulation

Part 2: More on what's coming in 2008.

Part one of our strategy and simulation roundup covered Halo Wars, Civilization Revolution and Football Manager Live, amongst others. Here's the rest of the best.

Universe at War: Earth Assault

Universe at War: Earth Assault

Mars Attacks - and so does everyone else.

There is a horrible, horrible section near the start of Universe at War where you suspect that perhaps developers Petroglyph don't have their collective tongue firmly wedged in cheek. Just for a few minutes, it seems entirely plausible that the team has created a game script plastered in a heavy layer of over-familiar clichés and sci-fi homages - and that it means every single word of it, without a hint of irony on the landscape.

The feeling passes, thankfully - but the fact that it's there at all is a demonstration of how close to the wind Universe at War sails at times. We're certain... Well, we're almost certain that the game is intended as a kitsch, over the top pastiche of the science-fiction games and films of yesteryear, like Mars Attacks with more resource management. At least, we hope so.

Mild suspicions regarding the intent of the story and script writers aside, Universe at War does a number of things right, and it's worth making sure those are writ large from the outset. Firstly, it dispenses entirely with the idea of plucky humans fighting off an interstellar invasion. In this game, humanity forms the tutorial levels - the real fighting is all about the aliens.

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Games for Windows Live update

Games for Windows Live update

New features for upcoming games.

Microsoft has said that version 1.2 of its Games for Windows Live service will be spouted out across the Internet in November, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

It will let you obtain Achievements while playing offline and give you the ability to see if you can join friends in their games, along with some other user interface bits and pieces yet to be specified.

So far five games have been announced as supporting the updated service, including The Club and Universe at War from SEGA; Kane & Lynch from Eidos; and Gears of War and Viva Piñata from Microsoft.

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Universe at War delayed

PC version slips to 2008.

SEGA has confirmed that the PC version of Universe at War: Earth Assault has tumbled from October into the murky waters of early 2008.

Universe at War beta sign-ups

Universe at War beta sign-ups

Now. Starts 15th August.

SEGA has bellowed across the Internet that the beta sign-ups for Universe at War are now open.

Testing will begin on 15th August, so head over to the website and get your name down pronto.

Universe at War: Earth Assault is the real-time strategy game being created by Empire at War developer Petroglyph Games. It was recently revealed to be the first third-party title to support cross-platform play between PC and Xbox 360.

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Universe at War to cross-play

PC gamers, meet 360 gamers.

Petroglyph's upcoming real-time strategy title Universe at War: Earth Assault will join the growing number of dual PC/Xbox 360 releases to offer cross-platform multiplay through Microsoft's "Games for Windows - LIVE" initiative.

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.

SEGA's new PC RTS

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.