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EndWar is a real-time strategy game in the Tom Clancy line that attempts to capture the notion of modern warfare through aversion or subversion of the tropes we usually associate with real time strategy.

...if only it were that easy.

The story of the game centers around the obvious: World War III. Set Twenty Minutes Into the Future (about ten years, to be precise), major nuclear terrorism in the Middle East in 2016 causes gas prices to skyrocket, with Russia becoming the world's only major exporter of oil. In 2017, the orbital anti-ICBM shield jointly deployed by the European Union and the United States goes online, ending the threat of worldwide nuclear war. At the same time, Russia's export of oil and energy causes them to experience a significant economic boom, allowing them to become an international military and economic superpower again. In response to this, Western Europe forges a new charter for the Union, becoming the European Federation - with the notable exception of Great Britain. The prologue to the game begins in 2020, with the US about to complete the Freedom Star orbital military platform, which will shift the balance of power - which upsets the EF, who leaves NATO.

That was a lot. You can get a drink, now, and come back when you're ready. The next section spoils the tutorial, for your information.

Needless to say, everything goes wrong. "Terrorists" attack the three superpowers. The US attacks the EF, believing they're funding the terrorists, because Russia planted the evidence. Before those two can compare notes and come to a conclusion, Russia manages to slip in (again, in the guise of the terrorists) and hijack the missile shield with a virus, and the Freedom Star lifter is mistaken for an ICBM by the missile shield and exploded. Presto. World War III. The player takes on the role of a battalion commander for an elite force on one of three sides of the conflict:

Mechanically, the game mixes in a few elements from Fire Emblem - your battalion is persistent between missions, gaining in experience and ability. An incapacitated unit will be evacuated, but the enemy can still kill it before that happens. Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors is generally in full effect - Riflemen beat Engineers, Engineers beat vehicles (with exceptions for good strategy), vehicles (usually) beat Riflemen. In the vehicles quadrant, they have their own rock paper scissors scheme - Tanks beat Transports, Transports beat Choppers, and Choppers beat Tanks. Outside of the triangle, there are Command Vehicles (purely tactical use, but with a drone escort that beats helicopters) and Artillery (beats everything at long range except Choppers, dies in close combat). However, when factoring in unit experience and upgrades and numbers, it can get a bit more blurred.

The game also prides itself on a Voice Command system that allows players to command units with their voice using a simple structure. "Unit 1 Attack Hostile 1" for instance would give your first unit the command to attack the enemy designated as Hostile 1. This system exists in the fluff as the "Overlord" battlefield command system, with the player character intended to be a CO using cutting edge technology to gain an unprecedented, real-time, complete view of the battlefield instead of having the magical birds-eye viewpoint common to RTS games. The camera system reflects this and allows the player to view the battlefield only from the point of view of a highlighted unit as if through a gun-camera they carry (Or through the SitRep if you have a Command Vehicle, but that view of the battlefield leaves out many, many details, along with unit feedback), causing no small amount of they changed the genre now it sucks from some RTS fans. In reverse, fans of the game consider this to have no actual loss of function, especially when physical input and voice commands are used in combination to issue orders as fast as possible.

Also has a spinoff for the DS and PSP, a turnbased game with more than a passing resemblance to Advance Wars or Battle Isle. The unique twist was a two-part turn cycle, unit placement providing boni to engagements and a rather limited supply of extra units (capturing a depot will only allow you to build one or two top-shelf units and some light vehicles and infantry, assuming it even contains supplies). The setting is roughly the same, though it doesn't reveal any of the backstory and the split between the US and Europe comes much later.

A sequel is said to be in development, but has currently been put on hold.

This game provides examples of:

  • Anti Poop Socking - Somewhat in multiplayer (although there's nothing preventing you from blowing through the entire singleplayer campaing in one marathon session). Ceasefires are used inbetween turns, and CP points determine what units you can draw.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit - Your supply of reinforcements is very limited, as is the amount of units you can have on the field at one time. Also, you are permitted one Command Vehicle, two Artillery, and six Infantry on the field at once.
    • And to a lesser extent, your choice of battalion can limit the amount of units you can deploy. Any others are tempoary New Meat recruits you won't get to keep. The composition depends on what type your battalion is:
  • Attack Drone - JSF and EFEC command vehicles are escorted by a squad of these. They're armed with machine guns for default but can be upgraded with missiles (JSF) or lasers (EFEC). Granted, they're not especially powerful against anything except gunships. Non-upgraded drones can also be deployed by engineers to defend an uplink. Neither variant can be controlled but the escort drones can be ordered by the command vehicle to attack specific targets.
    • Spetznaz just uses a batch of raw recruits for guard duty in both cases... although the voiceovers still refer to them as drones.
    • In Raid missions, the target structures are all guarded by four drones each who prioritize air targets. This is to make sure the attacker can't simply Zerg Rush the targets with gunships right as the mission starts.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking - Some upgrades you purchase in the game can only be bought when you have a unit of a high enough experience rank, and only units which also at least meet that rank requirement can use them. The Command Vehicle is, while not to great at general combat, quite durable.
    • Technically, this is averted, as "rank" refers to experience (it goes recruit-regular-hardened-veteran etc... up to legendary.)
    • Also played somewhat literally - as you gain command abilities (Like snipe, missiles, SAWs, and higher levels of off-map support), your rank increases. A high-rank commander is probably going to have a very highly-tuned battalion with significant support...
  • Autobots Rock Out- The credits song alone makes it worth to finish the game multiple times.
  • Badass Creed - Every single battalion has one. Some of the better ones:
    • JSF 13th Airborne: Judgment From the Heavens
    • JSF 35th Airborne: Death From Above
    • JSF 26th Mechanized: Drive It Like You Stole It
    • Spetznaz 13th Airborne: You Should Be Running Now
    • Spetznaz 35th Armored: Big Tanks Thirst For Blood
    • Spetznaz 48th Tactical: Today We Feed The Crows
  • Beam Spam - Done bizarrely, and combined with Color Coded for Your Convenience. Despite the fact that the EFEC is the only faction with access to lasers, all units fire bullets that look a lot like lasers tracers. And the colors of the lasers tracers correspond to which faction you play as.
    • The EU command vehicle will do a more traditional Beam Spam at enemy helicopters, by way of its drones.
  • Crapsack World: Heavily implied to be this. The oil crisis meant that only the richest and most technologically advanced countries could survive; the United States has the funds and reserves to survive, Europe has developed hydrogen-powered engines to the point where they no longer need oil, and Russia controls most of the world's oil anyway. Most other countries simply couldn't sustain themselves and broke down into anarchy. The United Nations has been disbanded due to diplomatic breakdowns, Venezuela was apparently annexed or invaded by the United States at some point, China's economy has collapsed and is experiencing massive environmental disasters, India and Africa are experiencing droughts that are killing thousands, and the Balkans are referred to as "a lawless anarchy of failed states".
    • On the other hand, it's implied that the countries that didn't implode from the chaos are at least trying to hold their own. Switzerland, the New Commonwealth and (some parts of) South America are mentioned as having pulled this off.
  • Colonel Badass - You are Colonel Badass. The fact the game calls refers to you in military rank as 'Colonel' and you command a battalion of your country's most elite forces will make you feel like one. Might also have something to do with Colonels being the highest rank to be allowed to serve in the field (which, granted, you don't - you're off the field, observing and ordering). Doesn't distract at all from our awesome though.
  • Deadpan Snarker - The Russian XO and news announcer.

 Zhe Pope of zhe Catholic Church iz again urging Europe and Amerika to cease their aggression against Russia. And each other.

  • Death of a Thousand Cuts - Despite only having assault rifles, riflemen can destroy tanks on their own. It's just that the tank in question is more likely to kill them first... unless the riflemen happen to be garrisoned in which case they have a fair chance of fragging the tank, albeit with heavy casualties.
  • Eagle Land - Nice job jumping to conclusions and immediately attacking Europe, US. (To be fair, evidence was planted, and Russia eventually shows its True Colors).
  • Elite Mooks - Your forces (and the forces you fight), to say it simply. They're all drawn from various special forces.
    • However, in most missions there are also regular army units in the field, but they cannot be directly controlled and infantry will not capture uplinks. The Force Recon ability allows players to order some regular army units onto the field to guard a location, and mission-critical buildings are usually guarded by drones.
  • Easy Logistics - Almost to Suspension of Disbelief breaking levels. (Wait, how can my Gunship fire so many missiles? It only carries 14...)
  • Enemy Chatter - Inverted, possibly. Your currently selected unit will chat about a number of things. Such as...

 "Do you think the Colonel ever listens in on our conversations?"

Gunship pilot: Look at 'em down there! Sooo cute!

    • Most of it consist of the soldiers chatting with each other, choosing from a random list of statements and answers.

 "Man, if I had a dollar for every uplink we captured..."

"I hear ya, man!"

  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: With tracers that correspond to their faction symbol's main colour.
  • False-Flag Operation - In Capitalist Russia, you fund the terrorists!
  • Friendly Fireproof - Averted. It is entirely possible to hit your own forces with danger-close application of gunships, tanks or artillery if you're not careful - or you just don't care. Said units even warn you about friendlies being close - but if you do it anyway, the targeted unit will yell at you to cease fire.
  • Garrisonable Structures - Infantry that is not in cover is going to die.
    • Goddamned Bats - Infantry that -are- garrisoned are scary. Engineers can kill most vehicles while taking very little return damage. Riflemen can hold their own against anything short of a tank, or artillery - they have a habit of shooting down gunships that attempt to pry them out of their building. (One of the best ways to get Riflemen out of cover is other Riflemen, with Storm Building..)
  • Gonna Need More Trope - Upon winning a battle with the JSF against Russians, one of the things the player's XO can say is: "They're gonna need bigger tanks next time!"
  • Informed Ability - Oh god, where to start?
    • The JSF engineers are supposed to have powered exoskeletons. The only difference between them and the Spetznaz (or EFEC) engineers? Better Anti-infantry equipment.
    • EFEC Riflemen come from all around Europe, and are encouraged to stick to their home country's tactics (read: non-lethal). Difference between them and other riflemen? Nothing that isn't part of what's already listed.
    • The Spetznaz tank is supposed to be equipped with an AA gun.
      • There is an upgrade for that. It does, however, require forking over 10 dollars for a map pack, though.
      • Alternatively, buy it for PC and get the content for free on the disc, when you buy the game.
    • Similarly, the Spetsnaz Artillery unit has not one, but TWO cannons. Differences between them and other artillery? Poorer accuracy, and a higher rate of fire.
      • The website states that the reason for the upgrades is for the Russians to keep their outdated technology in pace with the rest of the world.
    • The EFEC transport's first (attack) upgrade replaces its machine gun with a ROCKET LAUNCHER. The visual effect this has vastly outweighs the actual effect on gameplay it has.
  • Invaded States of America: Battles can happen in the US.
  • Iwo Jima Pose - The American ending has one of these.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down - Units that lose 75% of their HP are "down", and send up a flare to signal for evacuation after recharging their shields. Particularly unpleasant enemies may continue firing on them, or at their transport choppers, in order to kill them completely (see: Lost Forever). The acceptability, fairness, and overall jerkitude of using this tactic is debated in multiplayer games.
    • You get an achievements for doing this enough (and for shooting down the transports)
  • Kill It with Fire - The Russians can have certain units upgrade to gain this option via flamethrowers.
  • Kill Sat - The EF's WMD. The JSF's Kinetic Impactor (also a WMD) is also, just... not an energy cannon.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Captain Scott Mitchell (of the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter series) is alive and well in this game, so if you play this before Advanced Warfighter 2 (where Mitchell is last seen critically injured and being evacuated due to his injuries), the impact of that game's ending is rendered pointless.
  • Limit Break - Some units (they vary by faction) can be upgraded to use secondary attacks. The WMDs also count.
  • Lost Forever - Any unit which completely loses their Hit Points is removed from your persistent battalion - as is its experience. It's immediately replaced by a green unit, but still, you feel it.
  • Melee a Trois - The US vs the EF vs Russia.
  • Multi Platform - While the PC version has several improvements over the console versions including the smaller HUD layout, it also has a few bugs such as the voiceover hint for garrisoning infantry into buildings referencing the color of the command reticle's range number indicating if the target is within weapons range; there is no such thing on the PC version as it uses a standard mouse cursor, not a command reticle.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - Inverted by the Russians, who are the villains, done to their own status as allies to the United States. Oh sure, they succeed in provoking the US into attacking Europe by blowing up something big...and then their own declaration of war against Europe (Because they're trying to help! Really!) causes the US to panic over their sudden expansionism and declare war on them as well. Oops. The Russian campaign hints they knew about this all along.
  • Nuke'Em - When one side in a battle is in danger of losing (usually signified by being one capture point away from losing the map), they hit Defcon One and gain access to a single-use WMD. The EF uses a repurposed missile shield laser to burn away a specific area, the JSF gets a single shot from an orbital kinetic impactor (Rods from God) to devastate a single area, and Russia just launches a thermobaric bomb (not quite a nuke but have similar power). If targeted on an uplink, it permanently disables it, which can spell disaster if it's targeted properly.
  • Risk Style Map - The overview of everything in World War III and the Theatre of War.
  • Russians With Refurnished Rockets - While decidedly conventional compared to the Americans and Europeans (relying more on More Dakka and old-fashioned heavy armor), the Russians by 2020 had become a military powerhouse more than capable of beating both sides back. And they seem to have no qualms of doing anything for the Motherland.
  • Shout-Out - Firstly, the Marksman in a Russian Riflemen Squad looks a lot like Natasha from Command and Conquer. Secondly, the Springfield uplink cluster "is located between Springfield and Shelbyville."
    • JSF chatter is generally at least perceived to be cribbed heavily from Generation Kill. If the spoken lines aren't enough, one support ability sends Marines Joeboys in a column of Humvees to a designated area. The name of the ability? "Force Recon."
      • Of course, Generation Kill's Marines weren't Force Recon, they were First Recon. There's a difference.
    • Also one of the 360 version Achievements is called Call of Booty for winning a battle with only Infantry.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors - As above.
    • This is sometimes subverted or negated though, either through superior numbers or through the timely application of a special ability. One of the notable examples of this are the Enforcers' Panther tanks: normally they're pretty much cannon fodder for enemy gunships, but once they get their special weapon upgrade they quickly turn into Goddamned Bats, being able to completely bring down enemy shields in one shot. This player can attest to losing many a gunship in one-on-one battles to said tanks because of that special ability, never mind when they bring friends.
  • Take Cover - Infantry out of cover or buildings are unlikely to survive long against other units, let alone effectively kill them.
  • Tank Goodness - Look at the tanks. Look at them.
  • The Siege- One of the modes of battle is the siege mission. One faction is defending its capital, but gets no off map support of any kind- Including reinforcements. They must keep the attackers from capturing a critical uplink for about 10 minutes until the cavalry arrives.
  • That's No Moon - Ever play on the "USS Reagan Seabase" map? Fly the camera around the map after the battle and you'll see that a third of the base you're fighting in isn't a base at all, but a ship. (That also happens to be taller the nearby skyscrapers) I guess they weren't kidding when they said, "We're launching the attack from a mobile offshore base."
  • The Commonwealth: After leaving the EU, the UK and Ireland enacted reforms resulting in "The New Commonwealth," which was meant to be a sort of revived British Empire. Unfortunately, they could also be attacked by the various factions.
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future
  • United Europe - The EF, though it's mentioned that individual countries still exist within it. The UK, Ireland and Switzerland the pretty much only truly independent ones left, waiting it out before the fighting started.
  • Video Game Caring Potential - Your soldiers all have consistent names, consistent voices, and their experience carries over between missions, turning them into unholy terrors eventually. It's pretty hard not to get attached to them.
    • Heavily damaged units will take on a Stop Poking Me attitude or outright panic. Ordering them to evacuate from the battlefield results in a response that's practically dripping of relief and thanks.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential - Some people get high from killing off units.
    • There's also a case of What the Hell, Player? present. If you order units (mainly on the American and European sides) to kill incapacitated enemies, at least some will express reluctance if not outright disgust at the idea.
  • The War to End All Wars: See the title.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction - What sometimes gets slung around late in a given match.
    • The JSF gets a trio of satellite-launched kinetic rods dropped onto the target from space.
    • The EF gets a laser satellite nailing the target (and anyone nearby) with pinpoint precision.
    • The Spetznaz gets a good ol' cruise missile packing a fuel-air warhead.
  • Western Terrorists - What attacks the US, ESF, and, supposedly, Russia? A bunch of angry ex-soldiers from collapsed nations. Funded by Russia to get the ESF and US to waste each other.
  • World War III - Duh.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever - After every battle in the WWIII campaign, there is a short news report. It NEVER mentions when any of the capitals are taken.
    • Justified. It's meant to be intentionally vague, especially for Theatre of War, where the general gives you what happened after a ceasefire is broken.
      • No. I'm talking about the news reports after the battles in the WWIII campaign, not the general's briefs after a turn in the TOW.
      • At one point, as the JSF player, I took Paris, the EF capital. The news report? A European carrier was sunk by american airstrikes.
  • Zerg Rush - Sending a bunch of gunships at your enemy in a game's beginning can work pretty well, with their high movement speed allowing them to get to the opposing landing zone and fulfill the expectation enemies will be still more or less there and will be able to kill most things that aren't good against them with their high numbers - if your opponent is sufficiently able to deal with them, you can just run away with said high movement speed without casualties.

This game provides aversions of:

  • Command and Conquer Economy - The only currency worth anything is Command Points, which slowly build over time and can also come from securing uplinks.
  • Construct Additional Pylons - As has been stated earlier, units are air-lifted from off map. Also, your mission type determines how many Reinforcements you have, and how many units you can have deployed at once. The closest you get to base building is by upgrading uplinks to provide access to army reinforcements, EMP blasts, and Air Strikes.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides - Despite all three factions having the same units, there are subtle differences in their capabilities and upgrades.
  • Critical Existence Failure - units will lose troops or vehicles, and therefore firepower, when their health bar depletes. Units taken down to 25% health will send up a flare, disengage, and wait for evac.
    • This also means that if a transporter unit is carrying infantry, the squad inside the transporter that gets shot down will also die, and a transporter unit missing vehicles will not be able to transport a full infantry squad.
  • Defcon Five (However, the point where WMDs become available is called Defcon One.)
  • Hero Unit - Not present at all. The command vehicle might count, but it's really not good at all in combat; its really more Mission Control than anything else. Arguably, a Legendary unit might count, but they're still as much fodder as any other unit.
  • Mnogo Nukes and Peace Through Superior Firepower - Due to the joint missile shield, no one can launch ICBMs. They can, however, do things much more devastating.
  • Obvious Beta - Double-subverted. About a month before the game's release, Ubisoft released a public beta of the game.
  • Ridiculously-Fast Construction - You don't build stuff. Units are flown in from off-map via the same transport helicopters that evacuate them.
  • Slap-On-The-Wrist Nuke - Yeah, those WMDs will kill ANYTHING. A full health-shield Command Vehicle at ground zero is just about the only thing that will survive.
    • It should be noted that units being 'killed' in the game are Lost Forever, which doesn't always happen with your units being hit by a WMD, but it will make them incapable of fighting.
  • Units Not to Scale - Everything except a few of the vehicles (dropped by a ginormous multi-rotor chopper) are.