First Look at Ubisoft's New IP: R.U.S.E.

Check out our first-hand look at the latest from Ubi Paris - a rather unique RTS title for PC and console.

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R.U.S.E., otherwise known as 'deception'. The ability to get one up over your opponent by method of cunning and tenacious forward planning. This is the basis, and in fact the name, of the upcoming real time strategy game developed by Eugen Systems. At a private Ubisoft event last week, Kikizo was present for the announcement of this intriguing take on an otherwise overcrowded genre.

The player's ambushed infantry units go up against tanks, knowing that armored units are vulnerable in urban envrionments.

It certainly seems that if you want to make a game in this day and age it has to be either a first person shooter or an RTS. Calling it a more cerebral slant on the strategy game, Senior Producer Mathieu Girard stressed that they were tired of the current range of 'click fests' that sit on store shelves, and instead approached development of this World War II battleground from the view of a Poker fan.

All of these themes, quite interestingly, complement one another more than you might think. In a Poker match, you keep your cards close to your chest from the other players - but in order to effectively make the play, you have to ensure that certain bits of information about your hand is common knowledge, leading your opponents to call your bluff. The same is true of R.U.S.E., in that you can see your enemy's position and general activity, but there's still an element of risk involved when it comes to make your play.

The Allies (blue) try to sneak through the town, undected by the German troops (red)

For example, you could build an army of tanks, notice the opposition has a group of resource factories and fancy taking them out, thus crippling your enemy's funding. But what happens if you do that and the factories turn out to be fake? Red herrings - a set piece that leaves your side open to attack. If that happens, then you just fell foul of a R.U.S.E..

The IRISzoom Engine technology allows you to zoom anywhere and focus on any details. We're waiting for fully panned-out, aerial screens that demonstrate the awesome scaling.

One of the defining features of this game is the sly use of deceptions during battle. When you zoom the map out at its furthest point, the field is split into segments - each segment can only hold one R.U.S.E., but you can combine different ones together to formulate a truly dastardly strategy. As an example, Girard showed how you could place Radio Silence on one side of the map to hide your troops, and dupe depots on the other to lure the opponent. Once the enemy sends their biggest and baddest over, you can launch your assault into the gaping hole in their defence.

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