By Ryan Lord
Conclusion: Regrettably, Petroglyph may have gone a bit too wild this time around as they really seemed to have bit off more than they could chew in gameplay and design. As an avid RTS gamer, I found myself becoming too confused or stumped on multiple occasions, and that's really a bad sign considering my experience with RTS games. With evidence of the game being released in a somewhat unfinished or rushed state, matters are made even worse as players are not fully exposed to all that the game has to offer by the time they're tossed into the miniscule online community. I genuinely believe that had Petroglyph designed a more traditional RTS, or at least had more of a uniform design with each side, then we really would have had a more finished and polished product to play. As it stands though, the story is really what Universe at War has to offer, but even then it's a one-time shot that can be completed in about 10 to 12 hours.
Liked: The story was actually better than I expected it to be, and had some intelligent design behind it. The graphics in some instances were at times as good as or better than what can currently be seen in other RTS games. Efforts were made to make each side as unique as possible, assuming that the learning curve can be dealt with.
Dislike: I experienced crashing when in DX10 mode, which was a pain to deal with until I figured it out. The online community is about as barren as a desert, which means waiting up to 30 minutes or more at times just to find a game. The final single-player campaign was obviously rushed and unfinished. Mirror matches between sides online can sometimes result in a drawn-out stalemate, especially with the Masari.
Value Meter: For fans of single-player RTS games that tell a good story, Universe at War may be worth a look when it drops in price. For online play, however, Universe at War is really lacking. Overall, there is not all that much value to be seen, especially with the other RTS offerings out there.