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Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Eugen Systems
Release Date: Sept. 7, 2010

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'R.U.S.E.' (PS3/X360/PC) Developer Interview #3

by Rainier on Aug. 21, 2009 @ 12:09 a.m. PDT

R.U.S.E. is a strategy game in which the players use their brain as the ultimate weapon, fighting a war of perception, where the ability to deceive and mislead the enemy determines success. A first in a strategy game, R.U.S.E. reinvigorates the genre by using deception to give new-found depth to the game play.

Q: What are the resources in the game & their role in the strategies you can set up in R.U.S.E.? Is management a big part of R.U.S.E.?

There is a single resource in the game, which is money. Money allows you to build units, produce buildings, carry out research and upgrades. Resource is scattered in the battle map, and each of these supply points is finite, meaning you will have to constantly expand and fight to capture more money than your enemy.

What is really innovative with resources in R.U.S.E., is that there is an actual flow of the economy. Once a supply depot is built on a resource point, supply trucks will bring money back to your base, through a route defined by the roads visualized on the map. These trucks are very fragile, and you have to protect or hide them (with deception skills) to make sure you have a steady economy. What is really cool is that you visualize the enemy economy, and can use attrition to suffocate him. Sometimes, it is more efficient to prevent the enemy from building resources rather than facing the units he has built.

Q: What is the role of the environment in R.U.S.E.?

The environment can be a powerful weapon in R.U.S.E., and this is what justifies zooming in to take advantage of it and place your units at the best vantage point.

For instance, forests make your units invisible and give them an ambush bonus when firing on nearby enemy units. City blocks provide cover to your units and force heavy units to navigate through narrow streets, coming into contact with your infantry which can wipe them with stick bombs and bazookas. Roads are also very important to monitor, as most units have to use them for better speed. The one who controls the roads and their choke points can block the enemy.

Q: How can we estimate the success of the strategy we are setting up?

There is a simple measure of how you fare during a match: the score, which tells you how many enemy units you have destroyed.

You can also simply check if you feel comfortable with the money you have, otherwise secure more money resources. You can also compare your unit number by zooming out. But as in Poker, you never know precisely what the other player possesses, so you could be fooled by his deception skills.

Q: Could you tell us more about the units in R.U.S.E. and how to use them?

There are around 200 units in the game, divided into roughly 20 categories. You will fight anything you would expect from a WW2 setting: infantry, tanks, AT guns, artillery, flamers, fighters, bombers, recon units, etc.

To give you some examples:

  • Infantry are light and cheap units, and can be used to hide into forests and towns, or capture enemy buildings.
  • Tanks are very powerful to cross the countryside and fight in the open, but watch out for anti-tank guns which could ambush you!
  • Recon units are critical to identify enemy forces and let you know what you face. Some of your units have firing range which is longer than their actual sight, meaning that you must combine recon and other units to maximize combat efficiency.
  • Artillery is inaccurate and expensive, but can fire from long distances, even on unidentified targets, and is perfect for getting rid of troops ambushed in forests or towns.

Q: Can you upgrade your units?

You can of course upgrade your units, reproducing the evolution of technology during WW2, and you can also research entirely new weapons. The final weapons in the game are the prototypes which were developed by the end of the ware. Very expensive, but devastating!

Q: It’s seems that the way you’re using airplanes is a bit different. Could you please give us more details?

We think that airplanes were never really satisfying in RTS games: you had either direct control units, but they flew in stupid circles when idle, or you had some kind of air strike support but then you never actually felt you owned the units.

In R.U.S.E., we have created a special interface which allows you to call the four types of airplanes (Recon, Fighters, Fighter Bombers, Bombers) from your nearby airfields, assign them targets, and watch them respond to air menaces, strike targets of opportunity, etc. We combine both of two worlds: you really own your airplanes, have to build them in your airfields, they have realistic behaviors, but then they are still very simple to control.

Q: Do you have any update on the deception skills systems? (New skills, new rules?)

We are constantly tuning and experimenting with the system. It is something completely new, it generates brand new strategies, so we have to make sure we make the best out of its huge possibilities. Some modifications in the rules will make it even more crucial in the gameplay, and we are also going to add a new branch of deception skills, designed around the concept of psychological warfare.

Q: Is the game playable in cooperation?

We will give more info on this subject very soon; this is of course something we have considered.

Q: Anything you would like to add?

 I can’t wait for you to beta test this!

Ubisoft's R.U.S.E., developed by Eugen Systems, is scheduled for release on PC, Xbox 360, and the PS3 for fiscal year 2009/2010.

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