GREE's upcoming RTS Call to Arms brings you the best military tech of the '70s, '80s, and today
By Matthew Diener 04 October 2013
Game Name: Call to Arms | Publisher: GREE | Format: iPhone, iPad | Genre: Strategy
GREE chose a quiet bar in a back alley of San Francisco to unveil one of its latest projects Call to Arms, the first real-time strategy game to launch under the GREE banner.

Featuring cute, almost chibi, units, it'd be easy to dismiss Call to Arms as another cartoony RTS title, but there's a lot going on underneath the glossy paintjob to lure casual and core players alike into the fold.

Do you absolutely, positively need to have the best troops upgraded straightaway? Call to Arms will let you roll out the war machine of your choice.

Would you rather build a peaceful base and amass more oil than you know what to do with? Join an alliance of other players to protect your resource-rich fields and be the fantasy oil baron that you've always aspired to be.

In short, you'll find something to keep you busy in Call to Arms no matter if you prefer to build or fight.

Those familiar with real-time strategy games will feel instantly at home with Call to Arms as it follows the standard progression of resource harvesting, base building, tech tree climbing, and - finally - raiding.

But where Call to Arms really shines is in the combat itself. Mixing asynchronous play with real-time strategy isn't easy, but GREE manages it with an intriguing system that allows you to challenge other players and position your units during each turn.

More impressively, Call to Arms rewards unconventional tactics. While you could march an army of fully-kitted troops down the throat of your opponent, you could also deploy a resilient unit with a ton of hit points to soak up damage and provide cover for an infiltrator.

Once the infiltrator slips past enemy lines, well... it'll all be over except for the harvesting of your opponent's resources.


One of the other appealing features of Call to Arms is the attention to detail that goes into all the artwork.

Basic units begin as rough, circa 1950 military standard affairs with M4 Shermans and olive drab cammo being the norm.

But as you upgrade, you'll rocket through the decades and upgrade to military tech seen in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Once you get towards the top of the tech tree, you'll see more modern artillery, while those at the apex will go to the realm of sci-fi futurism.

Happily, this evolving artwork doesn't just apply to units - buildings will also grow and advance as you upgrade them.

I was shown The Commons as an example - at an early stage it's a simple card table for troops to relax around, but as you upgrade the structure it becomes a full-blown USO stage complete with tiny barbecue grills cooking appropriately tiny steaks.

As free-to-play title, there'll be no barrier to entry for Call to Arms, which makes this one a title that casual and core RTS players should check out when it launches later this month.
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