Reviewed: November 14, 2008
Released: November 4, 2008
Tom Clancy’s EndWar is a turn based strategy game from Funatics Software and Ubisoft following the same storyline as the other console and PC versions of EndWar. The DS and the PSP versions are a turn based strategy game while the others are all real time strategy. EndWar for the Nintendo DS is a pretty decent game and has plenty going for it even though it is on the handheld. While the game is lacking in graphics and sound the gameplay is pretty good.
You can play as one of three nations in the campaign mode or do battle in individual missions or you can compete against another person with another DS and his copy of EndWar. The campaign mode is where this is really strong but I do not have another DS and player to play against for a look into the multiplayer portion. The single player campaign has three nations you can play as with a diverging campaign I each nations military forces where some of the missions lead to others while new branches are opened up at times for more levels. Each battle is part of a larger story that is the same as the other version of EndWar with the world oil reserves running low and each nation trying to rule the world using the oil as a bargaining chip.
The problem with the story is it is not really used much in the DS version of the game to any extent, not that it needs to be, but a good story kind of ties a whole game together for a well made whole. If you don’t have a reason why you’re fighting in one area or another it’s just a series of fights and not really a whole war but I can overlook this for a decent game.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward when you do things; it is broken down into two phases with an additional combat phase thrown in here and there. When it’s your turn you have a movement phase and then a combat phase with the screen on the bottom as your planning map and the top screen the real world view.
You plan your moves out on the bottom screen and you better not move something and change your mind, once a unit is moved on screen you can’t change it. When you have made all your moves for your units you end the phase and if none of your current units are in a combat spot you will move onto your combat phase.
If a unit has a combat that is started by the other player or AI the unit will enter into a combat phase before your combat and you get to see the two units face off. The combat phase for telling what units to attack what is simple and watching each unit hit the other is done on the top view screen.
You will see each unit on the top screen as the number of units in a line and your enemy on the other side of the screen facing each other. According to the rules of how combat is completed each will fire on the other and more advanced units get to fire first as well as hit harder and such.
Figuring out which unit gets first strike and all the other rules are all handled by the computer and you just sit back and watch each side fire at each other in a kind of Civil War face off. Once combat is over and units are either taken out or whittled down you move on to the next movement phase or your combat phase if that was the enemy’s combat phase.
The missions will have objectives which you should pay attention to as you do not always have to wipe out all the other units to win. Sometimes victory is as simple as getting a scout to a specific location so he can check out the lay of the land and such.
The campaigns are from the three factions or nations and have 30 missions in each section for the 90 battles you will fight with different units, varying land and sea as well as different objectives. You have 20 different units with ground troops, land based vehicles and air attack vehicles that are pretty well balanced out for the whole game.
During some of the campaigns you will have branches of missions that do not tie into other branches to give a bit of a different story but after awhile the story kind of fades to the background for most of the campaign. The story is kind of hard to follow as it is all written out and you have to read it before each mission or level instead of seeing cut scenes like the other consoles or PC.
The single player campaign and the individual missions you can play are fun and will give you plenty of variety and value to the game for strategy lovers. You have 20 different units on 90 missions to play with but you really don’t see much of the world with the graphics being so low key on the Nintendo DS.
The graphics are nice and have enough detail to see the various units as well as being able to pick out places you can and cannot go for individual units but nothing is really great or stand outs much. The colors are pretty basic and the graphics and effects look okay but without anything that really is eye popping or above average.
There are some occasional sound effects like when battling between units and some themed music but again there was nothing outstanding or great. The theme music worked well and the battle sounds were okay but like the graphics there was nothing that was worth mentioning other than it worked and did not have problems.
The map editor allows you to place units and objects on an empty battle field and then play the scenarios against a computer or share it with a friend. The main problem here is that you cannot upload these edited maps to the internet to share or download others so you are limited to people you know that have the game and want to play with the map editor.
The map editor works well and you can add or change features of the land and such as well as add scenarios to each map you create but you are limited to how you use the maps. It would have been nice to download and upload maps for more value but you are limited to the wireless sharing with someone who also has the game.
Tom Clancy’s EndWar on the Nintendo DS is a pretty good game if you enjoy turn based strategy, and it does have plenty of levels to keep you busy.