Eugen Systems Announces Act of Aggression: Reboot Edition Rejig

By Alex Connolly 15 Mar 2016 0

Eugen Systems are one of the hardest-working quiet achievers in the real-time strategy sphere. Having been responsible for some of the most elegant and interesting RTS experiments in the last sixteen years, culminating in the impeccable three-strong Wargame series, the Parisian gang had our attention when they announced Act of Aggression.

This traditional RTS sought not only to capitalise on the studio's Command & Conquer: Generals-like Act of War from 2005, but to drag us back the glory days of the genre, where bases were built with wild abandon and tank rushes were plentiful. With appetites whet, we were ready.

Maybe nostalgia got the better of us. Act of Aggression launched last year to not so much scathing reviews, but disinterested ones. A lack of faction differentiation and flair hampered an already-convoluted tech and economy system. In its wake, the online presence dwindled to a drip at an alarming rate, while Eugen Systems' Wargame: Red Dragon continued to host a hearty, healthy multiplayer community. If Act of Aggression was the love letter to a time gone by, it had been lost in the post.

However, if continued support and free DLC for the Wargame series is the bellwether, Eugen Systems are not a studio to cut and run. As such, it was a pleasant but not uncharacteristic surprise when they issued the following press release via Steam.

It’s been some time now since we last posted an update here about our plans for Act of Aggression. But don’t worry, we haven’t moved away from the game. Quite the contrary.

When we started working on this project, our goal was to bring back the “old-school” flavor that made us love RTS games, combined with more modern and original features. With Steam customer reviews rating Act of Aggression at ~66%, we have left behind one-third of our fans. It isn’t something we’re satisfied with, and we are not planning to let it be that way.

We remain dedicated to the same goal we started with.

Thanks to today’s ease of delivering patches and content to keep games alive, we had the opportunity to take Act of Aggression back to the drawing board. And that’s exactly what we have been doing. We’ve been busy identifying the reasons behind the less positive reviews: what we did wrong, what we failed to deliver, and what was expected from us. And, more importantly, what could be done about it.

So here we are, (almost) ready to deliver this massive overhaul. However, we won’t release thisReboot Edition as a regular patch, as it may change AoA too much for those happy with its current iteration. Instead, it will be made available (for free) to every owner of Act of Aggression, to switch between as they see fit.

There are too many changes coming to list here in their entirety. Instead, we’ve summed up just a few of the major ones here, which we will detail in a devblog soon:

  • Single-resource economy.
  • Improved unit reactivity.
  • Unit facelifts.
  • Up-front payments for construction.
  • and many more ...

We believe all the effort we’ve put into Act of Aggression: Reboot Edition will address most, if not all, the complaints made about the game at release. Before releasing this edition officially, it will be made available on a Steam test branch for anyone willing to try it and give us feedback!

The first devblog for the Reboot Edition is now also up on the Act of Aggression site.

In an industry often noted for its fiscal ruthlessness and habitual punishment of critical misfires, it is refreshing to see a developer return with such vigor to a project like Act of Aggression. Hopefully, the letter finds its addressee this time around.

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