Preview: Eugen System’s WARNO Shows Plenty of Promise

  Screenshot: WARNO For years, Eugen Systems have been pumping out real-time strategy games that focus on realistic conflict. Its Steel Division and Wargame series are known for this unique blend, in fact.  If you're someone who enjoys this blend and wanted more Wargame, it looks like their upcoming release WARNO is its spiritual successor. And WARNO looks amazing, even in Early Access. WARNO (which is real life shorthand for ‘warning order’) is a real-time strategy game set during a Cold War that has erupted into full-blown World War III. In it, you play as either members of NATO or the Warsaw pact in a 1989 Cold War that has gone hot. Just like Eugen systems’ other games, WARNO places a special emphasis on realism: real sounds, realistic graphics, and tactical considerations that look similar to the real thing. What you get is a battle simulator that looks and sounds amazing—but is still a little rough around edges. Screenshot: WARNO While WARNO is an Early Access title, it definitely looks great. I spent a lot of my time in WARNO watching my allies engage with the enemies while basking in the sounds and sights of Cold War era destruction. But while I’m not unfamiliar with Eugen Systems’ style of real-time strategy game, I still suffered a bit trying to play WARNO: there is not yet a tutorial, or even a Campaign to ease yourself into the action. There’s only a Skirmish mode where you can fight against the AI on a half dozen battlefields (or so) or in online mode which is the same. For an Early Access title it looks great, but it certainly needs some work to introduce players to its systems a little better. There is an in-game manual at least, which I appreciate. WARNO is still in active development, and according to the Early Access info box on its Steam store page, its full release will be in six to eight months—though developer Eugen Systems plan to support the game beyond it reaching version 1.0. Right now WARNO is pretty barebones, but the developers are updating it actively, with a pledge to add significant chunks of content throughout its Early Access period. Screenshot: WARNO I’m excited for the potential of WARNO, and it’s one of the only Early Access titles I feel is a pretty safe bet: Eugen Systems knows their stuff, and is actively engaged with the community. That said, if you aren’t familiar with this style of real-time strategy, you’re going to be met with a steep learning curve.   WARNO is available now on Steam Early Access.         A Steam key was provided to us for the purposes of this preview  
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.