Specific Ratings

Learning CurveA-
Replay ValueC-

Pros and Cons

  • Voice Command
  • Good Fun
  • Really Works!
  • Easy Setup
  • Later on -> Can be boring!
  • Basic Combat
  • A Little Plain
  • Voice Command too slow for MP
  • Need Headphones

Tom Clancy's EndWar (PC)

Reviewed by:
Reviewed on:


Speech is one thing that defines humans above all animals, and what defines this game above all other games. While a technological marvel, this game has undeveloped potental. Such a pity!



I have been waiting for quite some time to get my hands on this PC game. It seems I am in a very select club, of one, though it is faring much better for console machines. Going to the local games shop, about 20 times, and finally being told "look if it hasn't arrived by now, can't you take the hint!" Why doesn't anyone want EndWar for the PC?

After months of waiting, was it worth it? For me, yes. I love this game, and it's nothing to do with the game play, graphics, or storyline; it's all about the gimmicks! This game is as gimmicky as Mr MacGimmick, going to a certain fast food restaurant, asking for a MacGimmick with extra gimmick on the side. And yes, I do want fries.

There is one major hurdle to jump through. To use voice control, you're going to need a microphone, and unless you are of the pop star persuasion, and don't want to look silly, you'll probably want a headset. And as you probably don't have one, it means buying one. If you don't really need one for anything else, it'll be a cheap one. Personally I stole a cheap and nasty, but from a good brand, from my sister's computer.

When you do plug it in, be careful, I really didn't realize how loud the volume can be, yes, it is cheap for a reason. Then there is the other problem, setting the thing up. Depending on your headset, you may have a harder time than you think, as my mic was a little under powered, and required some adjustment, to get the optimal voice command recognition. A little tip, for this game, being quiet is better than optimal voice, at least for me!

But after going through the voice trainer a few times, it was amazing how well it worked. First off it teaches you to say commands in blocks [UNIT 1] [ATTACK] [HOSTILE 4]; this lets you to understand the wording and grammar, so to speak, of the game. Then it tells you that it works better if you say like a sentence. "Unit 1 attack hostile 4!" This made me wonder why they didn't just tell you this from the beginning. But it's when you stop treating the game as a simple voice recognition program the real fun begins.

Bloody Fantastic! After trying the first few missions, you get a real sense authority. "Unit 1 move to Alpha!" "Unit 2 Camera!" "Unit 3, what the f#*k do you think you're doing?" And then finally when the incompetence of your troops annoys you. "WMD Yankee!" The amazing thing is, speech recognition of 95% isn't uncommon for any given mission with a little setup, as long as you don't start swearing, throwing in slang words, and your voice is not pitching wildly. Once you do get the commands right, and know the structure, everything feels real smooth.

Of course there are the commands you'd prefer to say differently. While it's a minor point, a few feel a little forced, such as "WMD" or "Calling all units". I would have preferred words like "Nuke" or "All units", as these slip off the tongue just that little easier. But as you play the game more, you find an overwhelming array of commands can be used, such as: "Unit 5 Upgrade Bravo Electronic Warfare", "Force Recon Alpha", "Landing Zone Delta", and "Unit 1 plus Unit 5 create group". None of these make sense now, and trust me, they don't make much sense until you really learn the syntax of the game, and even then you may not use these commands.

However, voice control by itself feels very limited. I can move and attack targets, but non-specific points, such as a strategic crossroads half way between two up links, I can only order through the use of the archaic mouse. If I move troops to Alpha, and they go on the wrong side, it's not a simple task commanding them to the other side of the building. This slight limitation is not a major one, but then again, perhaps it was supposed to supplement, rather than replace the out-dated mouse.

Unfortunately by mission 8, about the time you have to pick a side, your devotion to this game begins to wane, as there isn't a whole lot too it. Everything feels slower, takes longer, and makes this good game feel ... well, boring. There is no panic, no sense of urgency, and WW3 seems less of a war, and more a struggle to stay awake; perhaps a light argument at tops. The most disappointing thing is you know it's supposed to be like that! Commanders' safe, furiously watching the glowing monitor, whispering for "the blips" to get off their backside and fight! But if you stay with it, and I hope you do, things pick up, and it becomes much more than a game, almost an adventure!

The multiplayer suffers heavily using voice control and plays too slow. It seems like you have all the time in the world when playing a mission, but in Skirmish maps, it comes in thick and fast, and voice control just can't cut it. You revert back to the mouse, and that feels almost defeatist!

As for the game itself, the gameplay, graphics, and storyline; unfortunately there isn't anything special here. Not to say that this is a bad game, my conscience making a slight peep, I would class it as very good. The problem is the voice control makes for more than half of this game. Am I saying this is a good game because I can control it in a different way? The short answer is "Yes", and this gives you a greater respect for the mouse.

The humble mouse, first created in 1981, making it 28 years old, three lifetimes when talking about computers. Made popular by Apple Mac's in 1984, and commented by John C. Dvorak as to be useless. "There is no evidence that people want to use these things." Ironically, it was the Dvorak keyboard, although clever, that became useless! The Dvorak keyboard, not named after the same person, would be considered the opposite of the qwerty keyboard. (Read more here: Dvorak Keyboard)

As for the storyline, I am sure there is a profound message in there somewhere, but the world running out of oil just appears a little too often for my liking. In EndWar, of course like everyone else, believes that barrel prices jump and the world nations begin to fight for more of the black gold. Me, I say big hairy bollocks, I can't wait for the world to run out, because when we do, oil companies will begin to pump more money into researching cleaner methods. To say that oil companies aren't greedy and that they don't want to make a profit; would seem more naive than saying they would drain this world dry without having some kind of backup scheme. Unfortunately, the game doesn't believe this, the story feels a little bland and you end up wanting to play the game, rather than be swept by the story. But if you have heard of this game then it's the novel gameplay you're probably interested in.

The graphics feel ordinary, and somewhat bland. While it's isn't the fault of the game, because there are some pretty moments in there it probably has to do with the boredom tinted glasses the game forces you to wear.

This game is good with a lot of annoying factors, the biggest one being how the map is controlled. If only they have made the map free roaming with the cursor keys and mouse, and use the voice control to activate and select units that would have been a game. Unfortunately the awful camera reflects badly on the voice command. That is until you find the Sitrep, which is an over head map of the whole battlefield and units. What worries me more is that they expect you to play with this view. I am all for realism, hey if it's real it adds a little something extra, put it in there, but it's a game first and foremost. So giving you a realistic view of the battlefield as a commander would see it, means a boring game! While the normal camera view, means shuffling the camera around the map like a headless chicken, controlling several units all over the map.

My biggest criticism is that voice control should be an aid to the mouse. But it often feels like voice command is trying its best to replace the mouse. A tall order and something, in all honesty, could never be completed. The mouse is just too good. No, Voice Command should have been an addition, not a replacement. It would have been nice to control two different things at once. However this has probably more to do with the ineffectiveness of humans, and speech often feels like a uphill struggle.

Its humbling to know that the simple spud, diced into long rectangles, deep fried; can add that certain something to every meal. And that's the fundamental problem with EndWar, the MacGimmick came out hot and juicy with just the right amount of special sauce, but alas, there was no fries.

There are so many averages in this game, a couple of bad points, and one major selling point. This leaves you with a bit of a dilemma, because in all honesty this game is great. It's just the beginning, the poor lack of instructions, the throwing in the deep end, and the slow beginning that will turn many off. Once you practice and learn all the commands, this game picks up, and quickly! If you do master the voice control, this game is a sensation and a marvel to be held. Still it means dragging yourself through fields of muck to get there.

The problem doesn't end there, namely the real world and the pain in the butt intrusion it is. Let me tell you, saying "Unit 4 Upgrade Sierra Air Support" is hard enough. Then you have to contend with your wife, in the other room, thinking you're talking to her. Your kid standing next to you, "No daddy, watch Alpha!". Of course when you have no distractions at all, the house to yourself, there will be moments that you feel a total and utter idiot! The technology is great, the game is good, but are humans ready for it? Of that I am not so sure!

System Requirements taken from the Readme File
1.0. System Requirements
VERY IMPORTANT! Ensure that Windows® XP has Service Pack 2 (or better) or that Windows® Vista has Service Pack 1 (or better).

1.0.1 Minimum Configuration:
- Operating System: Windows® XP (with SP2) or Windows Vista® (with SP1)
- Processor: Intel® Core® 2 Duo E4400 2.0 GHz, 3.0 GHz AMD Athlon" 64 X2 Dual Core or better
- RAM: 1 GB for Windows XP and 2 GB for Windows Vista and configurations with shared memory video cards
- Video card: Nvidia" 7800GS or ATI" 1800XT or better DirectX® 9.0c–compliant 256 MB video card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (See Supported List 1.0.3 for more information)
- DVD-ROM: Dual-layer DVD-ROM drive
- Hard Drive Space: 10 GB free hard disk space
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
- Internet: Broadband connection with 256 kbps upstream or faster and service required for multiplayer mode
- Peripherals Supported: Windows-compatible mouse and keyboard required

1.0.2 Recommended Configuration:
- Operating System: Windows® XP (with SP2) or Windows Vista® (with SP1)
- Processor: Intel® Core® 2 Duo E6600 2.4 Ghz, Intel® Core® 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz, or 2.6 GHz AMD Quad-Core Phenom" X4 9850 or better
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video card: Nvidia" Nvidia 8800GTS, ATI" 2900 Pro, or better- DirectX® 9.0c–compliant 512 MB video card with Shader Model 3.0 or higher (See Supported List 1.0.3 for more information)
- DVD-ROM: Dual-layer DVD-ROM drive
- Hard Drive Space: 10 GB free hard disk space
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
- Internet: Broadband connection with 256 kbps upstream or faster and service required for multiplayer mode
- Peripherals Supported: Windows-compatible mouse and keyboard required, Windows-compatible headset for voice command

1.0.3 Supported Video Cards at Release Time:
- NVIDIA GeForce" 7 Series - GeForce 7800GT, 7800GTX, 7950GT, 7950GX2
- NVIDIA GeForce" 8 Series - GeForce 8600GTS, 8800GT, 8800 GTS, 8800GTX, 8800Ultra
- NVIDIA GeForce" 9 Series - GeForce 9500GT, 9600GT, 9800GTX, 9800GX2
- NVIDIA GeForce" 200 Series - GeForce GTX260, GeForce GTX280

- ATI® RADEON® X1000 series - X1800XT, X1950GT
- ATI® RADEON® HD 2000 Series - HD2600XT, HD2900XT
- ATI® RADEON® HD 3000 Series - HD3650, HD3850, HD3870, HD3870X2
- ATI® RADEON® HD 4000 Series - HD4850, HD4870

- Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT supported. These chipsets are the only ones that will run this game.
- NVIDIA nForce or other motherboards/soundcards containing the Dolby Digital Interactive Content Encoder required for Dolby Digital audio.

These drivers have been tested with Tom Clancy's EndWar":
- ATI® Catalyst 8.12
- NVIDIA Forceware 178.24
- NVIDIA Forceware 181.20
For the most up-to-date minimum requirement listings, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website at http://support.ubi.com.

1.0.4 Supported Sound Devices:
Asus Xonar D2- 7.1, Creative Audigy SE 7.1, Creative Audigy 7.1, Creative Audigy 2, Creative X-Fi XMod USB , Creative X-Fi Extreme Audio 7.1, Creative X-FI Xtreme Platnium, Creative X-Fi Mx Xtreme Gamer 7.1, Genius Sound Maker Value 5.1, Hercules Fortissimo III 7.1, Hercules Fortissimo II 5.1, Hercules Muse XL 5.1, Hercules Muse XL 4.1, Realtek HD Audio, Realtek AC97 , SoundMax HD , ST LAB C-Media 5.1, ST LAB C-Media 7.1, Turtle Beach Riviera

- These headsets or microphones have been tested with Tom Clancy's EndWar:
A4Tech Headset + Microphone HD800 Series, Creative HS-350, Logitech PC Headset 960 USB, Microsoft Lifechat LX 2000, Microsoft Lifechat LX 3000, Plantronics Audio 310, Plantronics Audio 355, Plantronics Audio 90, Plantronics GameCom 1, Plantronics GameCom 777, Somic V11 (microphone)

Review Page Hits: 0 today (85 total)