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R.U.S.E., by Ubisoft, 2010, $59.99 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC/Windows)

Oftentimes in real-time strategy (RTS) games the objective is to build up resources, assemble a large force and overpower one’s enemy through sheer military might. R.U.S.E. instead emphasizes information warfare and deception.

The game presents two World War II campaigns: one centering on the U.S. 1st Armored Division, the other on the German Wehrmacht. The key to victory is to outwit one’s enemy using such strategies as decryption of gathered intel, concealment and deception. An example of the latter is to use your heavy armor as a distraction, allowing a small force of paratroopers to cut off the enemy’s supply lines, giving your main force the opportunity to encircle or flank the enemy force and eliminate it.

While the game isn’t perfect—dings for sluggish pacing, inconsistent graphics, and dumbed-down game play—it does offer a fresh take on the World War II RTS genre and is definitely recommended for strategy gamers tired of the same old fare.

—Ryan Burke