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Imagine how differently D-Day would have played out without years of careful Allied intelligence gathering. A new title from Ubisoft brings this critical element to real-time strategy. With a unique emphasis on information warfare, R.U.S.E. drops the player into the role of armchair general like never before.

The campaign is a melodramatic yarn that follows the fictional rise of an American major as he leads his troops from North Africa through Europe to Germany. But an Axis spy dubbed Prometheus continually aids the enemy’s commanding forces in a series of orderly retreats that prevent him from cutting the head off the proverbial snake.

The storyline is painfully cheesy, but the action is worth it. R.U.S.E. is played through a highly dynamic third-person perspective that zooms in and out of the battle. The action close to the ground features booming audio and fiery visuals as the player manages his units’ tactical situations. Zoom out, and the view transitions cleverly to a strategic planning table in the command room. From here the player can easily manage the front line, as well as use the game’s titular “ruses”—strategic maneuvers that let you spy on and confuse the enemy.

Compatible with touch-screen devices, R.U.S.E. has a sleek, non-customizable interface. It sports high-quality visuals on a massive scale, so some will find it difficult to make this game run smoothly on older computer models, particularly laptops. But once up and running, R.U.S.E. is a solid and complex title that provides hours of entertainment with a World War II backdrop.

World War II Rating: ****

ESRB: T for Teen
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Eugen Systems
MSRP: $49.99
Format: Digital Download, DVD, Blu-ray Disc
Play Modes: Single-Player, Online Multiplayer