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Strategy games have been my bread and butter for quite some time. Starting my journey with Dune and Total Annihilation and later moving up to Age of Empires and beyond. The genre had been set back for about a decade or so because of the lack of promising games to take up the mantle. With remasters of the original Age of Empires coming through, and the announcement of a new Age of Empires as well as other promising entries into, the genre is poised for a vibrant revival. One particularly ambitious indie that wants to make it big in the genre is War Selection. With particularly tall promises for its Early Access launch, the game wants to make it big in the genre. How successful were they in recreating the ‘dream RTS of all time’? Read on to find out.



War Selection is primarily a multiplayer game and is modelled to be played online only. The game has been quite ambitious in settings its goals even for Early Access, promising large maps housing up to 62 players each. This might seem like a very tall feat to accomplish in itself (ignoring the other promised changes to mechanics), but the game’s custom engine does pull it off pretty well. There are a plethora of game modes to explore. Free-For-All is essentially a race to the end – the one who survives is the winner. Team Match pits teams of players against one another till only one team survives. The best possible mode is Armageddon, forcing teams of players to fight for chunks of “occupied” territory. Armageddon is basically a “Domination” map mode where one accumulates points based on the amount of land they are holding, till one player reaches the threshold of points required. The game also has a “Sandbox” mode, allowing players to experiment with various mechanics in-game.

The game has quite a number of game modes.

The game’s in Early Access, so a lot of features are still in the works. Several game modes like Skirmish (likely the traditional Skirmish in real-time strategy games) and Campaign are still under production. With that being said, if I was the developer, I wouldn’t implement a subscription model and lock several of the game modes behind them. The game apparently had a subscription-based monetization model that required a continuous subscription for a few consecutive months before the modes could be unlocked. This naturally had caused some backlash, following which the subscription model was pushed out of the game and all game modes were made available for free. While the subscription model does leave a very sour taste in the mouth, it is heartening to see that the developers take feedback seriously.

The game also lacks customization of any type for the modes. In other words, you cannot change spawn points, the number of AI opponents, amount of resources available, the time limit for each game or for that sake, even the map. It seems every map is a slight variation of a base map with more or less fixed spawn points. Customization needs to be a thing before War Selection even thinks about competing with other strategy games


The game uses the same mechanics as most other strategy games, with minute differences. It seems to be an amalgamation of mechanics from strategy games over the decade. The game seems to employ a “territory” based system borrowed from Rise of Nations while basic construction seems more familiar to the one used in Age of Empires. War Selection borrows the system of the “grand old strategy games of the past” and throws it into a massive battlefield consisting of 62 players each.

Like all strategy games, War Selection requires the collection of resources for doing basically everything, construction of buildings with these resources, training of units to attack and take down enemies and the research of technologies to carry out the task in the most efficient manner possible. The game does little to properly distinguish itself from other games of the genre. With that being said, a certain amount of fine-tuning has been done to make the game appeal more to people in general.

War Selection does not use a technology tree but forces players to go with researching technologies based on their gut feelings. This makes things slightly confusing as a clear path of progression is not evident. Allowing the player to search for ways to build a better army or improve their production of resources on their own seems fine till it becomes annoying – and that’s definitely not how you revive an otherwise dead genre of games.

Slow progression *cough* *cough*

The age progression system is a thing, and progress to the next era unlocks more buildings and the array of units available for training. Each era improves the efficiency with which you can carry out the task of destroying your opponents. One really annoying feature is that units are not upgraded to their next higher tiers when age advances, and need to be manually upgraded. Moreover, non-upgraded units do not have access to the advanced capabilities of the new age. For instance, new buildings cannot be constructed by workers from the previous age – requiring all workers to be upgraded before they can carry out the construction of advanced buildings. This calls for quite some micromanagement in terms of units, like it or not. Technologies for each age unlock units and other construction opportunities and is definitely a way to improve the efficiency of the tasks to be done. Progression, moreover, gives options for upgrades often. For instance, when you progress to the Bronze Age, you are prompted to choose between the Bronze Age of Europe and the Bronze Age of Asia.

The game uses a territory system much like Rise of Nations. The only difference here is that while Rise of Nations required the construction of cities to expand the territorial borders, construction of any buildings near the territorial borders helps expand the territorial borders in this case. In fact, the territorial borders are rather poorly defined and it can be challenging to understand the concept in the first few playthroughs. Construction is possible only inside your territory, though it is possible only on plain ground. Hills and slopes do not allow constructions on them, and the starting area can quickly feel cramped if you do not explore and expand fast as you might run out of space for construction of buildings. This might seem funny, but it’s true.

Expand, or be crushed.

War Selection uses a variety of resources for the various stuff you need doing. At the starting, you collect only food and wood and use them for various activities. With the passing of ages, other resources like stone, copper, bronze, and iron open up. One noteworthy point is that one cannot mine resources of the next age without having progressed to it. You cannot expect to mine bronze in the Stone Age, moreover, you cannot mine with workers of the previous age till they are upgraded manually.

The game uses three presets of units for combat – melee, ranged and siege units. Melee units are useful in hand-to-hand combat, mostly against other enemy units. Ranged units are useful units that help provide cover for the front lines, and are very weak in hand-to-hand combat. Siege units are very strong against buildings – helping in knocking down strategically placed defensive structures – but are very weak against units. Units are trained from special buildings, which also have special technologies that can be researched to improve the performance of the units in battle. The game lays focus on both numerical as well as technological superiority when it comes to figuring out the victors of a battle. In other words, a group of technologically advanced units can beat a larger group of units from a previous age. Overall, the game lays more focus on progression in terms of technological domination than on territorial domination.

Visuals & Performance

War Selection doesn’t employ top-notch visuals to woo players. It relies on the revival of mechanics from older strategy games for marketing. Graphically the game isn’t awful, but the visuals do look dated. The game could certainly benefit some better unit models as units are the main focus of the game – even more so because they advertise about large battles across huge maps with tons of units.

Which game doesn’t have visual settings on its menu?

The game was tested on:-

  • CPU : AMD Ryzen 5 2600
  • GPU : GTX 1080
  • RAM : 16GB DDR4

A custom engine powers the game, and it seems that it is capable of handling 62 players all at once, though framerates may tank a bit when a lot is happening on the screen at once. For a player like me who mostly relies on turtling and sneak attacks with the occasional rush, I did not come across this issue for more than a few times, but it can become an issue for people relying on more proactive strategies for dealing with their opponents.

Final Impressions

War Selection is an RTS which very rough around the edges at the moment, and certainly not worth the time investment for players new to the genre. Even for dedicated players, it’s better to wait out a bit for essential fixes to come in before the game is worth putting time into. This is quite acceptable since its at a very early stage in Early Access, and feedback can help improve its mechanics further.

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