WARNO announcement was rolled out so stealthily, you basically had to have entered the trailer’s link accidentally to spot it. Why would Eugen do it to it’s own successor to the Wargame franchise? With the Early Access out not a month later (and asking €30 from mortals), we can wager a guess: they knew it’s not ready.
Let’s not mince words here: WARNO is Wargame, but set in 1989 and enriched with mechanics taken from Steel Division and . Terrible choice of year, nice array of inspirations to follow, still slave to APM, and entirely not ready for Early Access. Armored Brigade
All the Wargame basics are present in WARNO: build deck, take it into the fight, feed it to the enemy piece-meal because you didn’t follow the meta/were behind the APM curve. The Rules of Engagement mechanics (from Armored Brigade) and Tackgroup orders (simple AI driven commands you can give to control-grouped units) try to lessen the impact of the latter, but it’s not there yet. But hey, they’re patching it as we speak, “Seize” order no longer leaves AA units behind!
Those and a few other details (like plane call-ins no longer being immediate) make it obvious that Eugen put time and effort to stop wired reflexes from being the deciding factor on the battlefield. But just like Company of Heroes 3 with order pauses being relegated to single-player mode, Eugen blinked; they didn’t go far enough.
And that is an issue that is unsolvable at this point in the development. What they can still do is fix all sorts of interface issues – they already made the order boxes bigger – and rework balance so that a rocket armed Apache isn’t cheaper than an infantry squad.
Questionable balancing aside (why does the Mutt have 10 HP while a UAZ-496 only gets 5), there are some issues with modeling, from vehicle textures, to Western Group of Forces going “smoke ’em if you got ’em” w/r/t uniform items, to Bradleys turning up with firing ports straight from Imperial Guard Chimeras.
There’s also the genius decision to abandon Wargame’s minimalist CRT design for whatever this is. Ah, yes, the humble SCROLLABLE WHITEBOARD, NATO’S STRONGEST WEAPON AGAINST THE USSR.
Some things will not change no matter how long the Early Access period is. We’re stuck with 1989. APM will still rule. But maybe, just maybe, the game will launched with cluster munitions actually able to harm stuff other than unarmored jeeps. At present, WARNO is not worth the asking price.
Bonus: here’s an Are Boy Cedric Zoom Out Special: