Wargame: Red Dragon – Review
Follow Genre: real-time strategy
Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC

Wargame: Red Dragon – Review

Site Score
Good: Engaging battles, huge array of military equipment, fun multiplayer
Bad: Steap learning curve, lack of decent tutorials
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

The Wargame franchise has established itself as a respected series within the modern-day military real-time strategy landscape. That is if you count 1985 as modern-day. Their newest iteration is called Red Dragon and clearly builds on its predecessor taking most of its elements and adding more units including a new type: naval units.



Besides a tutorial, the single player section offers a campaign mode with four scenarios ranging from easy to very hard. As the game is set in the cold-war era, the story in the scenarios is built on that. The game does a fairly good job at getting the player into each scenario’s specific setting with a nice video but once the campaign sets off, no more attention is paid to that. To be honest, Wargame: Red Dragon doesn’t really brings forth a real story and it doesn’t need it.


While you’d think an RTS is all about strategy, it does need decent graphics. It’s what draws players in and keeps them playing. Luckily the game delivers. In a battle players can choose how to set their view starting close to the individual units up to a full overview of the map. When near the units, there’s enough detail to really make you check out the little things like the barrel of a tank or the bazooka of an infantry unit. However it’s when zooming out that Red Dragon really shines. Explosions look amazing and vary depending on what unit caused it with what shell. Also the terrain is nicely detailed and interacts with what happens to it. For example when shooting a napalm round into a forest, it will burn down over time.


Together with the graphics, sound is what draws you in. Every little thing has its own sound and they get mixed up with the alert sounds that you get when a unit has been destroyed, an enemy has been spotted, etc.. It provides a satisfying background while keeping you on your toes at the same time.



Above, a tutorial was mentioned, sadly that is one of my biggest problems with this game. It’s very short including only some text-explanations with pictures. In a game like this, which is fairly complicated when first getting into it, it’s a real pain not to get a decent tutorial. It’s in the first campaign scenario that you’ll learn the most, by actually doing things and doing them wrong which can be rewarding in the end but is mostly frustrating. It is when getting past this barrier you’ll start to actually appreciate the game. In the campaign mode you get to play a bit of turn based strategy. Sadly that part of the game is fairly limited. The scenarios in the campaign each have simple goals and don’t go beyond “capture this sector by turn x” or “defend this sector until turn x”. That sector x is always a fairly low number meaning that for example the first scenario only lasts for 10 turns maximum. It makes the campaign experience a disappointing one standing in contrast with the Total War franchise with world-domination campaigns providing dozens of playing hours.

Don’t be alarmed though because the actual battles are what makes this game worth playing. At the start of a battle there’s a phase to position your troops which you buy using points. The amount of points with which you start and which units you get to pick from depend on the units you’ve moved on the turn-based map. Points will go back up over time depending on how many sectors you control. Controlling the units themselves is actually quite straight-forward. The trick is in getting them to the right terrain as for example moving tanks in a dense forest will make them practically invisible. Besides your normal ground units like tanks, infantry, support, logistics and recon there are also air units and new with the latest Wargame are naval units. In a battle on a coastal map you’ll get to use ships and amphibious units to even more mix up possible strategies. And its those strategies that’ll keep you coming back, there are just so much possibilities.

It is in the multiplayer that Wargame is able to be really interesting. You first build a deck of units which is quite a hassle at first as there are hundreds of different kinds of units. After you get the hang of it though, you’ll be able to spend tons of hours fighting other players as matches may take up to 45 minutes and in a lot cases they will. New players are recommended to start out in the singleplayer mode though as starting in multiplayer can be quite brutal.



Wargame: Red Dragon in itself is a great game that’ll keep any player willing to overcome the learning curve invested for hours and hours. Even more, it is one of the better RTS-titles out there right now. The developers could have done more though to really built on AirLand Battle, their previous title, and move the series forward.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Wargame: Red Dragon - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

I'm currently studying software-development. My main hobbies are gaming (software/hardware) and music (jazz saxophone player). I game primarily on PC (and also love building them) but also play on PS3, iOS and Android.

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