WARNO – Preview
Follow Genre: Real-time Tactics
Developer: Eugen System
Publisher: Eugen System
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

WARNO – Preview

Good: Fantastic presentation
Bad: Not enough content yet to warrant purchase
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

There is something surreal about playing Eugen System’s upcoming real-time tactics title WARNO, albeit not by design. The wargame has been in development for quite some time now, and although it is currently still in its Early Access days, the developers could not have foreseen that we’d be watching World War 3 unfold in real life while WARNO was still in active development. As such, the ‘what if the Cold War turned hot’ premise of the game feels slightly inappropriate at the moment, even if WARNO is set in an alternative version of the year 1989. Given Eugen System’s credentials, we can imagine that fans of the genre will look past any similarities to real world events, and simply aim to immerse themselves into this alternate version of history. The full version of WARNO is still quite a few months away, but how does the Early Access version hold up so far?

At the time of writing, WARNO only offers a skirmish mode, which you can play either online against other players or vs the PC. The mode selection screen does hint at things to come, including campaign and operation modes, but right now, things are looking rather barebones, with even the tutorial option greyed out. The option for in-game mod support is also present in WARNO’s UI, which bodes well for things to come, even if it means players can simply add their own cosmetics to the game in order to personalise their chosen units.

WARNO currently offers four factions: the United States and West Germany on one side and the Soviet Union and East Germany on the opposing side, with more factions, including France, set to arrive in the future. Additionally, seven maps are available, ranging from a map for two players all the way up to one for 20 players -although this seems to be limited to 8 in a skirmish game against the AI. The vehicles available to the factions draw inspiration from their real-life counterparts. Nonetheless, some liberties were taken as this is a game set to deliver an alternate version of 1989 rather than being 100% historically accurate.

After setting the parameters for your battle of choice, including objectives, time limit, army size, etc., you’ll then be taken to the battlefield where you can either automatically deploy your units or place them on the map manually. Once you get into battle, things should feel familiar to anyone that has played similar titles, like Steel Division -which was also developed by Eugen System. You’ll be issuing orders to your units as you aim to break through your enemies’ defenses and aim to achieve your goals. At the moment, this is limited to Capture the Flag, but we assume that other objectives, such as simply wiping out the opposition or conquering a set percentage of land, will be added in the future. Right now, WARNO’s Early Access build does a good job of showcasing the core gameplay loop, but it lacks variety.

The game uses a unit-building system that allows you to select units up to a certain number of points, similar to tabletop wargames, allowing for a huge degree of customizability when it comes to choosing which vehicles and troops you want to use during missions. There are a number of pre-made “decks” available for you to choose from, and we imagine that this sort of deck-building mechanic will become incredibly important when it comes to future DLC as well as determining a competitive meta for the game.

Presentation-wise, WARNO knocks it out of the park. The game looks and sounds fantastic, with gorgeous maps filled with tons of environmental details -even if there is only a very limited number of maps available right now. Eugen Systems have said that they want the environment to tell a story to make it feel as realistic as possible. Abandoned cars have open doors for example, as if the driver hastily fled from their vehicle, and villages consist of more than simply houses and also add stores and the like. The game also boasts a cinematic soundtrack that aims to immerse you in the action by adding an epic atmosphere. Through things like this, WARNO has built a fantastic foundation for when the campaign arrives.


Even with this early build, it’s clear that developer Eugen Systems has ambitious plans laid out for their modern era RTS wargame. At the moment, however, it feels a little bit too early to jump into WARNO as there isn’t a whole lot of content available yet. The game lacks a tutorial mode -which is supposed to be coming soon- and only offers an incomplete manual that you’ll need to read through before you’re able to find your bearings. There’s also a limited number of available maps and factions, although more units are said to be coming soon. As it stands, there simply isn’t enough present here to justify the price of entry, and we’d heartily recommend waiting until the full version of the game launches before you take the plunge.

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WARNO - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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