Enter the world of Massive a*ault, Wargaming.net’s foray into turn-based strategy games. Don’t let this inexperience fool you though as Massive a*ault is a solid game with some very good gameplay and user-friendly features.The premise of Massive a*ault is your typical good vs. evil scenario. Way in the distant future the galaxy consists of two rival human forces. There are the democratic (good) guys and the fascist (evil) guys. The story is laid out to you as soon as you start the game. It’s long and basically amounts to a woman with a Russian accent reading the text on the screen; good thing for us we can just skip all that and get right into the gameplay.The two sides, the Free Nations Union and the Phantom League each sport twelve unique units that span land, sea, and air. There are also defensive turrets for each faction with excellent range and even better armor. The units themselves all have stats displayed for movement capabilities, amount of armor, attack range, and attack power. The graphics for the units and the names differ but the units are essentially a mirror of each other on both sides. This doesn’t cause the game any harm however as Massive a*ault can easily be compared to a board game; chess immediately comes to mind. Any advantage that could be exploited by one side over the other could very easily ruin the game. In that respect I feel it was wise for the developers to keep the sides similar.There are four different single-player gameplay modes in Massive a*ault. The first of these is the training mode which presents you with the basics of movement, defensive and offensive tactics, and resource management. For newcomers to the genre the tutorial serves as a good way to teach them some rudimentary skills. There is also a scenario mode which lets you choose from a few dozen scaled-difficulty levels at any time. This is good considering that some of the missions are challenging and might discourage play at times. World War mode sees players attempt to conquer an entire planet and the Campaign mode boils down to a scaled down version of the scenario mode. In World War mode you can choose between the two sides and battle it out for good or evil.As was mentioned before, Massive a*ault is a turn-based game. Each side has a phase in which you will get to do several things. First and foremost you get to move your units around. Massive a*ault uses a hex system which brings back fond memories of Blue Byte’s old Battle Isle series. Clicking on the unit brings up a series of points where the unit can move. Once moved, if any enemies are within range of its weapons it can fire. Certain terrains like the desert or forested areas can restrict your movement. For example, if a unit can normally move two hexes on grassy fields it will only be able to move one hex on a desert plain. This inclusion can allow players to create choke points and pull off some clever maneuvers with ranged weaponry.After moving your units around you will be introduced to the purchasing phase which will allow you to spend any resources—that are accumulated automatically but for a limited time by your controlled cities. During this phase you can scroll through the available units and place them anywhere in your controlled territory. There is also the disclose phase which gives you the opportunity to make a secretly allied nation a publicly allied nation complete with money and more units on the battlefield. This phase only happens though when your enemy invades a neutral or secretly allied (to you) nation.At any moment during a phase you don’t feel comfortable with your decisions you can backtrack and do them all over again. This is one party of Massive a*ault that lends some user-friendliness to the game. Provided you don’t end the phase you can cancel attack orders already given and turn back the clock. Any damage done or units destroyed will be instantly repaired and any movements made will be cancelled. Once you hit the ‘End Phase’ button though that’s the end of your turn.At the end of your turn it’s the computers turn to deal out some damage and boy does it ever. The AI in Massive a*ault can be described as extremely aggressive; cynics might even say the computer has a grudge against you. It’s very important to keep in mind that you probably won’t complete a mission on the first try; especially not the ones rated hard or even medium. The AI will make very efficient use of its ranged units and will even attempt to flank you if the opportunity presents itself. As was mentioned before, Massive a*ault can be described as a game of chess and the AI is easily Bobby Fischer.Massive a*ault sports a 3D engine like that of any other modern strategy title. There is excellent use of lighting in the horizons and the water effects are particularly done well. Each unit has a distinct and decently-detailed model. While the graphics won’t win any awards for breaking new ground the developers made excellent use of what they had to work with. The engine comes with a fully functioning 3D camera which can be rotated to any angle you wish and zoomed in and out. You have the ability of toggling a lot of the options like shadows, visual quality, and resolution also.The sound in Massive a*ault is a drawback and tends to be a bit bland at times. The announcer sports a Russian accent and doesn’t say anything too inspiring. Some of the dialogue is inaudible at times and sounds a bit forced. Massive a*ault features a full soundtrack which various synthesized tunes. The tracks themselves do the game justice and are a good listen when you’re crushing the enemy.Multiplayer can be played through hot-seat mode which is basically a two-player at one computer mode and also through a very simplistic internet mode. It’s not much but it will give you a way to find other human players when the AI gets to be a little too much.Massive a*ault has a lot of appeal for strategy fans and even is functional for newcomers as well. The challenging AI will give you a run for your money and even though it can be frustrating at times the feeling of accomplishment is all the more worth it. Overall it’s just a fun game that is definitely worth the purchase.