Universe at War: Earth Assault will be a big hit with reat-time strategy (RTS) game fans.

Universe at War: Earth Assault is like a breath of fresh air that carries with it the vague stench of something foul. It offers three interesting and diverse sides, great graphics, and some tantalizing strategic elements.

Unfortunately, this game is afflicted by some unfortunate quirks that hold Universe at War: Earth Assault back.

Universe at War: Earth Assault begins with Earth in near total ruin after an alien race, the Hierarchy, invades the planet in a quest to strip mine our resources and wipe out humanity in the process with a Darwinist's sense of glee. In the ensuing chaos, two additional alien races (the Novus and Masai) join the fray, and you grab what you can of the military and stage a last stand against the invaders.

Like other prominent RTS games, you get to play as each of the races and this propels the single-player campaign. The three alien races are quite diverse and offer very unique gameplay experiences. The Novus, for example, are fragile but fast, the Hierarchy relies on brute force and the Masai offers a mix of both. Nothing groundbreaking then, but the balance between sides is tight, and Universe at War: Earth Assault's gameplay offers a nice mix of tactical and strategic elements.

Unfortunately, overall Universe at War: Earth Assault is hampered by a few flaws. The pathfinding is suspect which often led to units getting stuck or wandering where they shouldn't. There were a few interface issues, such as a problem with getting units grouped into squads.

Infantry units are treated as individuals rather than as an overall squad, which makes unit management a chore. Build queues are also limited to six units, so churning out a massive army requires constant babysitting of your production buildings. None of these issues by crippling in and of themselves but are persistent and annoying throughout Universe at War: Earth Assault.

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