What happens at the end of nations? We go to war, of course!

That's exactly what End of Nations is all about. It's a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game with enormous battles, an engrossing campaign, and ample room for customization and tactics. The best part? End of Nations is free to play, with in-game purchases—"vanity and convenience" items, according to developers Trion Worlds—providing some extra meat for paying customers.

We sat down with Trion Worlds recently in LA to preview two of the game's multiplayer offerings: "Resource Hog" and "Operation Last Stand." The former is a PVP mode, while the latter pits players in indirect competition with one another.

"Resource Hog" is essentially a 4v4 domination gametype, with eight armies on two teams competing with one another for control of key points on the map. As you can imagine, it gets chaotic very quickly. Communication and planning between teammates is key, and it'll take more than an hour-long preview to get used to the many nuances and strategies PVP players can take advantage of.

The second mode, "Operation Last Stand," is an interesting take on popular modes like Gears of War's "Horde" and Halo's "Firefight." Two players compete to outlast one another against ever-tougher waves of AI-controlled enemies. The players can only attack one another indirectly, using landmine drops, EMP blasts and more from a distance. These "superweapons" are acquired by capturing nodes scattered throughout the map; other nodes increase the rate at which they accrue resources.

Units auto-attack nearby enemies, so players can trust half their forces to defend the base while they direct the other half in scouting out the battlefield and capturing nodes. In addition, each type of unit has some unique abilities at its disposal; helicopters can attack other air forces with a barrage of missiles, tanks are particularly effective against infantry, and so on.

End of Nations is an enormous brown and grey warzone peppered with splashes of color, players locked in intricate battles of will and might across its many playing fields. One notable new feature we hadn't seen before this preview is the ability to outfit multiple companies before a match and recall and deploy them at low cost, effectively turning some battles into an elaborate game of Rock/Paper/Scissors. Being prepared with multiple varied companies in reserve is essential to outwit your opponents during the actual battle.

The last time we played End of Nations was E3 2010, so we sat down with Trion Worlds' David Leuhmann after the preview to find out exactly what's changed since then. Check out the next two pages for our interview and some gameplay footage.

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