I've played Ubisoft's real-time strategy game R.U.S.E. plenty of times with gamepads and keyboards, But this week was my first chance to check it out using the Playstation MOVE: And I loved it.
I'm already a fan of the streamlined war game that blends the typical strategy elements of resource gathering and unit production with the ability to use deceptive special moves to fool the enemy. But playing the game on a console can be a bit awkward at times.
The issue, as with most console-based real-time strategy games, is that you're forced to push the cursor around with a thumbstick or direction pad and it always feels too slow or too fast, or not precise enough. There's also the issue of the limited buttons available to you on a controller, forcing a gamer to rely even more heavily on that painful cursor control.
Enter the Playstation Move, with it's ice-cream cone motion controller and a barrel-shaped Navigation controller. While playing R.U.S.E. with Move, the motion controller acts as the mouse and the navigation controller as a sort of mini keyboard, allowing you to use it's many buttons and pads as short cuts and to help with menu navigation.
To play you point the main Move controller at the screen, moving the cursor around by pointing. Once you've targeted the unit or building you want to select you just push the Move button. You an also select units by holding in a button and "painting" an area with the cursor. You can also move the camera around and zoom in and out by holding the trigger on the controller and tilting the wand side to side or leaning it forward or backward.
A flick to the right with the Move wand opens the menu and a flick to the left closes it.
You can actually play R.U.S.E. with just the Move wand, but it's the same way you can play StarCraft II with just a mouse: it's doable, but not the most efficient control set up. I preferred to use the wand to zip around the screen and control the mouse and the navigation controller to move through menus and the nav controller's directional pad to hot select unit types.
After playing the computer to draw in the game, I found that the Move controller set-up was almost as natural feeling as using a keyboard and mouse. What worked best about the control set-up was the use of the Wand as a mouse-like interface, something that the controller seems to excel at. The least comfortable was using the wand to snap open menus with a gesture, but you can also do that with a button push, so that didn't bother me too much.