[[quoteright:267:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aow-da-ht_3400.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:267:Tomorrow's war has begun]]

The ''Act of War'' series is a RealTimeStrategy franchise developed by Eugen Studios (now better known for the ''VideoGame/{{Wargame| EuropeanEscalation}}'' series) and published by {{Atari}}, which is based on the works of DaleBrown and features modern warfare along with some TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture sci-fi technology, excellent 3D graphics, pre-rendered CutScene videos and its own music. The game was originally released as ''Act of War: Direct Action'' and has an ExpansionPack named ''Act of War: High Treason''. There's also a SpinOff TowerDefense game called ''Act of War: Urban Defense''.

There are three factions in the game, [[YanksWithTanks United States Army]], [[EliteArmy Task Force Talon]] and the [[NGOSuperpower Consortium]].

The story centers around the efforts of Task Force Talon, an elite US counter-terrorism force led by Major Jason Richter, to fight back the actions of the Consortium, an extremely powerful international organization [[WarForFunAndProfit conspiring to manipulate the economic order of the world for their own gain]]. Task Force Talon must counter their operations across the world, including in America itself.

Another highlight of the game is the realism of the combat mechanics. Units have a limited range of sight, which can be further restricted by terrain and structures, and can be critically injured from taking too much damage, utterly disabling them. A unique feature is the Prisoner of War system, where critically injured enemy troops or non-combat personnel from destroyed vehicles and buildings can be captured and sent to specialized buildings where they produce additional income. Capturing enemy wounded and medivacing/healing your own is an important aspect of gameplay.

Weapons of mass destruction and air raids are available, the latter working with air control towers instead of the usual airfields. ''High Treason'' introduces the option to call for [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenaries]], powerful specialist units which can fight for you in exchange for periodical payments. It also adds naval combat and amphibious operations.

As you may imagine there are many tropes applied to this game, so it's ordered in 5 folders, one for the game itself, three for the factions and one for the Mercenaries.

A SpiritualSuccessor, ''Act of Aggression'', [[http://www.pcgamer.com/uk/2014/08/09/eugen-systems-announces-act-of-war-successor-act-of-aggression/ has been announced.]]

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Act of War]]
* AwesomePersonnelCarrier: Humvees, BTR-80s, Strykers and more!
* BroadStrokes: To the book of the same name. The general outline is there but details differ.
* CivilWarcraft:
** The last two missions in ''Direct Action'' have you going up against Consortium troops exclusively using US Army equipment and uniforms.
** More prominent in ''High Treason'', since the plot of the game is about a coup d'état of the US government. The final mission even features Consortium troops using Task Force Talon equipment for the first time.
* CommandAndConquerEconomy: All three factions run on a single resource, Money, which can be acquired through oil derricks and [=POW=]s.
* CoolBoat: The expansion introduces naval warfare, and of course most of the units are very cool.
* CoolPlane: One of the highlights of the game is the amount of real-life cool planes and helicopters you find.
* CripplingOverspecialization: A few units in each faction tend to be very good at one thing, but useless outside of that role. In addition, some units have multiple modes which are cripplingly overspecialized in different things.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: ZigZagged. Infantry will lose speed when their health drops below half, and vehicles and ships can't shoot when badly damaged enough. Structures and aircraft, on the other hand, don't lose any of their capabilities as they take damage.
* DaleBrown: The mind behind the plot of the game.
* DecoyProtagonist: Jefferson is a lot more prominent in the first quarter of ''Direct Action'' than he is in the rest of it.
* DeathFromAbove: You may expect a lot of this from this game.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: President Baldwin, who was rather prominent in the original game, gets killed at the start of the expansion, triggering the plot.
* EliteMooks: The U.S. Army and Consortium have the Delta Force and Optical Camo Soldier, respectively. TFT's Task Force Commandos are elites as well, despite being their basic infantry unit. They can be made even more elite in the expansion, with the Future Force Warrior upgrade.
* FactionCalculus: United States Army (Powerhouse), Task Force Talon (Subversive), Consortium (Balanced).
* FriendlySniper: Oz from the expansion.
* FullMotionVideo: With some surprisingly high production values.
** They did away with them in ''High Treason'', though thanks to a few CGI cutscenes shot like [[FullMotionVideo FMV]]s, it can take a while before a player actually notices that. Make of what what you will.
* GarrisonableStructures: Civilian structures can be occupied, with the counter options being snipers, sending infantry in, or just blowing it up. You can also place troops on top of them.
* GlassCannon: Infantry and aircraft in general, as well as some vehicles, can deal relatively large amounts of damage but can't survive too much enemy fire.
* GodzillaThreshold: Two cases in ''Direct Action''.
** In the second San Francisco mission, [[PoweredArmor S.H.I.E.L.D units]] are deployed to halt the Consortium's invasion despite Chamberlain's concerns over revealing them to the public.
** In the final mission, [[spoiler: President Baldwin authorizes the usage of [[YouNukeEm "Wolverine" tactical nukes]] in ''Washington DC'' to bring down the uplinks directing the [[ColonyDrop Falling Star WMD]] before it can destroy the White House.]]
* HeroMustSurvive: If either Jefferson or Oz show up in a mission, they have to survive or it's game over.
* HeroUnit: Sergeant Major Ray Jefferson in ''Direct Action'', who is joined by Sergeant Oz Jackson in ''High Treason''.
* HonestCorporateExecutive: Not instantly apparent, but the oil CEO rescued in the first quarter of the game comes off as this when one realises that he was resisting Consortium efforts to take over the newly discovered Egyptian oilfields (potent enough to turn around the current oil crisis) and paid a heavy price for it.
* HumanResources: The resources aren't literally extracted from their bodies, but the player does receive money for every enemy infantry unit they capture, and every faction has a special structure which can generate money with the enemies being held in custody.
* TheMasquerade: A mundane version occurs in the second San Francisco mission in ''Direct Action'', when Richter asks General Kelly to authorise the use of S.H.I.E.L.D units. Chamberlain rejects it on the grounds that there are reporters all over the city and the revelation of the US military having PoweredArmor would be the icing on an already disastrous situation. Richter counters that [[GodzillaThreshold the already bad situation will get even worse without them]], and Chamberlain concedes.
* MissingBackblast: Probably ''over''averted, where the player can have infantry occupy buildings for added protection. Attempting this with rocket-armed troops will result in the death of the rocket guy, some or all of any other infantry in the building, and considerable damage to the building itself the instant something hostile comes within range of the garrisoned building and those rocket guys open fire on it.
* MonumentalDamage: In ''Direct Action'', the Golden Gate bridge gets badly damaged during the campaign, and the last two missions have several Washington DC monuments that can be destroyed, though this causes mission failure for a couple of them.
* MoreDakka: Every faction has a lot of it, particularly for anti-infantry or anti-air weapons.
* MotiveDecay: The plot of ''Direct Action'' went from the Consortium [[WarForFunAndProfit monopolising the increasing oil prices via terrorist attacks]] to Zakharov waging war with America [[ForTheEvulz because]] [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney he can]].
** He even lampshades it when he is brought back to the States, giving a sarcastic response when the Americans ask him why he did what he did. It is also made clear that the rest of the Consortium is ''not'' happy about this.
* NighInvulnerable: In campaign mode, Sgt. Major Jefferson. He has a ridiculously high health bar and a very, very fast HP regeneration rate. Additionally, whenever his HP goes below a fifth (where any other infantry would slowly die a painful death) Jefferson keeps regenerating and gets back up soon thereafter, making him very hard to capture. The downside? [[HeroMustSurvive If you lose him, it's game over.]]
** The same for Oz in the expansion.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Chamberlain, the US Secretary of Defense in ''Direct Action''. [[spoiler: He turns out to be a member of the Consortium, so that might be the real reason for his interference.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: Averted in San Francisco and Washington DC levels where you can find and recruit survivors of the local police and SWAT teams respectively and are [[GlassCannon capable of dealing a lot of damage, though not taking much]]. In-Story, these guys managed to survive against enemies armed with military hardware, making them definitely not "useless".
* PsychoForHire: Zakharov eventually turns out as such. He's more interested in wrecking havoc in America than making a profit from the sky-rocketing oil prices, the latter of which was the reason he was brought into the Consortium in the first place.
* PutOnABus: General Kelly gets arrested for bogus charges at the start of the expansion, though he comes back for the last few missions. Like [[DroppedABridgeOnHim President Baldwin]], he was a prominent character in the original game and most likely dropped due to the lack of live action cutscenes.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler: While he's technically betrayed the US already, Chamberlain is killed by Zakharov after he targets [[ColonyDrop Falling Star]] at the White House.]]
* RidiculouslyFastConstruction: ZigZagged. Buildings are indeed built ridiculously fast, but vehicles are dropped in by helicopter instead of being manufactured in the field.
* ShootTheMedicFirst: Given how important [=POWs=] are to the game's economy, it's vital to take out your opponent's ability to heal their troops.
* StuffBlowingUp: From nukes to falling satellites.
* TankGoodness: The Tier 3 tanks of each faction are very powerful.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Particularly evident with artillery, which always seem to know where your forces are.
* TitleDrop:
** In ''Direct Action'', there are two: Task Force Talon is stated to be a "Direct Action" team, and during the invasion of San Francisco, Jefferson says that this isn't just a terrorist attack, but an "Act of War".
** In ''High Treason'', it's stated a couple of times that Task Force Talon is wanted for "High Treason".
* UnitsNotToScale: While infantry are a bit out of scale with a few vehicles, it's mostly kept at very realistic proportions, particularly in urban combat, where the infantry can be seen inside the structure and will fire through the windows.
* TheWarOnTerror: The first mission in ''Direct Action'' is your average day "a bunch of American spec-ops forces take down a dangerous Arab terrorist in some [[{{Qurac}} unspecified Arab country]]" scenario. Then the game [[AlwaysABiggerFish escalates]] by introducing an elusive, [[WesternTerrorists non-Arabic]] [[NGOSuperpower organization]] who has been [[WarForFunAndProfit pulling off high-profile terrorist attacks everywhere for a profit]], which further gets complicated when one of their members goes [[RenegadeRussian rogue]] and starts making a mess in America [[ForTheEvulz for the shits and giggles]].
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: Every faction has access to Tactical Weapons, as well as Counter-Tactical Weapons that can intercept and destroy them.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** So, about that world oil crisis that triggered the plot...?
*** It received a brief {{Handwave}} about the Egyptian oil fields being the most potent ones discovered yet, but that's it.
** In ''High Treason'', we hear that the Consortium took over Cuba, but that plot goes nowhere once TFT leaves.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:United States Army]]
* AwesomePersonnelCarrier:
** The M2 Bradley, which packs a fast-firing 25mm chaingun. Can be upgraded to fire TOW missiles in ''High Treason''.
** The M113, which only [[StoneWall packs a HMG but has excellent armor]].
* ColdSniper: Excellent in their role, but you better make them fall back against any other kind of unit.
* CompositeCharacter: While called the "Army", [[AllThereInTheManual the manual clarifies]] that the faction actually represents the combined forces of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps.
* CripplingOverspecialization: One of the main characteristics of this faction. They have units which are far superior than any other in a particular area, but are basically useless out of their main role. For example, the F-15 is the strongest fighter plane in the game, but only carries Anti-Air Missiles.
* DeflectorShields: The Abrams tank can be upgraded with temporary shields which reduce any incoming damage.
* FunWithAcronyms: EFV ('''E'''lectronic '''F'''ighting '''V'''ehicle), MLRS ('''M'''ultiple '''L'''aunch '''R'''ocket '''S'''ystem) and FAT-V ('''F'''uture '''A'''ll '''T'''errain '''V'''ehicle).
* GatlingGood: A-10 Warthogs, though they only use them in ''High Treason''.
* GrenadeLauncher: A potential upgrade for the Marine, which causes every 5th shot to be a grenade.
* InvisibilityCloak: The EFV in the expansion can give this to any friendly unit nearby, except for other [=EFVs=].
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The MLRS is all about this. It's utterly devastating for anyone on the receiving end.
* PowerNullifier: The EFV.
* PowerUp: The EFV again.
* SemperFi: Ironically, their basic infantry unit is a Marine.
* SuperiorFirepowerBombers: US Army have access to the B-2A Spirit.
* TankGoodness: The M1 Abrams, which is [[MightyGlacier highly durable and packs a punch with its 120mm cannon]]. Can be upgraded with a temporary shield that makes it even tougher.
* YanksWithTanks: Of course, with virtually everything they use on the battlefield being taken from real life.
* YouNukeEm: Their Tactical Weapon is a tactical "Wolverine" nuke.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Task Force Talon]]
* AttackDrone: They love this trope a lot. They have construction drones, recon drones, tank drones which can switch between a 105mm railgun, a rack of AA missiles or suicide bomber drones, and drone planes. The expansion adds a modified recon drone that can become a mine and a version of the aforementioned tank drone that carries a cruise missile instead.
* AwesomePersonnelCarrier: The Stryker deserves a special mention, since you can upgrade it to become a mortar platform or an antitank unit.
* {{BFG}}: Their Heavy Snipers pack .50 cal anti-materiel rifles that can put the hurt on vehicles and infantry with equal efficiency.
* CoolCar: ''"This is a buggy!"''
* DeathFromAbove: Their WMD is the massive Mjolnir artillery piece.
* DualModeUnit: Many of their units can select an alternate mode, which can give them completely different capabilities.
* EliteArmy: To give you an idea, their basic infantry unit, the Task Force Commando, can easily dispatch any of their counterparts from the other factions even if outnumbered. They can become even more elite with the Future Force Warrior upgrade added in the expansion.
* FunWithAcronyms: [[PoweredArmor S.H.I.E.L.D]] stands for '''S'''uper-'''H'''igh-Speed(''Direct Action'')/Mobility(''High Treason'') '''I'''nfantry '''EL'''ectronic '''D'''efense System.
* GatlingGood: Sentry Turrets have these from the start, the V-44 transport has a pair under the nose, and is one of the weapons available for [[PoweredArmor S.H.I.E.L.D]] units.
* GlassCannon: The Heavy Sniper can dish out a lot of damage, but can't take much.
* GrenadeLauncher: Comes standard with Future Force Warriors in ''High Treason'', which causes every 5th shot to be a grenade.
* InvisibilityCloak: The Comanche comes with one. The V-44 can also be upgraded to have one.
* JackOfAllTrades: Their units tend to be the most versatile, typically either through DualModeUnit or upgrades.
* PoweredArmor[=/=]SuperSoldier: S.H.I.E.L.D units, soldiers wearing massive mechanical exoskeletons which allow them to [[LightningBruiser move faster, take more damage and carry bigger weapons]] than normal infantry can. Unfortunately, they become more vulnerable to anti-vehicle weapons.
* MagneticWeapons: The Spinner Drone defaults to a 105mm railgun, the Sentry Turret can be upgraded with a similar weapon, and the DD(X) Destroyer from ''High Treason'' has a pair of 155mm railguns.
* MilitaryMashupMachine: The Spinner Drone is a drone tank which can switch out its default 105mm railgun for a suicide drone or AA missile battery.
* {{Nanotechnology}}: All TFT infantry and S.H.I.E.L.D units wear special nanotech uniforms that can heal them when activated by a Nanotech Healing Center.
* SemperFi: Task Force Commandos sometimes respond to being selected in ''High Treason'' with ''"Marine SPF."'', likely a reference to the USMC's Maritime Special Purpose Force.
* YanksWithTanks: With more focus on elite special forces and advanced tech.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Consortium]]
* AttackDrone: Their Akula stealth tanks.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Polaris Sniper vehicle, which is basically a buggy with a sniper in the turret, good against lightly armed infantry but useless against anything else, another case of CripplingOverspecialization.
* {{BFG}}: The Kornet, which require two soldiers to be fired and only needs one to two shots to take down most tier 1 vehicles. Also a case of GlassCannon, as they're fragile.
* CannonFodder[=/=]{{Mooks}}: Their standard AK-74 soldier is the weakest of the basic infantry, with a Task Force Commando being able to take on 3 of them at the same time and win.
* ColonyDrop: The Falling Star project originally developed by the US, the Consortium WMD, works by making a satellite fall over enemy targets, it can be upgraded with Ebola virus to deal additional damage to any unfortunate survivor.
* FlawedPrototype: The YF-23 Black Widow, a real-life plane which was cancelled because the US military preferred the more flexible and agile F-22 Raptor, can be built by this faction. It's the weakest plane in terms of damage output, but it can attack both air and ground units and drop bombs against structures, making it the JackOfAllTrades of aircraft in gameplay.
* GaulsWithGrenades: The French AMX-10 RC serves as their main tank unit.
* GrenadeLauncher: While called and treated as a mortar unit, the MM-1 soldier is using an oversized grenade launcher.
* InvisibilityCloak: Except for the Piranha artillery and the Blackjack bomber, all of their high tier units have stealth technology.
* MagneticWeapons: The Consortium's only defense buildings are railgun turrets, which are exceptionally effective against everything. Their Akula stealth tanks also pack dual railguns.
* MightyGlacier: The Mi-35 Hind-D copter is slower than its counterparts, but it has enough armor and HP to survive loads of punishment. Once upgraded with rocket batteries and missiles, it can win a one-on-one fight even against most AA units.
* NGOSuperpower: The Consortium has enough money and tech to wage open war against America, even managing to [[spoiler: occupy Washington DC]].
* NonIndicativeName: This faction has two tech levels. The first is "Undercover", which doesn't have any stealth units, while the second is "Revealed", which primarily consists of stealth units.
* RenegadeRussian: Zakharov, the leader of the Consortium in ''Direct Action'', is Russian. He also convinces a Russian army unit to join him.
* RussiansWithRustingRockets: A considerable amount of Consortium equipment is Russian in origin: Mi-17 construction copters, AK-74 assault rifles, RPG-7 rocket launchers, SA-7 AA missiles, Kornet guided AT missiles, BTR-80 IFVs, Tunguska AA vehicles, Tu-160 bombers and Mig-21 fighters (campaign only).
* ThePlague: Basically the objective of the Consortium in ''High Treason'', and of course the Ebola loaded weapons they normally use.
* WeHaveReserves: Both in gameplay and in story, the Consortium can easily afford to take heavy casualties.
* YanksWithTanks: Consortium units that don't use Russian equipment tend to use stolen prototype tech from the US, like the YF-23 Black Widow and Falling Star WMD. They also use captured US equipment quite often during both campaigns.
* ZergRush: Considering how cheap their basic infantry is, it's an affordable tactic, although it can be countered with a decent amount of effort.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mercenaries]]
* BigBulkyBomb: The "Fireworks" illegal mercenary, a truck which can deploy a nuclear warhead.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: Need some additional fast overwhelming firepower in exchange of money? Well now you know what to use.
* CombatMedic: The "Grizzly" Rescue Team, which both can fight and heal friendly units.
* InvisibilityCloak: The "Shadow Hawk" F-117A Nighthawk is, of course, a stealth plane.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: The "Rawhide" Smerch Rocket battery (misnamed in the game, it's actually the Russian TOS-1), which has [[UpToEleven even more missiles]] than the US MLRS, great for annihilating the enemy in a rain of fire.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: We have the official, the unofficial and the illegal.
* RussiansWithRustingRockets: Quite a few of the mercenaries are using Russian equipment.
* TankGoodness: The T-80 tanks of the "Burning Legion".
[[/folder]]
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