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Cold War RTS WARNO is coming to Early Access in January

The developers of Steel Division return to modern-day conflict with WARNO

A Bradley infantry fighting vehicle and Abrams tanks advance across a field in WARNO

After a two-game foray into the battlefields of World War II in Steel Division and Steel Division 2, French developer Eugen Systems is returning to the laser-guided combat of the 1980s, with the Cold-War themed RTS game WARNO. The name is military shorthand for ‘warning order,’ which is a directive to stand by for an impending mission – and WARNO will be dropping into Steam Early Access next month.

Long-time fans of Eugen games will not be surprised to hear that WARNO is a “spiritual successor” to the developer’s Wargame series, which is similarly set during a fictionalised Cold War-gone-hot scenario. Once again, Eugen says it’ll have hundreds of individual units on offer, each one “meticulously researched” as part of the modern-day combat setting.

WARNO will feature big real-time battles of course, but it’s also adapting the Army General turn-based campaign that debuted in Steel Division 2, which is structured much more like a traditional hex-and-counters wargame. WARNO’s also updating Steel Division’s dynamic frontline, as well as its spectacular 10v10 battles.

Here’s the teaser trailer, which features bonus ’80s aerobics classes:

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Eugen says it’s bringing all the lessons it’s learned from both the Wargame and Steel Division series to bear in WARNO, which it is hoping to make into the definitive “World War III battle simulator.”

During Early Access, which starts January 20, you’ll be able to play as either the United States or the Soviet Union, but more Warsaw Pact and NATO nations will be added down the line.