Close Combat 3
Genre Strategy -> Wargames
Today's Rank 8892
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North America Retail Box ArtThe third instalment in an award-winning series, Close Combat III: The Russian Front, sees the action move from the West to the East, as it covers the doomed German assault on Russia during the Second World War. Although the scale of individual battles remains the same, covering tactical squads of infantry and individual vehicles, the overall campaign takes in the whole encounter from the opening days of Operation Barbarossa to the retreat to Berlin, following the historical path, so that regardless of your achievements should you play as the Germans, you will end up fighting your way back to Berlin (if you live that long).Much remains in place from the previous Close Combat games, with the overhead maps and simple control methods, but where this real-time strategy game disappoints in comparison to Close Combat 2, is it's obsession with tanks. Yes, tanks are lovely, but the Close Combat engine doesn't deal with vehicles as effectively as it does infantry, with poor path finding and poor AI, both friendly and computer controlled. However, tanks are so powerful in this game, that even when working your way through the tractor factories at Stalingrad, you are better off with a largely armoured force, which is a shame as the opportunities for street-to-street infantry encounters through heavily shelled Russian cities would have ideally suited the game, but never quite come to fruition. This said, some neat additions to the series, such as leaders with set command radius and the ability to apply waypoints provide enough to keep fans of the series coming back for more. --Jason Weston
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