World War II Frontline Command
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 1934
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
Date 2003-05-02
Publisher Koch Media
United Kingdom Retail Box ArtKicking off at the back of the battle, World War II: Frontline Command is a challenging real-time strategy game that boasts some quite neat ideas. Developed by the legendary Bitmap Brothers--who have classics such as Speedball and its sequel on their resume--the game initially comes across as a lesser clone of the excellent Command & Conquer series. Its interface is similar, controlling your troops follows a similar pattern and the viewpoint also bears similarities. But it's the little touches here that make a difference. Dismissing the resource management side of things, the game focuses on tactics and action, giving you a set number of troops--frequently replenished by reinforcements--and a mission to complete. Yet avoiding a battle can often be as important as fighting one here, and that's why sneaking around and hiding away are both legitimate tactics. What makes this the more satisfying is well developed AI on behalf of the computer-controlled enemy, who have a realistic line of sight, and can be satisfyingly ambushed if you play things right. On the action side, a little diversity is implemented through a secondary fire system, which equips the majority of your troops with a second means of attack, thus expanding your tactical options. Troops are also affected by what's going on around them, and are more likely to react well when their own morale is high. Credit where credit's due, there are quite a few slightly different ideas at work here, and the game pulls together very well. At heart, it's another release that's similar to others in the genre, but the long-lasting gameplay and sheer enjoyment factor do make it a worthy purchase. It's not quite the classic Bitmap Brothers fare of old, but proof positive that they still know how to knock out a good game. --Simon Brew
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