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So, let’s see if I can boil it all down into one line and totally invalidate my entire review: Squad Assault, very good game, but it falls a little short of fulfilling a hardcore WWII strategists needs. It’s kind of halfway between hardcore games and those lame RTS games that just use skins from real WWII units. And yes, I totally agree with your thoughts, this new format sucks. We’ll go back to the old one next time. Thank you for using Venom’s Psychic Network. Your credit card will now be charged $563.67. Please call again.
Squad Assault is an engaging, realistic tactical wargame, but it also doesn't stray far from the Close Combat formula. While there's nothing wrong with that, there is a definite sense that we've played this game before. It would be nice to see some innovation in the gameplay. Though the 3D engine does represent an advance, it's hampered by the poor presentation. There is certainly potential, though. Developer Freedom Games plans to turn Squad Assault into a series of games, like Close Combat. Hopefully, they can build on the groundwork they've laid down in Squad Assault.
If you can get past some of the awkwardness and confusion of the game's format and interface, there's an enjoyable game to be found. The few odd crash problems that some other gamers have seen haven't reared their head in my game but I definitely see a few snags here and there in terms of the overall smoothness of the game. That there's no way to lower (or raise) the basic resolution suggests that the game isn't as scalable as it could be.
Beyond the balancing issues, Squad Assault is a solid game. This is especially true with multiplayer; you can look for balanced scenarios where command decisions will make all the difference in the outcome of a battle. The quick-paced gameplay also means that you'll have to make even more snap decisions when engaging against a human opponent and this will result in some heated matches. Some minor pathfinding issues remain with units and the game features almost ridiculously long load times even on a super-fast PC, but hopefully these issues (along with the crashes) can be fixed with a patch or two. If Eric Young and company can continue to refine what they've created, Squad Assault could be the start of a franchise that takes the action to other theaters of operations during the Big One.
Eric Young’s Squad Assault:
Western Front is another of those
small-developer, well-intended, but poorly executed
games so full of annoyances, you wonder
while you’re slogging through it if you’re
a beta tester.
Hoewel de voorgangers nog enigszins te pruimen waren, loop je beter met een wijde boog omheen dit spel.
Die Entwickler von Squad Assault verwursten
den Zweiten Weltkrieg in ein
häßliches, schwer zu steuerndes Strategiespiel.
Zu Beginn einer Schlacht wählen Sie
aus einem zu kleinen Menü Befehle. Doch
das Spielgeschehen ist unübersichtlich, denn
wichtige Ereignisse erscheinen lediglich als
leicht übersehbare Textmeldung. Trotz hoher
Spieltiefe nicht empfehlenswert.
Mit der Close-Combat-Reihe verband mich seinerzeit eine Art Hassliebe. Den genialen Ansätzen wie dem Moralsystem standen schwerwiegende Schwächen wie die unzureichende KI und die wenig motivierenden Kampagnen gegenüber. Bis zum dritten Teil der Serie waren wenigstens noch Bemühungen erkennbar, die Mängel auszubessern. Genau das vermisse ich beim Quasi-Nachfolger Squad Assault. Meine Jungs stolpern von einem Hinterhalt in den nächsten und sind völlig unfähig, Deckung zu suchen oder zwei Meter vor zu robben, um eine bessere Schussposition zu finden. Dass ich wenigstens manuell aushelfen kann, verhindert die ungenaue Steuerung. Sorry, da spiele ich lieber Combat Mission.