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Anyone who's familiar with 1C and Battlefront's previous games will have high expectations coming into Theatre of War. 1C was of course responsible for the classic flight sim IL-2 Sturmovik, while Battlefront is the team behind the amazing Combat Mission series. Even with a few problems still to be ironed out, this game keeps up the tradition of excellence with its commitment to realism and extremely detailed control of individual units. Thinking gamers will appreciate the fact that Theatre of War presents them with a series of tactical problems rather than simply a chance to rack up the body counts. And anyone who's been jaded by the ease of other mainstream RTS franchises will enjoy the fact that this is a game that doesn't coddle its players: anyone who can say they've completed any of these campaigns on “difficult” has certainly earned their bragging rights.
World War II and RTS gaming - they go together like, well, the most popular war era in the world and (amongst developers at least) the most popular war game genre in the world. PC gaming could be by all intents and purposes dead, and there would still be developers scattered around the globe producing WWII RTS's. One of those developers would probably be 1C Company, and together with Battlefront.com, they have created what could be the finest WWII RTS ever made in Theatre of War, although it is definitely not an RTS for everyone.
PC Gameplay (Benelux)
Een mooie hardcore WO2 RTS die zich onderscheidt van de rest maar niet iets té veel minpunten heeft om een echte topper te zijn!
Heb je genoeg van de eenheidsworst aan RTS-games, maar niet van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, dan moet je Theatre of War zeker uitproberen.
Word War II real-time strategy game exhaustion is so well established in gaming these days that the genre seems incapable of surprising anybody. Even the standouts, such as Company of Heroes, follow a template so well worn that it has grooves; thus, Theatre of War comes as a shock. 1C Company's take on the old Axis-versus-Allies thing replaces RTS conventions with realistic battlefields, line of sight, and weapon range. Its tactical focus and total absence of resource gathering or base building make the learning curve a little twisty for tank-rush types. However, the authenticity and atmosphere bring the Second World War to life in impressive fashion.
All in all, this game certainly won’t be for everyone. It takes a lot of effort and thinking to be successful in your battles, something that some players won’t want to put forth and something that some RTS games seem to be lacking these days. However, with stunning visuals and a very well put together engine and game system, this game certainly will be the War RTS of 2007 to look out for.
Absolute Games (AG.ru)
Парадокс, но, несмотря на все свои недостатки, "ВМ" — хорошая, сильная игра. Бой в ней — не зрелищные взрывы и переворачивающиеся бронетранспортеры. Он аскетичен, суров, в меру реалистичен и до конца держит в напряжении.
Ich weiß, was Sie denken: "Bäh, nicht wieder ein Weltkriegsspiel!" Ich antworte: "Doch, und sogar ein gutes." Klar, Theatre of War ist kein klassisches "Wargame". Schon alleine, weil das Taktikspiel ansprechender aussieht als typische Genrevertreter à la Combat Mission - zumindest in der Nahansicht. Mangels Deckung und Häuserkämpfen simuliert das 1C-Werk die Schlachten aber auch nicht so realistisch wie Combat Mission. Der Anspruch geht für mich dennoch in Ordnung: Ohne Verstand komme ich nicht weit. Wer Combat Mission schon kennt, kann Theatre of War eine Chance geben.
Theatre of War does a reasonably good job of taking the core concepts of wargames and marrying them to the more familiar RTS presentation. The highly detailed unit and combat modeling and the large impressive maps are definitely points in the game's favor.
The only real downsides to the game are that the missions don't really stand apart from one another and that the framerate dips to truly aggravating levels. The extent to which those weaknesses will affect you depends on your interest in the tactical side of the game but, even with a playable framerate, there's just not enough variety here to hold most gamers' interest past the first dozen missions or so.
The closure enables me saying "too bad!". It's a shame for all of the good ideas and the courage of marching on a "realism" induced by increased difficulty. Envisaging the warnings provided, you can test out a few missions, just to experience another representation of World War II. In any event, the multiplayer skirmishes have more chances to win out the bet.
Theatre of War really wants to be an above-average title, but lacks the attention to detail to push it into that realm. It's a focused RTS with a heavy dose of strategy, but the enjoyable gameplay is hampered by bugs and compatibility issues.
Gdy pierwszy raz odpaliłem grę, miałem wrażenie, ze gdzieś już to widziałem w lepszej bądź gorszej odsłonie. W sumie Theatre of War: Pola Zagłady nie wnosi nic zbyt ciekawego do świata realistycznych RTSów z drugiej wojny (no, może poza polskim akcentem) i ma się wrażenie, że twórcy po prostu chcieli zarobić na fanach tego gatunku gier. A szkoda, bo gdyby poprawić sztuczną inteligencję gra na pewno byłaby lepsza i przyciągnęłaby dużo większą rzeszę graczy. Pola Zagłady to po prostu średni tytuł.
When a war-game skunkworks like Battlefront.com launches a new game, it's like an arm reaches through the clouds (cue the ringing hosannas). Figure in the guys behind IL-2 Sturmovik, and you half expect something to drop through columns of diapered cherubim. How two quality ops managed to screw up Theatre of War is anyone's guess, but they did -- and with the genre on life support as it is, that's a serious bummer.