Close Combat: Invasion - Normandy: Utah Beach to Cherbourg

aka: Close Combat 5, Close Combat 5: Invasion - Normandy: Utah Beach to Cherbourg, Close Combat: Invasion Normandie - Von Utah Beach nach Cherbourg
Moby ID: 2484
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Description

On June 6th, 1944, the combined forces of the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France launched the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of the world. The blow fell in Normandy, France, striking Adolph Hitler's Atlantic Wall with nine divisions of assault troops with support from naval gunfire and massive air strikes. Close Combat lets you relive this monumental battle in real-time tactical detail.

Spellings

  • 戰鬥神將5 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 近距离作战:诺曼底登陆 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Screenshots

Credits (Windows version)

92 People (69 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Manual Editor
Producer
Associate Producer
Install Programming
Product Test Manager
Assistant Lead Test
Core Tester
Product Test
Localisation Manager
Localisation
Audio Engineering Support
Senior Vice President
Novato Studio Director
Marketing Manager
Manual Layout & DTP
  • Louis Saekow Design
Public Relations
Legal Counsel
Special Thanks
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 74% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 2 reviews)

Take that hedgerow, soldier! And don't die at it! I love you, you know....

The Good
From the beach landings to the house to house fights in villages and towns, this game is nearly perfect. As with all games, it has its flaws. However, these are mostly outweighed by its qualities. The game comes with several different modes of play, including single battles, multiplay, and extended campaigns. It includes a mission editor, where you can create battles on the plethora of included maps. The game play is RTS, and you control about 12 groups of up to 10 men each. You can give each group of men orders, and (this is what has kept the series unique for all it years among its RTS peers) they follow orders depending on several factors, including morale and enemy presence. They think for themselves, in other words. For example, if you tell a sniper to charge a tank, expect to have a hesitant soldier. He may leave his cover to attempt to follow orders, but as soon as he hears enemy fire, he'll probably find cover once more, if he's not dead. If you order a squad of assault engineers, or even AB infantry, to attack the tank, the same goes, though sometimes you'll find units I would call "heroes," those brave enough to actually get as close as possible to the tank and try to kill those within. However, I also usually call these units "dead," because these feats are usually unsuccessful. There are, of course, units to destroy these tanks, but they are usually quite vunerable to enemy infantry because of their lack of infantry specific weapons. However, if these bazooka or panzershreck units, or any other units, exhaust their ammunition, they will scavenge the surrounding dead bodies for new weapons. The variety of units is not extreme, but it very efficiently gets the job done. There are several types of tanks and other mobile infantry for each side (you can play as both the allies and the Germans). There are snipers, assault engineers, machine gunners, recon, and general infantry troops to use, as well as mortars and anti-tank and anti-infantry guns. These all culminate in intense battles throughout the French countryside. The sounds of each gun are quite good, as are the screams of soldiers being pinned, routed, wounded and killed. You'll always know if troops are about to rout; they'll be screaming in fear. The battles are resolved by either destroying all the enemy troops, or letting time run out. You win by capturing key points on the maps, and these are marked by flags. These can either be important crossroads or buildings, and these buildings, which can either be solitary farm houses or even cathedrals in a sprawling city, can be several stories high, giving snipers and machine gunners great positions on the street fighting going on below. The true fun of this game is putting yourself into the game, imagining your troops running through the streets, imagining the intensity of your recon troops entering a house with a squad of the enemy hiding, setting up ambushes, etc. It is, in a very cliche but true way, like playing "Saving Private Ryan," or more accuratly, "The Longest Day," with your troops running through the streets of a beautiful French town. You can even order air strikes, artillery strikes and battle ship barrages.

The Bad
However, there are a few road bumps on this trip through Normandy. First, if you are getting through the maps quite quickly, sweeping aside the mediocre AI, you'll find yourself a bit bored defending the same maps. You will almost always see the enemy troops trying to break through in the same place, so you'll know how to plan. Of course, an incredible aspect of the game is the way your planning can so quickly be flipped on its head. There are times where your mortars are too incredibly accurate. If you use one to attack an anti-tank gun, expect the first shot to destroy it. Also, it can get extremely hard to keep track of all your troops, though that is expected in war.

The Bottom Line
In summary, this game is stagering. It has simple graphics that get the job done, great sound that lets you know how the battle is going, and a sophisticated way of ordering your units, letting them be humans, with fear, even though that same AI is at times lacking when playing against the computer. However, for a great WWII fix, try this game! It will make you feel like in the intense, terrible battles.

Windows · by Eduardo Gabrieloff (23) · 2002

We hardly knew you

The Good
This was the fifth and last in the original Close Combat series of games. The first two were mostly based around infantry small-unit tactics and they look very old-fashioned today. The third game tried and failed to expand the series into a large-scale strategic wargame, although in my opinion it remains one of the best games in the series.

At the time of release Close Combat V received mostly favourable reviews, although it was often opined that the game was not a great advance on the previous titles. This is a fair assessment. Close Combat V is very similar to its immediate predecessor, Close Combat IV, but it is a far superior game. Whereas CCIV had disastrously botched AI and tank movement, CCV is playable and entertaining.

The emphasis on parachute units - it takes place on the left flank of the Normandy assault, at Utah beach, the Cotentin peninsula and Cherbourg - and the initial difficulty in bringing American tanks ashore helps to return the game to its roots as an infantry simulation. Unlike CCIV you have some flexibility when it comes to selecting your units.

In essence you get two games. As the Americans you can hardly lose, and the game becomes one of minimising casualties. You have overwhelming tank superiority and your reinforcements keep coming, but you can be ground into meat by the Germans. Playing as the Germans it becomes more interesting; you have a small number of old French tanks - titchy little things like the Renault R-35 and Panzer II, and the fascinatingly retro Char B1 - and some anti-tank guns, and a variety of infantry units. Either way the maps have lots of cover, with the famous "bocage" hedgerows in abundance, and there are bunkers and houses etc. There is plenty of cover and the two-dozen or so maps can be played in several directions.

The graphics are top-down but they are still attractive today. Some of the maps are based on real-world locations and are based on photographs in war books, which is a nice touch. The sound effects are meaty and the voice acting is jolly. The violence is abstract enough to be cartoonish but not so cartoonish as to be a joke.

The Bad
Tank AI was always a problem with the Close Combat games and it is a problem here, more so if you play as the Americans (they have tanks, whereas the German generally do not). The tank AI is noticeably better than that of CCIV, but your tanks still spend a lot of time wheeling around and going into battle backwards.

Both sides have anti-tank guns. These tend to be spotted easily and destroyed by the other side's mortars in a split-second. In CCIII it was harder to see anti-tank guns and they were harder to destroy. In this game they are too vulnerable to use. You have to rely on bazooka or panzerfaust units and explosive charges, which makes the game a spooky forwards echo of Iraq War 2: The Occupation. Thankfully the maps are geared so that the enemy can't simply dominate the terrain with a distant tank. There's an emphasis on close-in fighting, and you can usually sneak up on the enemy armour and flamethrow it to pieces. The flamethrowers are probably not realistic - they are utterly lethal against everything, sealed-up tanks included - but am I bothered?

One thing the reviews picked up on is valid. Although the game simulates a beach assault and parachute landings (albeit that you do not see the landings - they happen off screen), there is no sense that your troops are going up a beach or milling around in confusion after jumping out of a C47. They move slower if they are scaling a cliff but that is that.

The Bottom Line
Joint-best of the series, along with CCIII. It didn't really get a proper release - the developers split up and the publishers went bust shortly after it came out - but you can pick it up on budget. It's fun for quick blasts, despite being in 2D, and you can use it to brush up on your German phraseology.

Windows · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2006

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Wizo, Paulus18950, Plok.

Game added October 14, 2000. Last modified January 22, 2024.