While Close Combat is slightly different in perspective from the regular C&C mold (your view is top-down), the dynamics of the game aren’t identical: you are placed in the middle of a real-time situation (WWII, Omaha Beach to St. Lo), with an interface carefully designed to allow you to maintain as much of an overview on what’s going on as possible, while you work frantically to keep your scattered units on the path to victory.
What distinguishes this game, however, is that it combines elegant simplicity of play with potentially daunting complexity of modeling. The sheer amount of information and simulation of the elements of close combat here are cleverly layered beneath a control interface which offers only six possible commands for any particular unit: move, move fast, fire, smoke, defend and hide. It’s more than enough to handle, restricted as it might sound at first.
A lesson here is that good commanders are not, most definitely, micro-managers. Let your troops do their job; learn when and where to step in and offer the right kind of leadership in critical situations. No game before could provide such an effective simulation of battlefield command. The funny thing about the game is, the easiest way to win the battles is to limit your own intrusions. As you learn more about what you’re doing, you can get more hands-on without doing the kind of massive damage you inevitably inflict on your own troops when you are first learning how to play.
Close Combat runs in such a way that â€“ as long as you’re not too compulsive â€“ you can just initiate a battle, step away from the computer, and come back from time to time to handle any problems which might have cropped up (a bit like with SimCity 2000). So you can keep the game running in the background while doing other things, without losing the rhythm of the play.
The game is also unmatched as far as providing a realistic experience of the common soldier on the battlefield, blending Command & Conquer-style action with the intracacies and behavior of more complex wargames.
System Requirements: 80486 CPU, 12 MB RAM, 20 MB HDD, Win95