Combat Mission 2: Barbarossa to Berlin
The original Combat Mission was a revelation in turn-based strategy gaming. At the time of its release, most World War II strategy games were developed as hex wargames that were primarily based on their spartan table-top counterparts. Combat Mission was different – it allowed for complete 3D control of the battlefield, commanding man and machine into the chaos of battle using an intuitive turn-based interface. And it wasn’t just superficial fluff – the novel 3D camera, mixed with solid gameplay, made for a spectacular wargame.
Combat Mission 2 is set in Easter Europe immediately after the German invasion of Russia in 1941 (the operation was famously known as Barbarossa) through 1945 when the Russian forces made their way into Berlin, Germany. You’ll be given a chance to play through dozens of important battles and potentially rewrite history.
Combat Mission 2 contains both a singleplayer portion alongside LAN and online multiplayer. The singleplayer campaign is comprised of some 60 combat scenarios, each one allowing you to customize its specifics (location, weather patterns, Allied nationality and unit size), choose a side (Allied forces or Axis forces) and start fighting. Set in a 3D environment, the battlefields can be easily surveyed by moving the mouse across the terrain.
Gameplay, which isn’t of your typical-turn based mold, involves plotting all of your actions for a given turn before committing to action, and those of your opponents are carried out simultaneously. This not only adds a real-time sense of suspense to the action but also adds to the realism of the battles as you have to make an educated guess as to what the enemy is going to do. These actions are performed over a duration of 60 seconds, after which you gain control again and make new moves.
If you are new to Combat Mission then things may seem very confusing. This is one area of the game that needs serious addressing. Unlike an RTS, which is usually lightweight in comparison, Combat Mission 2 is hardcore strategy which is going to need some introducing to the player who comes to this kind of game for the first time.
System Requirements: Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MB RAM, Win95