Publisher Matrix Games, and developer CSO Simtek, bring Germany and Russia together in tactical combat. This particular version has its good points as well as its not so good ones. First on the list is the graphical features that the game presents. I can state that the graphics are so- so compared to other war games I’ve played. The maps are somewhat plain with problems in elevation not showing properly. What you think are hills or dips in the terrain, make line-of-site interesting to say the least.
Tanks, artillery, and soldiers are blocky, among other things, producing poor visual effects that can impede game play, especially in a real time game. I had to turn off the visual effects for dead soldiers, since they confused me when moving my active troops to their objectives. Honestly, I expected better graphics for a tactical game.
Game play, on the other hand, is heavy with the line-of-sight theme as I previously stated. You may see your target, but any change between can cause frustration when you’re unable to blast away. Morale is a factor that if you tell your squad to move and they are fired upon, they will go into sneak mode. This causes your plans to go up in smoke if you were trying to take an objective. They will seek out cover or may panic, even in some cases surrender.
Commands are easy to call up. By right clicking the squad of soldiers, or individual vehicles, you bring up a pop-up box. Click the command you want and they will try to accomplish it. Not every time mind you, though in most cases they will. You can also box then drag and click to move. You can get more advanced commands such as move fast, ambush, defend, sneak, and fire.
With the firing command you get a range indicator toward the enemy indicating if you can hit them. Mortars and artillery have indirect capabilities that let you shoot over hills. This is great if other squads have spotted the enemy. Keep in mind that there are ammunition restrictions for various units, so shooting repeatedly can have undesired results when it’s really needed in the game.
Real time is the main feature of the game, and what makes it even more imperative is a timer added. All the scenarios I looked at gave you thirty minutes to win the mission. This really gets exciting when the minutes are ticking away and you hope that the enemy can be routed if you have trouble capturing the objectives. In the early part of the campaign I was playing, the Russians ran away quite frequently. Soldiers can be awarded medals, experience, promotions, and injuries among other things. You can rest, refit, or retire your squads. Upon receiving promotions you can increase the squads or type of equipment to support them.
Games are made of campaigns in which you play various scenarios. Scenarios are made up of missions. Then there are the single missions. The game autosaves after every completed campaign or scenario mission, so you won’t lose your place or have to replay from the start. Cross of Iron also has a very powerful scenario editor with a big database to gives all those mod developers something to sink their teeth into. Replayability is strong and additional missions can be downloaded. This is great for those who like tactical combat and want their money's worth. Multiplayers can rejoice as they can link up and play the missions by heading to the MM CCIII Client. New downloads can even be retrieved from closecombat.org.
Altogether I would say that even with its graphical disappointments and odd ball glitches, this is still a worth while game to entertain you war game officiados.
My knowledge of the industry mostly evolves around beta testing games, such as Earth & Beyond from EA, Saga of Ryzom, and companies like MSN and Acolade. Self taught web design is another interest I have. Family life is entertaining at times. It also can get weird as well, after you have been married 31 years.