Here’s something you don’t see every day, Square Enix making a World War II strategy game which covers real historical events and not a role playing game which involves pointy eared characters in some fantasy land. Order of War focuses on the end of World War II and is set in the 40s as you push back the German Axis from France or play as the German army trying to repel the Red Army from the East.
A couple of years back Company of Heroes did a good job of telling this story so how does this RTS shape up? Well it turns out that Square Enix seem to have made a rather good game.
In typical RTS style you point and click your way around the map, swooping round the objectives as you command your soldiers, tanks and artillery to push forward and hold ground. You can also call in air strikes and bombing runs when the situation allows it and of course have to play to the strengths of the resources you’ve been given. For example, foot soldiers can launch surprise attacks on artillery by moving through the trees or can entrench themselves for better protection.
I’m not very good at RTS games but it’s good to see the game also caters for players like me. In the early stages each level is divided up into smaller objectives and you’re shown exactly what to do. Your commander even sends in more troops if you’re running low. And if you need some thinking time you can pause the game and still give orders to your troops to get the upper hand.
You can watch the action from above or zoom right in, and at the touch of a button the game goes into cinematic mode where you can see the fight in great detail. A nice touch indeed.
The music is also excellent although the accents of your commanders can be a little over-the-top at times. With the single player campaigns and online and skirmish modes, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. If you’re a World War II boffin and you like your strategy games, then this one’s definitely worth a look.
Order of War gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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