Not good. Those two words pretty much sum up the total effect playing Campaign II has on your basic strategy war gamer. At least this one. With so much potential, the anticipation factor accompanying the issue of the title was only dampened slightly by the tendrils of bad memories that still lingered from playing the original. I should have known better. In scope, the game can't really be faulted but in trying to do too much, it seems like a few small details like fun game play and realistic weapon simulation got short shrift. Basically, the game allows the user to re-create (or at least fight) every major military conflict throughout the world since 1945. There are fourteen gradually more difficult training scenarios to get you up and running and a huge assemblage of tanks, helicopters, flying craft, weaponry and tons of other hardware. This would be a wonderful thing if it weren't for the fact that in most cases, using the hardware is dismayingly disappointing in terms of handling and effectiveness. Nearly all sense of being on the battlefield with the control of the vehicle or tremendous power of the weapons of mass destruction in your hands is negated by the obvious feeling you are, not always successfully, doing nothing more than maneuvering a bunch of poorly drawn computer images of various war craft across a laughably barren and plain landscape.
Not to mince words, the graphics in the game are terrible with the possible exception of the static equipment screens (but even that will be a matter of personal taste). The maps are just downright ugly with shaky looking text and non-existent terrain features (other than blotches of color). The icons are blocky and crudely designed and the overall look is something you'd like to shoot a weapon of mass destruction at, not in. The artificial intelligence routines really live up to the descriptive part of the phrase -- artificial. Allowing the computer to take control of the entire battle gets you an interesting version of kick-back or king of the hill. It sure doesn't revolve around tactical considerations. The interface can be a confusing amalgam of mouse clicks, joystick maneuvering or keyboard input and often, even though on-screen action calls for it, these control devices do not work well with each other. More unfortunate is the absolute lack of any intelligence at times by the individually computer-controlled units assigned to carry out specific tasks. The result of vehicle intensive battle can be reminiscent of a race track having a demolition derby for the amusement of the fans. Summarily, there is just not that much to work with here that can allow any sort of recommendation to play it. Game play is boring and simplistic looking, battles often become a mass of confusing movement with frustrating unit control and the interface is in your face most of the time. All of this brings us around to where we started and in this case bears repeating: not good.
Graphics: Well, they are better than Spectre VR.
Sound: Put on a video of your favorite war movie for background sounds.
Enjoyment: The scenario editor itself would add value to the game if the game play supported the feeling of accomplishment you get after designing your favorite battle. As is, there's not much in the way of end result satisfaction of play to provide much incentive
Replay Value: In all fairness, the scenario editor does prolong the amount of game play possible. The question is, who will want to?
Campaign II is a strategy land-based wargame and the sequel to Campaign.
The game covers practically every major war from 1945 to 1991 including: Korea, Six Day War, Yom Kippur, Vietnam, Iran/Iraq and Kuwait with several scenarios in every location and accurate equipment modeling for each time frame.
It also includes 14 training maps and a scenario editor.
Veteran wargamer M. E. Brooks spares no punches in his criticism of this inferior sequel to ambitious Campaign:
"This simulation of modern conflict took a mediocre gaming system (Campaign) and completely flummoxed it. Covering hypothetical battles, this also portrayed Korea, Israel (1967/1973), Vietnam (1962), Iran-Iraq (1980s) and the Gulf (1991). The simulation's strongest aspect was its task force organization (reminiscent of Patriot), but its historical accuracy was abysmal. The 1962 Vietnam scenario showed South Vietnamese and American Corps arrayed against the North Vietnamese Army in a conventional confrontation; in 1962, the U.S. had less than 1500 advisers in-country. In summary, the history was non-existent, the lessons of warfare more akin to race car driving and the overall level of enjoyment approaching that of a moderate case of hemorrhoids. At least it did not rewrite the hard drive ... " Ouch. Worth a look only if you like alternate history games, or want to try a fancy 3D tank simulator that bears no resemblance to reality but offers a bit more complex gameplay than the likes of Carrier Command.
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