The American Sherman tank and all its variants did sterling service for the allies during World War II, so for all those of you who've dreamt of getting to grips with one of the ugly brutes, here's your chance.
It's a one player game containing three scenarios based on actual battles and campaigns in which Shermans played an important part. The first is The Normandy Landings, in which the Sherman is in an aggressive role: five single scenarios can be played individually in any order or all live can be played one after the other to form a sort of campaign game. The other scenarios are The Ardennes, where Hitler launched a massive tank offensive, so your role is far more defensive; and North Africa, where things are much more strategic.
Once you've decided which to play, you can alter the game's parameters to suit; that is, alter the enemy's difficulty levels and so on. Do all that and you then get your instructions from the Sarge before setting off.
Playing the game involves managing four tanks and achieving the specified objective. The first Normandy mission requires you to knock out a couple of enemy bunkers and then take control of an enemy camp. A map of the location is provided - giving orders to the tanks is simplicity itself. Simply select the destination and the tank goes trundling towards it - once all four are away you can jump into the command seat of any one of them simply by pressing a key. Then you can take control if you wish and fight the enemy yourself or just sit and watch. The autopilot can be switched back on just as easily.
Remember when playing the campaign game that you only have four tanks with which to complete the game and once one tank is out of action, it's out of action for good. That's not a problem if you play the scenarios one after the other however, because you're given four at the start of each regardless of how well you did in the last scenario.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The graphics really are very good - very fast filled 3D with options for other views as well as the usual driver's eye view. The sound isn't so hot, but it's adequate. Fast and well animated - a good looker.
With 15 missions and the ability to 'limit set' yourself by bumping up the enemy's difficulty ratings, prepare yourself for some long playing sessions. You don't have to play for hours on end, though, because some of the scenarios can be played quickly.
It's not going to have seasoned strategists running out to the shops because it's too limited in the strategy department and is a bit too close to a 3D Battlezone. Arcade fans who like to think occasionally will be pleased with it. Good fun.
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