Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far allows units the free will to decide whether or not to follow an order. Unlike games such as Command and Conquer where wave upon wave of your brave little soldiers will rush headlong into a mammoth tank (taking one for the team, so to speak), A Bridge Too Far's troops may flat-out tell you: "No!" Fortunately, as it can become seriously frustrating, this option can be turned off in the game's preferences, though it does make for an interesting concept.
A Bridge Too Far is based on the Allied operations in Holland, shortly after D-Day code-named Operation Marketgarden. Intended to take five strategically located bridges which, essentially, would have opened the road to Berlin, the action was a disaster for the Allies as poor planning and stronger-than-expected German resistance led to serious casualties. The game faithfully recreates events on three fronts and a multitude of unique environments, including everything from house-to-house on-your-belly crawls to outright tank-versus-tank battles.
Game flow is dynamic as your forces can push or be pushed back across the map. Battles contain objectives and, while controlling them individually will not actually win the scenario, the results of taking them can induce victory. The result of every battle affects the overall outcome of the campaign and you may find yourself fighting over the same piece of land, more than once. Usually, if the AI takes a major beating, it will retreat off the map leaving you the victor of that section.
Players may choose to play as the Allied or Axis forces. As the Allies, you'll be playing to secure the bridges along the route to Arnhem while attempting to reinforce before the Germans can counterattack. As the Germans, your job is to delay as long as possible, biding your time until massive reinforcements arrive.
For the most part an excellent game, Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far has a few minor faults. Battlefields are often too large so that keeping track of individual units is difficult. Units and tanks in particular will often do the most annoying things like not use the right weapon at the right time. Seeing your infantry attack a panzer with a knife is always frustrating.
Also, the AI sometimes seems to be a bit too accurate. For example, you may expend all your ammo firing at an open target and never hitting it while the computer will unfairly score a hit almost immediately. Other than that, A Bridge Too Far is a highly entertaining, historically accurate war-simulation, It will fight bravely against you and the AI is on the ball, probing, scouting and waiting to ambush you at every turn. You will play it for weeks.
Graphics: Beautiful landscapes, though troops animations are a little small.
Sound: Outstanding--players scream, yell, and shout out status reports clearly.
Enjoyment: Absolutely addictive and enjoyable.
Replay Value: You will definitely play it through at least twice. Also there is a scenario editor and Internet play.
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Close Combat 5: Invasion Normandy, Close Combat 3: The Russian Front, Close Combat, Civil War Generals 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, Axis & Allies, Command & Conquer: Generals, Sid Meier's Gettysburg!
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