Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is a real-time strategy game with objective-based missions. Instead of simply needing to conquer the opposition, game levels often pose specific challenges to the player's squad of soldiers, such as rescuing prisoners, capturing enemies, destroying supply lines, and other guerrilla-style goals. Players can take control of the Russian, German, or Allied forces, each with its own storyline and campaign.
Soldiers features more than 100 usable vehicles, including warfare-worthy cars and trucks, personnel carriers, and tanks based on real-world counterparts. Environments are highly deformable, and nearly any building, bridge, or terrain feature can be altered or destroyed with enough firepower. The game's engine even accounts for the actual weights and velocities of ammunition in the game, producing authentic bullet trajectories based on realistic physics.
While Soldiers can be played using a traditional point-and-click method of issuing commands, the game also allows players to steer their characters directly, as in an action game, for more immediate and precise control. The game's AI is designed to present a worthy challenge, leading enemy units to hide and ambush, attack in formation, and retreat when the odds turn against them.
Soldiers is a squad-level real-time strategy game reminiscent of the Commandos series. You control a group of soldiers and work your way through several missions, accomplishing a wide variety of tasks along the way. There are four campaigns in the game (lasting a total of 30 missions in all) and at different points of the war, you can play as the Americans, British, Russians, or Germans.
One of the game's best aspects is that everything in the environment can be used in one way or another. If your troops stumble across an abandoned jeep, AA gun, or tank they can use it (of fix it). You can tell your boys to hide behind anything that could possibly provide cover, go into a house, or go prone and slither across the field on your belly. However, everything can also be torn apart, so if you are hiding inside an abandoned farmhouse and a German Tiger tank decides to blast the house to smithereens -- you're going along for the ride.
This level of interactivity makes for some truly memorable and exciting moments, but the designers decided to make the game so frustratingly difficult that you'll be lucky to get through all of the missions with all of your hair intact. Most of the difficulty stems from the way in which the missions are designed. For example, early on in the American campaign, your mission is to capture an entire town that is infested with German snipers and infantry and even a couple of 88's (big, mean guns that the Germans used for a variety of purposes). You need to kill every German in the town ... and you have five guys with which to do it. You can imagine the soldiers' faces when they hear their orders. "Yes, you five guys are taking this town! You're Americans! You can do it! Never mind the German snipers or the regiment of infantry. You can handle it." And that's the second mission of the American campaign. (They don't get a lot easier, either.)
There's also multiplayer, but it's strange in that it doesn't support any kind of one-on-one battle, yet it allows co-op play. Co-op play is something that is neglected in most games and it's a treat to see it here, but to not include any kind of competitive multiplay is a strange decision. There's is certainly fun to be had, but in the end Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is a missed opportunity; a potentially great game brought down by bugs, technical issues, and an over-the-top level of difficulty.
Pitching the player headlong into the war-torn battlegrounds of Europe, gameplay delivers extremely realistic yet explosive combat scenarios. Commanding a highly trained team of special forces behind enemy lines, your job is to get them in, execute the mission your way and get out - fast!
Over 25 action-packed missions, inspired by the exploits of World War II heroes, takes the keyboard-smashing frustration out of strategy gaming by enabling players to complete mission objectives in any number of different ways; this is no puzzle game where the 'save' key is everything! Whether you decide to stealth-it-up or go in loud with all guns blazing, victory is there for the taking.
Play as British, U.S., German or Russian forces, with authentically modeled WWII vehicles, weapons and units - even ammo - and you'll experience the totally realistic penetration physics.
There's a fully-destructible environment (all buildings and other objects) and landscape becomes scarred as your artillery makes its mark and changes the terrain with shell-holes and trenches.
The control method combines the best of RTS and 3D-action gaming, using 'Team mode' to command and move an entire unit or 'Direct Control', where you jump into the thick of the action, get your hands dirty, and take control of a single soldier.
Thanks to a very high level of detail you can pinpoint specific targets, such as shooting an enemies' helmet clean off and follow through with an accurate sniper rifle shot to the head! The end result is a hands-on action game with strategic depth.
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No Surrender: Battle of the Bulge, Theatre of War, Sudden Strike, Silent Hunter III, Sid Meier's Gettysburg!, D-Day, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Rush for Berlin
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