While the interface is being learned and the game being mastered, the AI can be adjusted for both friendly and enemy units, allowing quite a bit of control of the difficulty. Even at the lowest settings, though, I found myself having a tough time just walking through the tutorial mission, thanks to the less-than-user-friendly controls and the sheer overwhelming amount of information thrown at me from the beginning. At moderate-to-low difficulty settings, I found myself consistently crushed on each and every mission I attempted. It took me an hour of pouring over the manual to get my troops to consistently march where I wanted, rather than wandering around in circles for some mysterious reason. This is not an easy game for the casual wargamer.
This is also not a pretty game. The Falklands War takes place on what look like highly detailed, topographical maps overlaid with simplistic 2D icons. I had a very difficult time distinguishing between my troops, as there is no easy “at a glance” way to determine aggression settings, orders, or even troop makeup of a particular unit. A series of pull-down menus can be called up with a few clicks, but that’s just too clunky for my tastes. There is almost no animation, other than some rudimentary icon movement and explosion/combat graphics. Truth be told, most grognards won’t mind the simple graphics, because too many bells and whistles would get in the way of the myriad tactical details. Sounds effects are almost non-existent, and only serve as attention-getting devices to signal enemy engagement and the like.
Included with The Falklands War is a robust scenario editor, allowing the more creative members of the wargaming community a chance to add even more replayability to the mix. Even though the scenarios included are weighed toward infantry combat, the editor database includes everything needed for armor, air-to-air, and naval missions. I always applaud designers who are willing to embrace their gaming community by offering us a chance to show our own mission-building skills.
There are times I want to give two individual scores to a game—the “mainstream” score and the “niche market” score. The Falklands War: 1982 is a game that will find very little mainstream success, and most gamers won’t even give this title a second glance. I didn’t my time while playing the game, but I can see a good game here nonetheless. Much like previous ProSIM games, I am not part of the target audience. However, I can see that those who enjoy the thrill of complex, detailed military strategies will find a worthy title to add to their libraries.
A very detailed, highly complex war simulation that should appeal to the hardcore wargamer. Casual gamers beware.
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