WWII: Frontline Command

Review

posted 9/18/2003 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
The sounds in the game are excellent and really add to the atmosphere of the game. Tanks, guns, and artillery all sounds like they should. The Bitmap Brothers have also done a nice job with background sounds for each mission. For example, the Normandy beach mission features a lot of screaming in the background and machine gun fire noise. The sounds for the other units are also well done and there’s a lot of nice voice work done for the units. A nice touch is that you will actually hear the mechanized units shift gears and start up as you move them across the map. This coupled with all of the other little audio cues really adds a lot of depth to the game. There is some occasional background music sprinkled through-out the game. It’s solid but not quite the same as the Medal of Honor score.

Graphically WWII Frontline Command is well done but not ground breaking. The menu screens and interstitials have a nice WWII military ERA look to them and it helps to set the table. The in game graphics are also well done. The developers did a good job of rendering the backgrounds and units. Some of the units do look a little too similar (the squad size helps here) but it's a trade off of realism for user interface (I don't think either side would have color coded units by type…). The fog of war effect is excellent in the game. It's a small thing but it really helps set WWII Frontline Command apart from other games in the genre. There are also some nice vintage cut scenes between the mission groups, which put some perspective on what you are going to be doing next and it further helps to help bring you into the story line.

The controls in WWII Frontline Command should be familiar to most RTS players. The Bitmap Brothers did toss in a few new things to make it interesting though. You can right click the units and have them setup for the usual array of defend and guard as well as the ability to defend an area or setup an ambush. If you select defend or ambush, setup the direction in which the units will face and then they dig in. Unit speed (run, walk, and sprint,) can also be setup via the right click menu. Crawling allows you to move quietly and slowly around the map, which can allow your units to sneak up behind enemy troops. Another nice little feature is that if you accidentally click off your units you can right click on an empty spot on the map and it will automatically re-select the last group of units you had selected. Again, this feature alone isn’t a big deal but it shows you how well The Bitmap Brothers thought through the RTS genre.

The game play in WWII Frontline Command is a little slower than your typical RTS game as WWII Frontline Command feels a little more tactical with the limited resources you have in the game. The game forces you to constantly setup your troops in positions where they can cover each other and provide backup. To do this, you control your troops from one of three views, a real time 3D map (which shows you a portion of the total area), a 2D tactical map which shows you the entire area with your unit locations) and a static 2D map which shows you the objectives of the mission. If available, some search and destroy missions just offer you a clue as to where the enemy may be. You spend most of your time in the 3d view giving orders switching occasionally to the other maps to coordinate troops and figure out what you are supposed to be doing.


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