Posted: June 25
Wargame: Airland Battle is the extremely fun, and surprisingly unique sequel to Wargame: European Escalation. This game has many differences from its predecessors, all which are worth noting. But take into account that this is MUCH further from the typical RTS genre than its predecessor was as well. If you're looking for an old school experience, this is not the place to find it. This is the place to find the true Wargame experience instead.
+Graphics, astounding, they still hold up, no doubt.
+The sounds are very well done yet again. You can feel the weight behind every mortar.
+Wonderful unit variety. The air becomes a lot more important in this game now that planes are a factor in addition to helicopters.
+A truly fun and unique multiplayer experience. This game has pretty much abandoned Wargame:EE's more old-school approach with the 4v4 battles that mimic the genre many of us are used to and taken on 10v10 massive battles between massive armies, where every player's successes and failures can affect others throughout the map. In addtion there are battles where 20 players play on a smaller map, controlling simply a few portions of a regular-sized army, each player specializing in a field for the most part. Making you feel like you are an infantry squad commander, an artillery leader, or even a strike fighter specialist as everyone must work together to make their army work as efficiently as they can. It requires a lot of teamwork, and is a ton of fun.
-The WORST idea of a campaign I have ever seen. They threw out the typical narrative/story-based campaign out the window for a more "Dynamic" experience, which sounds GREAT on paper. They even added co-op support! Doesn't that just sound fan-♥♥♥♥ing-tastic!? It does! Unfortunately, it isn't! The campaign is a story-less fight set in the cold war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. You control one side and must defeat the other side by moving your "chess-pieces" armies around the map, initating combat with any unit they come in contact with. As you lose units in that army, the army becomes weaker. Meaning If they are nearly wiped out, you can find yourself fighting an army with rag-tag remains of an original offense force. Now imagine that in co-op? It's ♥♥♥♥ing HORRIBLE. Rather than giving you the ability to each have your own army pool, you draw from the same pool. My friend and I each controlled ONE unit in a battle once due to the miniscule pool we had. And you keep getting new "Chess-piece" units every few turns as well, most of them don't get wiped out (Nor do they regenerate units or command points) though since the AI is incredibly easy to beat on anything under hard difficulty, so you just fight massive armies with small rag-tag forces in the most painstakingly boring battles you've ever experienced. There's your campaign, enjoy.
Putting my hate aside for their campaign system, this game is still REALLY fun to play with friends against hard AI and against other players. I give the game an 8/10 total. I had a bunch of fun with it, I just suggest very highly that you NEVER touch the campaign. This isn't a must-play, but its definitely an original take on the RTS genre.