Posted: September 22, 2014
As a sequel I simply can't recommend this game. It seems to take several steps back, and in doing so hits it's head against an open cupboard.
Firstly, there's the issue of why Theatre of War 2 comes in 2 games, each with their own add-ons? The answer to which illudes me completely. The original game had way more content, more nations, and a wider time period. Poland and France have been removed, and Italy and the USA needlessly funnelled off into their own game (which is also suffers from a severe lack of content). The British only have equipment they had at Caen, and not even all of that is present (have you ever heard of the RAF, 1C?). Are we to believe the feed back for the first game was "there's too much stuff, I want less choice"? Obviously it wasn't, so this is another quandery with no real reasoning.
Secondly, there's a grand total of one new mechanic. It's not even pluralisable. Just the one thing that's been added. It's not a terrible one, just poorly executed. The new mechanic is points. You spend points on the task force which you take on missions, and you get points for destroying enemy units. This in and of itself works fine, although knowing what's worth what would be quite nice, as you've no way of knowing in the middle of a battle (or in the menus for that matter). The only real downside is that your support now costs points. So you need at least 3000 points before you can call in artillery. Given that the average tank kill gets you about 400~ points, you need to wipe out roughly an entire battalion of tanks before High Command decide the situation looks a little hairy, and grant you off-map arty support. I'm not sure why this change was made, as artillery and air support were finite resources anyway, so you could quite easily blow it all on a not-so-serious attack and only realise later there's still another 300 dudes to kill, and your 6 remaining shells probably won't do the trick.
These are just the starkest of the games faults. There's so many little things going wrong as well, from unforgivably bad sound design (Brits speaking in American voices and the generally empty feel of the soundtrackless battles (the music slider is actually greyed out but left in)), all the way to awkward, but sadly compulsary, infantry micro-management (I shouldn't have to manually give my MG ammo while I want to be flanking a Tiger with my SU-85). It's just so frustrating to have a beautifully rendered WW2 battlefield, and then feel consricted and fustrated by mechanics of the game.
Wait, why am I spending 3 paragraphs moaning about a 4 year old game nobody even plays? Perhaps I'm passionate about the subject? Or just unemployed?
It's the second one. Hey 1C, give me a gig as a play tester you f**king hacks!