Posted: April 11
Men of War: Assault Squad is a real time tactical/strategy game that takes place in all fronts in World War II. The game is different from other World War II strategy games that relies on direct control (having the ability to actually control a unit), tank realism, and individual micromanagement. The game requires a strong ability of militaristic tactics such as flaking, taking cover, support, and other attributes. Assault Squad is a terrific strategy game in its own merits, but a few flaws might make you consider to get this game or not.
One of the most greatest parts in the game is the importance of tanks. I reallly mean it. Obviously, tanks can shoot infantry and blow up things. In Assault Squad, tanks is, without a doubt, the main essential to victory. Nearly the majority of "skirmishes" requires the player to push and capture 10 control points. It is possible to take 10 control points with only infantry and support classes, but it will be very, very difficult to substain the enemy AI's counterattacks with medium and heavy tanks that will crush your forces. Tank damages is top notch and highly realistic. Assault Squad can be explained in one sentence: Infantry is the soul of your forces, but tanks is the body to move your forces to win. Another positive attribute is its immersion. The environment looks good for a 2011 game. It's not the best looking game in today's standards, but it does look pretty neat to look at. Most strategy games have a limit cap on how many units you can have, but Assault Squad does not have such cap. It's not unlimited, but you can have a lot of units under your command. Lastly, the direct control mode is really helpful when your squad cannot take out a certain position. It'll relieve you some stress in dire situations and turn these situations into your advantage.
There are some flaws in Assault Squad. One of the major problems is the AI, the enemy and your forces. The enemy AI is not stupid, but it can be very frustrating and, occasionally, exploitive. The problem is that the AI would send in two medium and one heavy tanks and 20+ infantry every two minutes as reinforcement. Sure, it does not sound that bad, but Assault Squad requires the player to be "aggressive". You can take a capture point, one at a time, and just hold your position until the enemy stops (or slows) their counterattack against you before you can start taking another control point. However, this will only increase stress. The enemy AI is really, I mean really, smart on targeting the weak spots on your tanks. Prepare to get upset when the enemy destroys most of your tanks in one or two shots. In the other hand, your tanks is not very smart. They tend to show its sides to the enemy, saying: "Hey enemy, shoot me in the back. I'm open". Basically, the tank AI is not very smart.
Another flaw in Assault Squad is punishing difficulty. There are four difficulty modes: Easy, Normal, Hard, and Heroic. The problem is that Normal Mode is not normal at all. Normal mode is really difficult for moderate players who have a decent amount of playing other RTS or standard strategy games. Hard mode requires very aggressive gameplay mechanics, but Heroic is the impossible. Literally impossible. The difficult gap is very wide and the enemy AI enjoys throwing very tough enemy units to rout your forces and probably requires you to conduct unorthodox methods to win. Assault Squad has no mission varieties besides of capturing 10 control points missions and standard defense missions (then control 3 enemy positions). Basically, no mission varieties. Unfortunately, the multiplayer in this game is dead because of GameSpy ceaes to exist so I wasn't able to play multiplayer to get the experience.
The flaws in the game sounds very discouraging, but it's not a turn off. Assault Squad is a fine tactical strategy game and relies on strategic thinking and tactical methods. Men of War is not your standard strategy game and will appeal to certain audience within the strategy game community. Do I recommend this game to other strategy players? Yes, if you only
play single player since multiplayer died. If you are looking for multiplayer, then you can get the sequel, Men Of War: Assault Squad 2 instead. It is best to only get the game when it is on -75% off, nothing else since the community in the first Assault Squad barely exist.