Armchair generals have always been well served on the PC. Excalibur – the developer behind simulation titles like Street Cleaning Simulator – have now entered the arena and have brought their eye for detail from their simulations of mundane real world jobs to the more exciting environment of World War 2. Our resident Armchair general and guest reviewer Nikola takes a look at this entry in the series.
The first thing you notice about Theatre of War is that the level of detail is great. Each of your soldiers has his own name and characteristics and put together with the fact that your soldiers speak Russian/ German you get a great, authentic atmosphere to play in. It’s an immersive experience, you can forget about the everyday life and go back to the year of 1943 and make your way through the difficulties of that time.
If you were looking to criticize there is one issue. Maybe it is not going to be a issue for everyone, but I did have some problems with acquiring control over the camera. Zooming in/ zooming out and managing to focus exactly where I wanted the camera to rest was difficult. This became a serious problem, especially for a strategic game of the sort that involves fast decisions. Failing to react quickly enough can often result in huge losses, and at these points battling the camera is a huge pain. Of course, there is a really useful “pause” button which you can use, but it kind of “kills” the fun of the game if you need to press it every time you want to change the angle of your artificial eye.
Having said that, everything else is brilliant! I could write a great deal about the systems of the game, but all you need to know is that this is a solid simulation-style RTS game. Theres great variety throughout, you get to save people, transport your troops with trucks, use air support…
Using different tactics and using your mind in the game is really important. This is not one of those games where you need to make lots and lots of troops and then just flood your enemies. It’s rather the opposite, using your small number of forces in a smart way. Synchronisation is crucial.
Theatre of War – Kursk 1943 is a game that I would recommend to everyone that would like to play a WW2 oriented strategy game. You get everything in it – a range of environments, a large variety of different types of units, air support and too many other features to mention.
9 armchair veterans out of 10