By AlexW00d 11 Comments
This happens to be the second game I bought this pack for. I would have totally got around to writing this blog sooner, but already having played quite a bit of the game co-op - and really enjoying it I may add - I didn’t really know how to do this game justice in a blog; and I still don’t, but here goes anyway.
As you may have seen in a previous entry in this blog series, Men of War is the sequel to Faces of War, a game I played a couple weeks ago. The easiest way to describe this game would be to copy and paste that blog and add how Men of War is a similar game - obviously - but much more refined. That’s a terrible cop-out though, and this game is worth so much more.
So it’s an RTS - or, as people like to call it, a Real Time Tactics game - set during the second world war; you can play as the Soviets, the Nazis, and the Allies, each with their own campaign set in various parts of the world: Russia, Northern Africa, Greece, and Central Europe. You control units individually, and can group them together for ease of control, and you must complete various objectives on the battlefield, including: freeing PoWs, stealing documents, assassinating officers, sabotaging equipment, surviving enemy onslaughts, and various other things.
The units you control are only ever specialised by the equipment they are carrying; for example, a unit may be given to you as a machine-gunner, but if you need, or have to, you can ditch the machinegun and equip the unit with a rifle, or submachine gun. The same with vehicles; if you have enough men you can commandeer tanks and have your men take up each role in the tank, allowing for the optimal usage - you can still use tanks if you have less than the required amount, but you must sacrifice being able to fire your machine and main gun at the same time for example, as the men you have in the tank must fulfil all roles. Again, this is also the same for artillery; you need at least two men to be able to move a Pak-40 and be able to aim quicker.
There are two ‘flaws’ I feel I should mention although, to be perfectly honest, I don’t really think they hamper the game at all. Firstly the voice acting is mostly pretty awful, but this is only really for the intro scenes and any interim, objective explaining scene - most of which I skip anyway as my framerate gets awful whilst they play - the rest of the time the background voice work is generally in the native language of the units you are controlling. Secondly, as more importantly - but kind of less importantly too - this game is balls hard; by that I mean the opposition usually has way more units than you do, and they are fragile as you are, and you really need to be a tactical mastermind to complete the missions on anything above easy - and even then you need to be a tactical genius to complete some of them on easy. But, and this is a big ol’ but, it’s this difficulty that has lead to some of the best moments of the game. Whilst playing with dudes, we have on countless times lost all but about 3 of our units, yet gone to still wipe out the entire enemy force, or complete the objectives at hand anyway. It seems to turn into a case of crawl really far past enemies and throw either AP grenades at explosives, or AT grenades at Armour, and proceed to sprint away; or managed to repair a slightly damaged tank or Flak cannon, and managed to pummel the enemy into a wonder submission. Even though this more-than-likely isn’t the way this game is meant to be played, it’s definitely a rewarding way.
Another thing some might like, some might dislike - it’s probably fine in single player where you can save - if that some missions do take a while. Most are between 30 and 45 minutes, but some, one especially, can take much longer, almost 2 hours in one case. It was a multi-tiered mission, starting with a stealth mission to knock out some stuff - which would have helped with the later stages - which we happened to fail setting off alarms and getting generally shot. After that came an all out offensive on Nazi land, pushing really far back and then up a hill ending with a base we had to capture. The first part was fine: the battlefield was basically just two flanks to push, and we managed this bit fine, gaining units as we went; next we had to push on three fronts, but we gained the ability to call in various methods of backup, including more infantry and tanks, and strafing runs from aircraft, with these we were able to push forward to the hill. This is where we lost our first comrade; the game had been running for about an hour at this point and you know, an hour is a long time. After about 20 minutes of pushing we managed to make it past the first tier of the hill and its intertwining paths, and it’s also when the last two players dropped, leaving me on my lonesome, but thankfully, the AI kept sending its troops forward, into mostly oblivion, but it was definitely helping, as I was able to sneak off to the side with my crack units of kung-fu masters - a lot of my units had straight up ran out of ammo, as they had been alive since the beginning of the mission, so they had to meleé the enemies to death - and commandeer various flak cannons, and even at one point a Kingtiger tank, and it was thanks to these that I
managed to win. The winning moment of that match was a great one: I had managed to sneak 5 of my guys, of which only one had a weapon, over to the base - which was walled - and around the corner behind cover, I took my armed soldier, and managed to have him take out the nearest enemy soldiers with a grenade and his DP-28, and was able to keep overwatch whilst I had another of my men repair the Jagdpanther sitting next to us; I used this wonderful, wonderful tank to smash through the compound wall, take out two of the AT guns, and roll it into the middle of the yard, whilst the AI controlled units rolled in through the front door and swarmed the enemy. Then up popped the victory screen and it was glorious, glorious I tell ye. Then I realised I had been in that one single mission for 111 minutes. Which is insane. We had defeated 440 enemy units though - this wasn't even the most: in one mission the death toll was over 600.
And I think that concludes this blog; I’m not really sure whether what I wrote was what this game deserved, and it does kind of feel like I just rambled, but still: THIS GAME IS REALLY GOOD.
I have three expansion packs of its to play through too, I may or may not write some stuff about them, depends on how I feel. I wrote this after getting literally no sleep last night and working a 7-3 shift. Now I am rambling. Sayonara fools.