War Front: Turning Point
Alternative history RTS
The World War II era has been the focus of so many RTS games that it feels as though every conceivable facet of the war has already been covered. Digital Reality, the Hungarian developer responsible for the Imperium Galactica series, begs to differ.
- Alternative history adds character to the game
- Slows down sometimes, ultimately forgettable
War Front: Turning Point has added itself to an already bloated genre, but has developed its own little niche by following the lead of the Red Alert series — packaging alternative-history with some quirky units. The result is a game that has enough personality to stand above the crowd, at least until its audience tires of its regurgitated gameplay mechanics.
Price$ 89.95 (AUD)
For those who just cannot get enough of the Second World War, War Front: Turning Point offers enough spin on the traditional model to offer a satisfying — if ultimately forgettable — experience.
Turning 360 Degrees
The most notable feature War Front brings to the genre is its take on alternative-history. In this timeline Nazi Germany has successfully conducted Operation Sealion, temporarily taking over England until American intervention upsets this at the start of the game. Thereafter things become considerably more hectic — Hitler is assassinated, a military coup in Germany ousts the remaining Nazis, and yes, Stalin attempts to invade Western Europe. Doubtless many players will get a sense of deja vu, as the plot roughly matches that of the original Red Alert. Despite the overall similarities, War Front manages to carve out its niche by way of some above average cut scenes.
The meat of the game lies in its two 15-mission, single-player campaigns, with players taking control of either the Western Allies or the Germans. The campaigns consist of base building, the amassing of a few dozen tanks and then the inevitable rampage across the map. Toss in the odd commando mission later in the game, and you get the prototypical campaign structure that has been around for the last decade or so.
Anyone who has put time into Command & Conquer will immediately be at home in War Front as you build resource collectors and construct a base with the usual suspects — tank factories, barracks, airfields, power plants etc. The only real difference between each side is seen in the units each side employs. The Germans have more exotic items (battle-zeppelins and prototype mechas), the Allies are more balanced with some of the best heavy bomber support in the game. The Soviets (who strangely lack their own playable campaign) have possibly the best tank in the game, a five-turreted beast that can destroy dozens of enemy tanks if properly supported.
Similarities between the three sides still exist, but the inventive and quasi-historical units largely mask this. Alas, after one gets over the initial treat of deploying German mechs or Russian ice tanks, the game boils down to back and forth tank rushes.
When these three sides meet in battle everything is appropriately destructive. The game offers a graphical bonanza with battles unfolding over the rolling plains and forests of Western Europe, the frozen steppes of Russia, and several urban areas such as Berlin and London. It can become chaotic during the heat of battle with tanks exploding, airplanes weaving, and the ever present Soviet ice tanks; even on a high-powered computer, there will be the occasional slow down.
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