Review by Joke Reviewer

"One of the greatest, but hindered by terrible balance."

Graphics: I'm not going to scream mindless computer garble at you, I'll make it neat. The game looks freaking fantastic. Everything looks crisp, clear and insanely life like. Awesome animation, awesome lighting and legendary physics. Every single thing in the game world bends, burns, crashes and explodes. A bullet could pierce a wooden wall and hit a guy on the other side, or flying debris could kill a man. Every single thing in the game reacts as it should, which is very nice. My only complaint is that the requirements are rather steep to play, and that the maps really aren't that good. They hardly have the shine and polish they should. All the city maps are pre-destroyed, and open fields are just that. But at least they look good. Again, fantastic environments and brilliant foliage and reactions for everything. The cut scenes are also equally impressive, as they run off the in game engine. But the best part is the attention to detail for everything. Boots leave prints in the ground, dust kicks up when tanks and machine guns fire, etc. Bravo, Relic, you've made the best looking Real time strategy. 10/10

Sound: The sound quality matches (If not surpasses.) the graphics quality in this game. Everything sounds eerily familiar to its real life counter part, from machine guns rattling to the concussion of tanks firing, and the deafening sounds of artillery raining down on positions. Equally good to the almost perfect sound delivery are the voices, which are great. The voice acting is pretty sweet for a real time strategy. They won't just bark out the same slogan, but they'll actually talk and comment on the task their doing (They mumble how they cut their hands on barbed wire, for example.), and its all very comedic sometimes and very good. But really, the best I can explain the quality is listen to everything in real life. The quality is that good. 10/10

Story: WWII, German's must die, etc. You follow Able company as they move from Normandy into France, taking towns and cities. Your run of the mill stuff. Nothing impressive, nothing terrible. Just another History lesson. 4/10

Game play: Generally you start with some engineers, and then you are told to conquer the enemy. You basically have to control points on the map, which in turn give you resources to build an army to crush the enemy's HQ. (They do the same.) Before I get into that, I'll explain the resources. Unlike in all other strategy games, you get resources by capturing points. Capturing an oil field will give you some amount of oil points per minute, same goes for ammo and manpower fields. Manpower=Money, its the basic fund. Ammo is used when firing artillery or throwing special weapons like grenades or TNT. Oil is the spine for armor and vehicles, it is key if you want to counter the enemy's tanks and half-tracks.

Now, as for the combat my judging is mixed. The game is explosively exciting, intense beyond all words any language has to offer, and beyond brutal. However, the balance is null. The Germans will /always/ win. Period! They have the most units, the best tech tree, the best tanks, the best support infantry, etc. They get Tigers, thats all you really need to know. If you don't instantly rush at their HQ, you will loose. Unless you're an elite Strategy game player, you'll instantly be turned off by the unfair balance, and that there's only two factions to begin with. 15 minutes into the game Flak guns will own all your plane attacks; and tanks. Screaming rocket launchers will rip apart infantry positions and camps. Its a bit of a shame that the balance is so off.

But before the Tiger's and artillery mean death for the Americans, you can set up defenses which is frankly, my favorite part of the game. Bunkering down and building sandbag walls, tank traps, mine fields, machine gun turrets and more is just awesome fun, as you can do it whatever way you want. Creating a 360 defense in the center of a town just rules, and what rules more is the enemy not finding away around your mine fields. But eventually you will, and you will experience countless awesome battles until the latter technological tree kicks in for the Germans, and then Tigers start showing up as do artillery barrages and what not. I'm not saying you can't beat them, but the average gamer will be so confused as to what to do.

Summary: The balance isn't great, but the battles sure are. To riddling bullets into the enemies as they run through a mine field, to trying to charge through one yourself are just two of millions of scenarios this game offers. Almost all of them end in a slow allied retreat (If your good or played the game for a while, then it will switch to a slow and eventually victorious allied push.), but thats alright. The battles are fun enough to play. And boy are they violent! 8/10

Replay: Not that great actually. Two weeks in and I shelved it. It has a good campaign and nice skirmishes, but thats it. I'd still be playing if it weren't for only having two factions, that sucks. But this is still a quality game, and if I want to see some carnage, I'll pop it in. 7/10

Final: Buy it. I mean you can't rent it, right? If a friend has it, ask to borrow it from him/her. Its a good game, but suffers from some serious balance issues that are all seriously exploited in multi-player. 8/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/24/07

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