Tactics, realism, and simplicity: these are some of the main features of Men of War: Assault Squad which makes is one of the most rewarding yet supremely challenging real-time strategy wargames in existence. This review covers the main points of the game and what its developers, Digitalmindsoft, intended to achieve when dreaming up/developing/refining this sequel to the original cult hit Men of War.
Men of War: Assault Squad won’t attempt to woo potential clientele with the flashiest graphics or by offering a new spin on the real-time strategy genre. In fact, one could argue that it fits in entirely with what we’ve come to expect from the genre, particularly after playing games such as Company of Heroes or Hearts of Iron. You’ll be commanding units on the battlefield during World War II just like any of its rivals, and you’ll be responsible for many of the tactical aspects of commanding swathes of unfortunate soldiers on the battlefield.
But Men of War: Assault Squad has what can only be described as a no-nonsense approach to the action. Those players used to the building and resource generation aspects of similar games will either be dismayed or delighted to learn that Assault Squad’s primary focus is on battlefield tactics rather than the peripheral responsibilities such as grand-scale politics, economics, or state/country-level responsibilities.
This doesn’t mean you won’t be challenged the upper echelons of your limits however. In fact, you may find (like we did) that this game is a little more realistic than most. After all, the real-time tracking of variables such as ammunition, fuel, unit-level inventories, terrain shape/line of sight/cover, and field of view all make for a game that’s closer to an intricate war simulation than a grander-level strategy game.
Content and Design
Following on from the original Men of War (though definitely a stand-alone game in its own right), Assault Squad offers a healthy 15 new missions for you to tackle as well as the addition of new factions (Japan, Great Britain) and unit types. Clear improvements have been made visually as well, with the superior graphics contributing in no small way to the immediate, impactful feel of each event that transpires on the battlefield.
What truly stands out however is the game’s sublimely simple and clean interface, particularly when you consider just how measured, calculated, and altogether gruelling the gameplay can be. Though beginners will have an easy time getting to grips with the interface due to its simplicity, such inexperienced players will at the same time find it difficult to simply use brute force tactics; this simply won’t lead to victory.
Instead, the game’s complex interface, incorporating the variables mentioned above, results in a truly immersive yet magnificently challenging experience. This is a title that Digitalmindsoft has not taken lightly, and the results speak for themselves from the gameplay to the graphics through to the (quite frankly) superior combat system which demonstrates a much more complex understanding of the finer points of battle compared to its easier-to-master competitors.