Wargame: Airland Battle – Preview
Follow genre: Wargame, Real Time Strategy
Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Platform: PC

Wargame: Airland Battle – Preview

Good: Great asset to the tactical genre
Bad: Might scare of those with a lack of experience
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7.2
(5 votes)
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Recently the lovely folks at Eugen Systems and  Focus Home Interactive gave us the opportunity to try out the multiplayer beta for their upcoming real time strategy game: Wargame: Airland Battle. Now that the release is coming close, we figured it was time to tell you about our experience and how the game is shaping up.

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Wargame: Airland Battle is the sequel to the in 2012 released Wargame: European Escalation, a critically acclaimed real time strategy / wargame hybrid that brought some really nice innovation to the genre. With Airland Battle, Eugen wants to upgrade your experience with the introduction of planes (as the name probably suggest), adding new nations to the conflict and with them new units and an updated version of their engine that should result in better graphics.

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Having never played the first game I can’t be the judge of that last point but I will say the game looks pretty good, even when all the way zoomed into the battle, a camera point of view you probably won’t use that often, since this game just plays better the other way. You have a pretty big battlefield you have to overlook so playing all the way zoomed in is going to make you miss quite a few things happening. It really is a hybrid game that looks like a wargame, but for the most part plays like an RTS.

Then there’s the actual gameplay. The Beta offered 2 maps to play on, both very similar in look and size so not that much diversity there unfortunately. The game starts by choosing one of your decks that you built before playing (or choosing one of the pre-built ones). Your deck determines which units you’ll be able to deploy during the battle and as any deck game there’s a limit to what you can put in a deck and a limit to what you can deploy because everything has a deployment cap and cost. So no deploying 30 of the same units (not that that’s a very smart idea to begin with…).

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On to the actual playing. There were two play modes available in the beta: one called destruction and one called economy. In destruction you earn points by destroying enemy units and win by either getting the required amount of points or totally destroying your opponent. In economy you gain points by controlling preset areas. The first to get enough points wins. (Pretty straight forward there.) Regular maps accommodate up to eight players but the game also has a special ten versus ten mode that really blows the scale of those out of the water.

Where Wargame stands out is its difficulty. It’s a really hard game. When you play your first few multiplayer games, be it versus actual opponents or AI, prepare to lose. Now this isn’t a negative aspect. There’s nothing wrong with games being hard. In fact these days it’s usually the opposite where games are too easy and lack challenge. Consider this more of a warning that if hard games where you’re going to lose aren’t your thing, maybe stay clear of this one. That being said, those with a decent amount of RTS experience under their belt, should enjoy this difficulty scheme and might find the challenge they’ve been looking for.

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Then to what’s new in this game: the addition of air units. There’s a ton of them added and they are all very accurate to which countries used which in 1985 (when the game takes place). They add a fun dynamic to the battles and make you think about stuff like cover in very different ways. The vast variety of air units also guarantees that there’s going to be something that fits what you’re trying to do almost every time. Add to that the new units from the new nations and you’re looking at a fairly decent expansion of what the original game had to offer.

So in conclusion, even though I got my ass handed to me almost every time, I did enjoy my time with Wargame and I’m looking forward to hone my skills in the full version. Wargame: Airland Battle will be out for PC’s on May 22nd and digitally on steam on May 29th

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Rating: 7.2/10 (5 votes cast)
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Wargame: Airland Battle - Preview , 7.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

1 Comment

  1. 3rd-strike.com | Wargame: Airland Battle
    June 2, 2013, 11:06 pm

    […] of multiplayer let’s talk about that next. Now before I start I have to mention that we put up a preview of Wargame: Airland battle’s multiplayer beta a few weeks ago, so I won’t be going into as much […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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