Men of War II – Review
Follow Genre: RTS
Developer: Best Way
Publisher: Fulqrum Publishing
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Men of War II – Review

Site Score
Good: A plethora of customisable modes
Bad: Mandatory online, even in single player
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Fans have eagerly been waiting for Men of War II ever since it was first teased back in August of 2022. The game was set to launch at the end of that year, but was delayed several times, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, where developer Best Way is based. We’re not going to go into the whole idea of a Ukrainian developer bringing us a war game where Russians are a playable faction, as that’s a completely different can of worms. Instead, we’re taking a look at Men of War II as its own thing, because the game is finally here, and we’re more than eager to find out whether the wait was worth it.


Set against the well-known background of WWII, Men of War II presents players with a series of fictional campaigns, each telling the story of a different faction; the Russians, the Americans, and the Germans. We won’t be going into detail here, as there are simply too many different scenarios to detail all of them, but we can tell you that the stories are well-written and presented in a cinematic way, making each campaign feel like you’re playing through a movie. A disclaimer makes it clear that although the game takes inspiration from historical events, all the narrative content in the game is still fictional, and any resemblance to actual events is coincidental, which is a bit of a contradiction in itself.


There are literally hundreds of different units in the game, each represented by in-game models, and historical accuracy is key here. The end result is nothing short of impressive, if only because of the sheer amount of work that went into lovingly rendering both the combatants and the environments. Even on our mid-range hardware, the game looked fantastic, both when getting an eagle-eye view of the battlefield and when we zoomed in on the gruesome carnage of war. Even then, the game’s performance was good, with only minimal stutter. The game’s narrative cutscenes are particularly impressive, underlining the vivid nature of the campaign.


It’s not just a visual spectacle that Men of War II has to offer, as the game’s audio is great too. We recommend using headphones to fully immerse yourself in the theatre of war, as the game’s sound effects take center stage here in bringing the war to life. The game also boasts fantastic voice acting and a suitably cinematic orchestral score.


While Men of War II might seem like the next thirteen-in-a-dozen RTS title at first glance, it’s actually a surprisingly layered and deep take on the genre. The unique hook here is that it’s just as easy to issue orders to your entire army as it is to take direct control of a single unit for precision maneuvers. It’s also a brutal affair, where the lives of your soldiers feel cheap as you send them into the meat grinder that is the battlefield. Every inch of said battlefield that you manage to claim feels like a reward in itself. Fortunately, the game is also one of the more accessible and intuitive RTS titles we’ve seen in recent years. New recruits can easily navigate the battlefield thanks to an excellent tutorial, whereas veterans returning from previous Men of War titles will find that the ability to micromanage your army has been taken to an unprecedented level, in a good way. Yet, at its core, Men of War II also doesn’t lose focus: beneath all the bells and whistles still lies a solid fast-paced RTS too, where your aim is to get in, clear your objectives, and get out as fast as possible.

You have a myriad of options to achieve those objectives too, and the beauty about Men of War II is that the power creep that is so common in the genre is notably absent here. Instead of more advanced units simply costing more and overpowering basic units, everyone has a fighting chance. A regular soldier on foot may just carry an anti-tank grenade, and a lucky shot could destroy your opponent’s biggest machine of destruction as a result. The downside to this is that Men of War II doesn’t always feel as balanced as it could be, but ultimately this is an accurate depiction of the sheer chaos of war, and it’s those rare moments that linger with you and make the game truly feel as unique as it is. And like we said, life is cheap on the frontlines. Sure, it hurts when you’re on the receiving side of a lucky shot, but these won’t take out your entire force at once, and you can always recruit more soldiers, provided you have the necessary command points. Furthermore, the units at your disposal have their own unique ways of dealing with objectives, changing up the dynamics of how you tackle missions depending on which troops you have access to.

There are over 400 units here, spread across three different factions, with each faction feeling distinct and unique. Everything gradually unlocks as you clear missions and achievements throughout the game’s single-player campaigns. These unlocks also start happening as soon as you start clearing the tutorial, which is something we recommend anyway, as it is one of the most concise and clear tutorials we’ve ever seen. After this, campaigns are waiting for you for each of the three factions, resulting in quite a lot of single-player content for a game that seems to be mostly geared towards multiplayer. Alongside the “classic” mission-based narrative campaigns, single-player also offers Conquest mode and Raid mode. Conquest involves taking strategic turns on a map, with battle ensuing when troops run into one another. Raid is the opposite, and is based around a series of short skirmish missions. One thing that baffled us was that Men of War II must always be online, even while playing single-player. We get that this isn’t going to be much of an issue for PC players in 2024 in practice, but this still seems like an unnecessary and arbitrary requirement.

Even so, both the longevity and meat of Men of War II are to be found in the game’s three online multiplayer modes: Classic, Battalions, and Combined Arms. Classics is the most straightforward multiplayer mode, and sees you take to the battlefield where you try to outfight opponents in straight-up battles limited to 100 command points. Battalions is where you can team up with friends to take on opposing teams through up to 5v5 PVP matchmaking. The key here is the so-called Echelon system, which is absent in Classic. This system limits rushing, as Echelons ‘unlock’ over time, gradually increasing the available command points. Combined Arms follows a similar setup, also incorporating the Echelon system, although it is geared more towards 1v1 PVP. All three multiplayer modes can be customized too, such as playing with tanks only, which completely changes the dynamic between the different units. And if that wasn’t enough, the single-player campaigns also have a co-op version, where you team up with up to 4 friends to take on the missions rather than one another.

It’s an incredibly sizable package then, and that’s without even getting into the game’s so-called realism setting, which is aimed at the most advanced players. This mode fundamentally changes the game’s overall dynamics, by removing a lot of UI information and instead relying on your knowledge of the game and its systems. Admittedly, this was more than we could chew, though perhaps this is something we’ll return to once we’re more familiar with the ins and outs of Men of War II. Fortunately, the game’s learning curve isn’t all that steep, and we found our footing much quicker here than in other modern RTS WWII titles like Sudden Strike or Partisans 1941. We also feel like we’ve only barely scratched the surface of what the game has had to offer, and we’re looking forward to seeing how things evolve over time as the player base grows and a meta forms.


There is plenty of choice when it comes to RTS games set in WWII, but Men of War II succeeds in standing out from the crowd in multiple ways. Whether it’s the layered gameplay, the easy learning curve, the immersive storytelling, or the plethora of content, there’s something here for almost every kind of player. Sometimes victory depends a bit too much on a lucky strike, but that’s accurate to real life too. We could have done without the mandatory online for single-player mode, admittedly. All in all though, Men of War II is an impressive RTS title that turned out to be well worth the wait.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Men of War II - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.