Military History Commander Europe at War PSP Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 6.0
Sound 6.0
Value 7.2
Distributor: Madman
Classification:
PG
Review Date:
September 2009
Reviewer:
Kent Williams

7.0


Military History Commander
Europe at War

If you're a fan of those old turn based PC war games, than you might be in for a treat on the PSP with Slitherine Strategies Military History Commander: Europe at War that recreates this turn-based genre on this portable console.

MICRO REVIEW

The Good Turn based gaming now on the PSP
The Bad A perfect representation of a turn-based game, however there's not much more going than that.
The Ugly If you're not a fan of the genre or you have been lobotomized, than you might have more fun watching grass grow
Verdict It proves that the PSP can handle a variety of game genres.

Interestingly enough, this game targets a certain type of gamer, although I'm a little unsure as to how many would actually have a PSP. Nevertheless, the developers have successfully... or relatively (may be a better word) have successfully created a true turn-based strategy game on the PSP. It's also a difficult game to review because if you're not a fan, than you'll definitely be biased, however I attempted to review holistically and for what it was.

Features

  • Huge campaign map covering the USA to the west, Africa to the south, Scandinavia to the north and the Uralís to the east.

  • Intro movie and many in game movies at key events created from Military History TV footage.

  • 6 epic scenarios including the operation Barbarossa, D-Day and the Grand Campaign

  • Research over 50 inventions from 5 different technology areas

  • 12 different unit types including Infantry and Motorized Corps, Armour, Destroyers, Subs, carriers. Each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Recruit and attach Historical Commanders to your units.

  • Detailed and realistic combat that models supply, morale, terrain, leadership, equipment, training, strategic weapons and fog of war.

  • Easy to learn, hard to master game play that is the cornerstone of Slitherine game design.

The game itself is set during World War II and players can either control the Axis (Germany & friends) or the Allied Forces in this classic European Theatre of war. Boasting a variety of historically accurate scenarios such as D-Day or Operation Barbarossa, it's actually quite fun to change the tides of history that makes this the perfect old school game for some.

It's also funny how the developer quote an "intro" movie as a feature for this game and it actually features real-world footage of this era. Unfortunately the counter type graphics don't really mesh too well with this. After the "intro" movie, the player is met with a relatively self-explanatory menu system before you get into the game.

Once in the game, we were given a brief instruction of what we needed to do and from there, it was time to move our units. It should be noted that this game is also available for the PC and the DS with both these systems offering a much easier to control gaming interface. Fortunately the learning curve of the game is low and most lovers of this genre should have no issues in mastering the control system.

However on the PSP, the developers have managed to transfer the ease of control onto the PSP (although a Stylus would be a lot more fun). As it is a turn-based strategy, it's actually a relaxing experience and you're not forced to make too many mistakes and this is where it works on the PSP. As it is a turn-based strategy, moving units on the hexagonal map can become quite a lengthy process and a campaign may take months (in-game) to complete.

The player has access to 12 different units and to engage the enemy, you simply move your unit next to an enemy and then target it, hopefully before they target you first and this is all dependent on whose turn it is. Of course, those units with more power will generally beat weaker units.

The six campaigns in the game are quite lengthy and thankfully the developers have shared these campaigns across a variety of key moments from the war. Apart from moving units and conquering towns, you also need to research different technological areas that does help in the replay value of this game, giving you different tactics to complete your missions.

Graphically, the title is a little lackluster on the PSP but if you look at most of these games in this particular genre, it's pretty much on par. Sound effects and music is nothing too special but ironically the movies at times do add something unique to the gameplay.

Final Say

If you're a fan of games such as Panzer General or Hearts of Iron, than Military History Commander: Europe at War is probably right up your ally. Although I'm not a huge fan of this genre, the developers have succeeded in porting this to the portable world of the PSP. It may not feature those 21st century graphics, it's more akin to a board game and if that's what the developers were trying to achieve, than they have succeeded.






 
 



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