PC Games

Published on April 19th, 2024 | by Chris O'Connor

Headquarters: World War II PC Review

Headquarters: World War II PC Review Chris O'Connor

Summary: Turn based strategy with army management set in World War II, consider your units and moves carefully.


Clever Conflict

RTS games set in World War II are pretty common and some stand out more than others. So in a somewhat saturated market, how do you stand out? Headquarters: World War II mixes a few different elements together and creates a fun to play but detailed turn based strategy game that is definitely worth a look.

The overall appearance will feel quite familiar, as mentioned there are plenty of RTS games in this field… but there’s already a notable level of polish that helps keep the interest.

You can either get a feel for things with the tutorial or jump straight in (if you’ve played these sorts of games before, jumping into the campaign is fine… there are some nuances but you can pick them up pretty quickly). Some of the main things that make the gameplay stand out are the importance of different units and how valuable cover and position are. These aren’t new to RTS games… but the implementation is well done here.

The campaign starts with the D-Day landing… you are required to secure the beach and push inland. You have a handful of different units at your disposal and you quickly learn to make the most of each one’s unique skills. You have spotters that will help you find where the enemy are positioned, mortar teams that can lob explosives from a safe distance and occasional (ie use then wait for a cool down before using again) ranged support (naval artillery, later air support etc). Racing up the beach will result in your troops being cut to ribbons… spotting the enemy and using ranged assault options can help you advance.

Depending on the difficulty level you select (from story to… let’s just call it death wish) this will either be a brutal introduction or a helpful learning experience. As you progress you have the ability to learn new skills and improve your units. Selecting what skills to develop will impact how you play and how easy or hard it will be to complete future missions. One of the aspects I particularly like is position makes a difference. There are a number of elements to this, firstly there is your position in the landscape, high or low ground imparts bonuses (or penalties depending on which position you are in), buildings and debris can be used as cover (or obstructions, to force the enemy to move around). But particularly enjoyable is the position you are in relative to the enemy and vice versa. If you can sneak up behind an armoured unit you have a much better chance of inflicting a critical hit as its armour is weakest in the rear… just as if you aren’t presenting your toughest side to the enemy, they may get a powerful hit on you.

You could drive straight down a road with armoured units and hope to eliminate any resistance you meet… but you’re more likely to enter a crossroads and be ambushed from the side. Alternatively you can send infantry ahead to spot any threats and deal with them with air support or artillery. The different bonus options you can use with their cool downs before reuse make timing potentially the difference between victory or defeat. You might have a squad that have suffered some casualty but managed to eliminate any immediate danger, then move different unit into an area where they are ambushed… if you had spent your reinforce bonus on the first troop you wouldn’t have it free to use on the second group that might just be able to hang on if they can reinforce. These little elements all add up to making the game (as the developers say) easy to pick up but hard to master.

Final Thoughts:

I have really been enjoying Headquarters: World War II. The difficulty options are perfect because I tend to find these days that I enjoy the storytelling of games more than the tough grind to success. If on the other hand you are all about the thrill of a hard won victory… you can certainly choose a punishing difficulty level. The unity variety and importance of using those differences to your advantage makes this far more engaging than many of the other “generic” World War II RTS games. Certainly consider grabbing a copy for some historically inspired RTS action.

About the Author


Father of four, husband of one and all round oddity. Gaming at home since about 1982 with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Moving on to the more traditional PC genre in the years that followed with the classic Jump Joe and Alley Cat. CGA, EGA, VGA and beyond PC's have been central to my gaming but I've also enjoyed consoles and hand helds along the way (who remembers the Atari Lynx?). Would have been actor/film maker, jack of many trades master of none.

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