User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 37
  2. Negative: 11 out of 37

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  1. May 8, 2014
    There is simply no better tactical war simulation game available, and I've played most all of them. I do not understand anybody who tries to discredit this game for a bunch of nit-picking factors, those are the only negatives I have seen, both personally and from others discussions. If you can find a better tactical wargame, please do tell me what it is and I'll play that. Good luck.
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    A brilliant game, needs some time to understand everything going on "under the hood" of the game, but it is the most realistic squad level strategy bar none!! As well as looking great there is a real attention to detail for authenticity.
  3. Oct 29, 2013
    Combat Mission Battle for Normandy is an immersive game that has proven to be one of the best tactical WWII games on the market. The developers have clearly put an extensive amount of effort into researching WWII units and Normandy terrain to create as historically accurate of a battlefield as possible. The game engine is incredible and serves to challenge the player to win a battle with actual WWII tactics. There are no spamming of units or human wave attacks in this game. The player has to maneuver his tactical elements within the 3d battlefield to maximize their strengths against the opponent's weaknesses.
    The results of all of this is a game that immerses the player into the battles of Normandy more than any other game on the market. The typical gamer who grows up on playing RTSs like Red Alert of StarCraft or first person shooters such as the Battlefield series will be shocked by this game and may not find it appealing. This game is meant for those who have a legitimate interest in WWII tactics and history as well as possess a certain level of patience. For those who do enjoy it, though, are rewarded with infinite replayability and constant patches and modules that are released by Battlefront to introduce new game features, units, and campaigns.

    Try the demo and see for yourself whether or not this game is for you.
  4. Oct 29, 2013
    Never before have i played a WW2 game with so much attention to detail or that was so intense, and unforgiving. The game has a steep learning curve, but once you learn it you will be rewarded. I have CMbn and both its modules (expansions) and there is no other ww2 game like them in the world.
  5. Sep 25, 2014
    Best ww2 simmulator out there, its has its problems but it doesent compare, takes time to learn though. Theres more on the series that came out and the turned bases style can make you play masive battles.
  6. Oct 20, 2012
    Having been a big fan of the Combat Mission series, I was happy to hear that they had released a newer, more up to date version of the series with Battle for Normandy. While the spirit of the BfN is in the same vein as Combat Mission, it seems (to me, at least) to play on a smaller, more intimate scale than its predecessors (WW II Combat Mission, specifically). Now forces are represented on a 1:1 scale (yes I know this is not the first time) for the WW II setting, and while it does sport improved graphics, they are not extremely flashy or impressive, unless you compare them directly with the original Combat Mission, and in that respect its much better. The game itself has some idiosyncrasies that tend to increase the frustration, such as shaky path-finding, some questionable decisions on the interface, animation problems, etc, but even with all these problems (which patches have fixed many issues), the game delivered to me an almost unimaginably stressful, nail biting combat simulation. The game works on probability more than hard yes's or no's and a given turn can play out differently each time depending on what happens on both sides. I love this feature a lot, as I was never too sure whether I was advancing through a field, while under fire, in a safe enough manner or if there was some precaution that i could have observed before advancing that would have improved my soldiers chances of survival. This to me, is what I believe a commander would face day after day, and I felt the BfN conveyed the burden of command well, especially in the campaign mode, where you have to manage you're companies resources with the expectation that reinforcements/ammunition would not be replenished immediately after a battle. I love this game for its variety and options and even with its flaws or shortcomings, it still holds my attention and is a lot of fun to play and has a some-what sandbox approach to how you accomplish your objectives. I hope they continue to make more of these games and continue to tweak the game-play of each addition to the Combat Mission family. Expand
  7. Oct 25, 2013
    CMBN has evolved into a solid title in the 2nd gen of the series. Sure it could really (desperately?)use a more robust graphics engine but the core gameplay is there. I play all kinds of games but Combat Mission will always have a special place in my gaming hobby world.
  8. Oct 2, 2012
    Whilst I'll start this review by stating you'll probably have to have an interest in tactical combat or military history to get the most out of CMBN, I myself tick this box and have been playing CMBN for almost a year now, and still get as much out of it as I did when I first started playing. I'll also admit that Battlefront could do a lot to improve the UI (particularly where multiplayer is concerned. But this said multiplayer is where the best experiences are mostly to be had in CMBN (although their are some terrific single player campaigns out there made by the CMBN community - I particularly recommend 'Devil's Descent' which can be found in Battlefront's repository). In all but the smallest scenario maps you will probably need to forgo real time and play turn based due of the complexity of managing the large number so units usually involved. If playing multiplayer this will mean sending turns to your opponent (There is a great app called Head 2 Head Helper, made by Green as Jade, to take away the admin of doing this) who you'll be best finding on one of the forums, such as Battlefront's own. I prefer turn based play to realtime anyway, as it gives you more time to consider your moves, avoids you committing an afternoon or evening to a single game, and perhaps most importantly allows you to rewind and review great pieces of action such as long range tank KO or ambushing an infantry squad. My best memory of such an incident being when an opponent advanced two-three infantry platoons across a field just as my nebelwerfer artillery strike hit his lines, decimating his ranks to a few whimpering Tommies. All in all, I'm yet to play a game outside the CM2 series which comes close to matching CMBN's tactical credentials and level of detail paid to accurately reflecting the strengths and weaknesses of the arsenal of weapons available to the player. I would have scored the game 10 but marked it down to 9 due to the the UI and adequate if not great graphics. However, if you're in any doubt CMBN more than makes up for these deficiencies by creating the most realistic tactical WWII game out there. If you have an interest in tactical combat games or WWII, you need to give this game a go. One final note, many reviewers (including the previous user reviewers) have overlooked the level of detail and realism that CMBN. If fast pace is what you're after this is not the game for you, but if tension filled realistic tactical gameplay is something that appeals you'll wonder why wasted all that time with Company of Heroes. PS there is also an expansion pack which allows you to play with Commonwealth and SS forces. But even without the game is still a great one. Expand
  9. Oct 29, 2013
    Combat Mission Battle for Normandy (CMBN) is an amazing update from the original CM games. I came to this series late and only played Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin and Combat Mission: Afrika Korps after CMBN was announced. I learned fast that using real tactics worked better then just throwing your guys around. I had plenty of fun waiting for CMBN. But wow CMBN is soooo much better than the original series. The modeling down to each individual soldier makes the immersion during battles amazing. Using real life tactics is even more important now. You cannot just order a platoon to cross an open field against enemy fire. They will take casualties and decide to save their lives and return to cover. But if you prepare your assault with supporting fire and suppression against the enemy you will succeed.

    The new spotting model is amazing I have spent plenty of time with no idea what my opponent is doing or what condition his force is in. If your guys cannot see the enemy then you see nothing. If they see and hear gun fire from behind cover all you get are contact icons. Only once your men see the enemy soldiers do you have any information about what you are facing. It creates a great effect as you try to decipher what your enemy is doing. It also means that even though the eye in the sky (i.e. you) might know information about the location of an enemy unit, you will not necessarily be able to get every unit under your command to fire on that enemy. Only those units that can see the enemy's location can fire and those of your units that have not spotted the enemy yet will only be able to fire at the general area instead of directing fire at a detected enemy.

    This truly is the ultimate war game. I used to play miniature table top gaming and hex based cardboard games but gave them up many years ago. The realism just was not there. CMBN has a feel to it that you just cannot get from the "I can see all your counters" games of the past. No game is perfect and neither is CMBN. Many people criticize the UI but I do not find many things that are an issue I am sure improvements can be made. There have been many defects reported and many defects have been fixed by the development team. In fact this is one of the best supported products I have ever used. There are going to be times when something happens in game that you will think is ridiculous and may be it is. Take it in stride as the fortunes of war and carry on. The great strength of this game is that it is not deterministic lets face it neither is real life. Bad luck can befall you and you might get caught in a corner case. Just treat those incidents as bad luck and go make some good luck for yourself by paying attention to real life tactics and take care of your men. The biggest short coming I find with CMBN is the scenario map editor. That could really use a UI face lift. There is no way to overlay images in the editor to help create realistic contour lines and building road positioning. Plus the AI planner is pretty difficult to follow and offers no ability to copy and paste. I tried to create a map and gave up. I still do not get how to control the AI's actions it just is not intuitive. But as far as playing the game goes I am very happy. I have been playing multiple games and multiple opponents sine the moment CMBN came out. I see no sign of my interest dropping. I am getting better a playing but still have opponents that are challenging.

    When I first reviewed this game I had a few criticisms with regard to the scenario editor. They have since enhanced that part of the game taking care of most of my concerns. Scenario creating is a challenge for sure but the game's editor no longer gets in your way the way it originally did. Bravo.
  10. Oct 2, 2012
    I have no idea what game the other reviewers were playing that gave them such a bad taste in their mouth, but I have been playing CMBN for almost 18 months now and am still thoroughly enjoying it. If you are on the fence or just really unsure after all the negative waves, try the demo, it's free. I am betting you'll be wondering what they were playing as well.

    First of all the focus
    is Normandy obviously. It's worth a few minutes to become familiar the concept Battlefront has for game releases. A specific game is called a family. It is made up of the base game and additional modules to add material to round out that particular game. The game itself could be a campaign within WW2 or as in CMSF a modern (if fictional) campaign. Why not just cover an entire theater like the CMx1 series did? Simple, there is just far too much material in the newer engine and game to be able to do so. The module concept is key as you will note the previous reviewers decrying the lack of material. Apparently they decided to ignore all the statements from BF and critique what they already knew would not be in the base game. Don't sweat it, the SS, Luftwaffe troops etc etc are all included but not necessarily in the base game. As to the Amphibious, Para and glider landings - this isn't an RTS toy. It is a tactical combat simulator and no you can't be shooting at paras as they glide to earth for the few hours in a 90 day campaign that this actually occurred during. BF doesn't build games to try and cover every aspect of what someone MIGHT like to see a couple times. They focus on the big picture and where the gamer will spend 99.9% of their time. Thank goodness. Lord knows what kind of garbage other folks would have designed into this game that would have make the engine virtually unusable for a few gimmicky flavor items.

    It is also worth noting BF this summer made a commitment that to continuous upgrades of all CMx2 games going forward with CMBN so as they continue to develop the game engine and enhance the UI and AI, CMBN will benefit from those developments.

    For those of you who like me are not a grog, but love world war 2 gaming, the ongoing debates on the BF forum are actually fairly interesting though at times they give me a bit of a headache. The development of the game is part of an ongoing discussion. How should mortars function, how should machine gun fire best be reflected, how is that best accomplished with the game as at heart it is still a game. I think this is one of the things I like most about Battlefront. They understand they have to balance the ability of the game to provide entertainment for all the folks who only play against the AI. Unfortunately for folks like myself who have become more addicted to playing human opponents, there can be trade offs from that. Tanks firing on the move and the sheer speed of acquisition and fire are just some of those. Are they game breakers? Certainly not but it would be nice if there was some way to differentiate the AI in human to human play. I get though that trying to write 2 levels of TAC AI is just a way too much. Perhaps in a future iteration that would change.

    Most of the reviewers seem to either be unaware of that ongoing discussion or chose to ignore it and instead decry everything as "popularizing" the game. Pure rubbish. BF does require a fairly high level of detail and some kind of verifiable information before they will change the mechanics of the game, but given that they will in fact do so (as long as it isn't going to completely break the gaming experience). It is a fairly rigorous process that I personally feel enhances the effort to make the game function as close as possible to realistic combat tactics. Note I said as close as possible. It is still a game and as such will never be able to produce the fog of war 100% nor would we want it to. So if you are looking for a WW2 tactical game that will help you feel what Normandy was like about as much as any game will, this is it. 18 months in and I am just as addicted as day one and the first version upgrade should be coming soon to make it all that much better.
  11. Oct 2, 2012
    There is simply no better tactical wargame available. This is as close to a simulation that a game can be without losing focus on gameplay.

    The demo is free. Try it yourself. If you have any interest in tactical WWII gaming, you'll be hooked.
  12. Apr 11, 2013
    What a gem this is! I really enjoy playing this as the tactical play is more than aspiring and the support for the game is still widely available and more than adequate. The graphical representation is also excellent, with great unit detail and enormous maps, let alone the almost endless choices to choose from of both the above! I recommend this for anyone looking for a historical accurate and most enjoyable representation of the Battle of Normandy. Cheers! Expand
  13. Oct 28, 2013
    It's can be named as Company Battallion level tactical simulation.
    And this game is unique in this area. You have to coordinate your combined army attack and defence either real time or we -go mode. The excellence is impossible in this game so it's playability level is very top level.
  14. Oct 25, 2013
    no contest,best tactical human v human WW2 system going.a good understanding of real world tactics will yield just cant beat playing a human mind.
    not for the short tempered or nature lovers:)
  15. Nov 4, 2013
    Its not perfect but it is an excellent, high fidelity game that attempts to simulate WW2 combat in the European Theater. I could not expect more from a small, niche gaming company who's developers have a passion for this time and place in history. And it's only getting better.

    Try not to be too swayed by the grumpy old farts that want 100% of everything and will never be happy because
    they were born that way. Expand
  16. Oct 2, 2012
    CMBN is a fantastic wargame - it is a serious wargamer's wet dream.

    However, the negative reviews aren't suprising, because there are things for the casual wargamer to dislike. It is tough to win. Well - toughen up princesses, war _is_ tough to win. This isn't a pretty packaged feel good game. It's the real thing: tough. It takes actual experience on the game to start
    winning it. Complaints like "men die too easily" or "its a battle of question marks" are a sure sign of a casual gamer experience - someone who expected it to be easy. Actually, real men do die easily, and scouting is tough. But if you play it right, you keep your men alive and scout properly, turning the oppo's ? into proper sightings, and leaving him with a sea of confusion: realistic.

    It's also definitely the case that the initial incarnation of CMBN had some bad bad flaws. The most notable was that cover in buildings was broken (a fact noted in another review). However, this has been fixed and now it plays "just fine". If you're looking to spend 50 bucks and have a quick nice time, it's not for you. If you're looking to spend 50 bucks and have a game you can spend years playing, learning how to master, and getting fun out of, it is.

  17. Oct 7, 2013
    I played the first Combat Mission games up till 'Barbarossa to Berlin', and I was very impressed at that time by the attention to detail and the effort that went into making the game as realistic as possible. It was truly revolutionary. I still buy Combat Mission games and modules, despite the VERY stiff price. However, what strikes me after playing this series for so long is that there hasn't really been any real progress in terms of the game's(or simulation's) ability to produce realistic results that are comparable to real life scenarios. The FIDELITY of Combat Mission is unprecedented, but there is more to war than ballistics. Take the casualty rates, for example. They are still hilariously out of range. There are probably good design related reasons for that, but again: where is the next wargaming revolution?

    Sorry, Battlefront, you kept me entertained for 13 years, but now it is time for something new.
  18. Jul 23, 2011
    CMBN appears at first glance to be every wargamer's wet dream, however, after logging a few hours with the game it becomes clear that something is not right. BF claims 'the most realistic bla bla bla ever', but the pace and lack of focus on cover and realistic infantry tactics moves Combat Mission several notches towards real-time strategy and away from the realism-oriented combat sim it was once hailed to be. Infantry die very easily, and using buildings and the likes for cover seems to do more harm than good. The focus is on killing enemy units rather than tactics and maneuver. Light mortars, arguably one of the most ineffective weapons in earlier incarnations of CM, is now the most lethal weapon in your arsenal - a change which indicates that CMBN's historical accuracy is a chance outcome of game mechanics rather than a carefully thought out design decision. It seems as if Battlefront's idea of 'realistic' has become as much simulation of detail as possible, and because of that CMBN has an incredible amount of detail you won't find in any other real-time strategy game. Every bullet and its trajectory is modelled and so is the speed of sound, for instance. How do such features make CMBN a more realistic wargame? They don't. They do, apparently, sell games, and like any mass-market company, Battlefront now seem to be making their games based on a vague aggregate of what the typical customer, which will always be a casual gamer, finds appealing rather than an idea of what a good tactical wargame should be like. While still making games for a niche market, the essence of mass-marketism seems to have overcome Battlefront - a very disappointing observation given their outspoken philosophy against this very same mass-marketism.

    So is CMBN a bad game? Not at all, but from a CM-fan's point of view it is a step in the wrong direction. And given the reception the first Combat Mission-games got from mass-market reviewers(still being hailed as one of the ten best games of all times) despite its limited graphics and abstracted gameplay, the casual CM-gamer should be disappointed too.
  19. Aug 19, 2011
    Not sure what BFC was trying to accomplish - actually, I do know; an appeal to a wider market base than had been possible with the first generation game engine that had made the first series of games so popular, playable and engaging. Unfortunately, much of the appeal had been stripped out for the first title of the second generation game engine, CM:SF, including the World War II setting. The Normandy title takes the series backs to its roots though curiously, despite being called "Battle for Normandy", only about 20% of the what went on in Normandy is included in the box - there are no amphibious forces, no parachute or glider invasions, no SS, the British are absent, as are the Luftwaffe and German paras, and so too are key pieces of American equipment, and elements of basic field engineering remain absent or awkwardly modelled. What you are left with are match-ups of vanilla German Army vs. U.S. in the bocage and the breakout between June, post-landing, and the breakout period (U.S. paratroopers are in, Rangers are not, neither are the captured French armour the Germans famously used on the Cotentin peninsula). The bocage is strangely modelled, too, with 30 ton tanks balking at driving over two-foot hedgerows, and the pathing problems of CM:SF seeming to rear heads, as Shermans scurry for flanks, trying to find hedge gates and exposing flanks in the process.

    Debates endure on various forums about the power of MGs, cover, memory leaks - just why DO those MG42s fire from 50 round drums instead of belts anyway?

    There is a definite following for the game. Some people just like watching Sherman tanks shoot at StuGs. CMBN makes pretty movies. Try the demo and see if this is for you. BFC has polished up their marketing approach and their graphics. I can't say that the game itself has been made any better - and judging by all the features that they are now furiously trying to weld back into the game engine, after having proudly stripped them out, i'm not sure even they disagree.
  20. Sep 10, 2011
    CMBN although initially looking like a good game and worthy successor to others Combat Mission games from the past upon further inspection begins to develop some serious flaws. Too often the battles seem to take place between roaming question marks and not actual units due to the way the lines of sight versus cover and concealment work. Furthermore the multiplayer has some serious flaws drawn from the game being overly ambitious for its engine. The game often stutters and freezes when attempting to play in real time, often leading to long setup and preparation times for the game resulting in only moments of actual game play. Once the shooting starts the engine cant track all the action and inevitably freezes. If you are looking to play a good wargame with a friend, I suggest you look somewhere else. Expand
  21. Sep 13, 2011
    Though the game is a nice upgrade over the old version of this game, the game still lacked a playability of friends that would make this game really good. The small battles done with my friend always seemed to go one way, really quick, and half the time felt like little of the enemy was seen but a lot killed. Now giving you a total feel of the battle at hand. Larger battles that might give this much needed feeling, are impossibly to play, as was hinted by the smaller battles with occasional pauses to let the data pass through, but with the bigger ones, larger play with a friend is nearly if not impossible. With such problems as these, I'd think this game falls short of what it could and should be. Expand
  22. Feb 26, 2014
    It got this game after a friend recommended it to me, but I can't help but feel disappointed after playing it for a while. I thought this was going to be a super-realistic simulation, but as a student of military history, I've found many oddities. The main gripe I have is the casualty rates and the lethality of small-arms fire and light mortars. If you look at the actual data of the effectiveness of these weapons, you'll see that they were far less effective than what is modelled in Battle for Normandy. Artillery is also way too precise and overpowered compared to what it was historically. I also can't help but laugh a little when I see some of the tanks and half-tracks in Combat Mission taking half a minute just to turn 90 degrees, when you can easily find Youtube videos of these vehicles in action showing how agile they really were.

    Add to this the broken TCP/IP multiplayer and issues with graphics and DRM, I don't feel like giving this game a better score than a 3, despite some its better qualities.
  23. Dec 8, 2013
    CM: BO was great. CM: BB was even greater. CM: AK was even a little bit better. CM: SF was a huge disappointment. CM: Battle for Normandy too is a huge disappointment. Good things: -Better graphics than the older games. I don't care about that though. The old ones were fine by me. Bad things: -Fewer units. And by that I mean almost no units at all. -Lacking units. Like no US Rangers, no Waffen-SS, no German Paratroopers, no Brits, no Canadians, no amphibian units, etc. So "A Tiny US-centric Part of the Battle for Normandy" would be a better title.
    -Cover doesn't work logically. You seem to be even worse off when inside heavy buildings than when in open ground.
    -Soldiers die like flies. Everybody seems to be sharpshooters, and all shrapnel seems to hit somebody.
    -Mortars are incredibly effective as in "too effective".
    -The editor is horrible compared to the one in the three first CM games.
    -There is no A. I. All A. I. is scripted, and if you want to make a scenario yourself you have to script the A. I. yourself. That really, really sucks.

    If my crappy Windows 8,1 had worked for the old CM games I would have played them still. This game I uninstalled and will never play again. It was a complete waste of money. And yes: it was very expensive too...

    Don't buy this game. It is not good at all, and nothing like the old CM games.
  24. May 28, 2012
    A squad based WWII wargame with an interface from 2001. It's from a small developer and it shows, with a shoddy game engine, plenty of graphical glitches, poor audio, almost every aspect of the game needs to be optimized. I can't help but imagine what this game could have been in the hands of a large competent professional studio. Avoid.
  25. Dec 17, 2012
    Played the demo feels like a kiddy click fest rts game. Canned and scripted AI nothing to write home about when on the offensive just like all of the Combat Mission series. No tcp/ip turn based play only rts click fest type. Still has PBEM turn based but a real let down that it doesn't have the origional tcp/ip turn based play. Nothing really new here except graphics...what else is new with repeat games though eh? Expand
  26. Oct 31, 2013
    A recent posting on the official forums has caused a flood of high-value reviews to be deposited on Metacritic this week, throwing the overall rating out of whack. This rating is for not only on the original but also the two modules released to date, CW and MG. The title is a bit of a misnomer, as it covers the ETO campaign from June 6 to September 30 not just Normandy.

    I suppose this
    game is a bit of a misnomer no matter how you slice it as major bits of equipment are missing despite the game engine making its debut in 2007, and WWII coming back down the pipe 2 years ago. Flame weapons for example, multiple AA weapons in a ground role, engineering equipment, funnies. This may seem like trivia, but anyone using the mission builder and trying to recreate a historical battle from a text book or personal account will as often or not have to close the book in frustration when they come upon some type of equipment, procedure, terrain type, etc. that was present in the battle but isn't included in the game. Canuck units have strange mixes of Brit vehicles that historically they never used, and the MG module makes you purchase SS and Brit stuff twice. You can recreate a fraction of what happened in any given portion of the campaign, and the limited interface means you have a very generic way of doing it. TacOps, for example, at least gave a broad palette of SOPs for forces under command that broadened the interface and opened up the player's decision tree. Just about every palette here is very narrow forces mostly feel the same, terrain is limited to a handful of types, victory conditions are vague and unfulfilling (marketed as "realistic"). CM now has so many patches and versions some of which you have to pay for good luck figuring out which.

    The devs are all over the map with what they're trying to accomplish here. The original games had a clarity of purpose, with cleanly laid out interface, a complete order of battle, and logical unit actions that at least made up for the lack of SOPs, especially in the heavily abstracted environment. The move to a directly representational three-dimensional world resulted in a fragmented interface with many missing pieces. Too frustrating, and way too costly, buying module after module as the devs slowly claw their way back to a state of the art, using paying customers as alpha testers for their experiment. After 13 years, it's time to move on to at least beta.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 4 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 19, 2011
    Return of the premier tactical wargame series to World War II is marred a bit by clunky camera and some big UI issues (no grand unit list after ten years, really?). But the game beneath is solid steel, and the additions of new Combat Mission engine good. If only the game would cover more than three months of combat. [June 2011]
  2. Oct 12, 2011
    CMBfN is a very good tactical wargame saddled with pre-alpha looks and controls. [Dec 2011, p.74]
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    Too fiddly and unforgiving for the popular palate, but those after reality-rooted WWII challenges should clearly investigate. [Aug 2011, p.94]