Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: Combat Mission - Battle for Normandy (CM:BN) faithfully recreates the experience of tactical land warfare in Western France during World War Two. Using the unique Turn-Based (WeGo)/Real-Time hybrid game system of our proprietary CMx2 battle engine, the first installment in this new series covers the three months after the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944, from Operation Overlord in June through the Cobra Breakout in August. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 18, 2011
    Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is a game for history buffs and war game enthusiasts. If this is your bent, you will not find a more enthralling and historically accurate game.
  2. 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]
  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]
  4. Oct 12, 2011
    CMBfN is a very good tactical wargame saddled with pre-alpha looks and controls. [Dec 2011, p.74]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 7 out of 26
  1. 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. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.

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