Combat Mission: Shock Force Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Summary: At it's core, Combat Mission: Shock Force is a military simulation depicting a hypothetical near-future conflict in Syria following a fundamentalist coup d’état. As in Afghanistan 2001, the radical new government's refusal to shut down major terrorist organizations and its' regional destabilizing effect, compel NATO Coalition forces into action. The initial release of Combat Mission: Shock Force focuses on the actions of the US Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT) and Heavy Brigade Combat Teams (HBCT) as they fight against Syrian Army Infantry, Mechanized and Armored units. Combat Mission: Shock Force also features Unconventional Threat forces such as terrorists, spies, suicide bombers, IED's and other deadly tools employed in the asymmetric warfare of the modern day. Along with the standard Red vs. Blue engagements typified in most wargames, Combat Mission: Shock Force will also allow players to fight Red vs. Red (Syria vs. Syria) and Blue vs. Blue (NATO vs. NATO) battles as well. [] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. I don't think I've enjoyed a wargame as much this one since I played the original Combat Mission game all those years ago. If you have an interest in simulating realistic modern warfare, and specifically seeing how the new Stryker concept would fare in battle, you can't go wrong with Combat Mission: Shock Force.
  2. Battlefront are an admirable group whose games all feel like labors of love, and you can feel developers’ blood, sweat and tears all through Combat Mission: Shock Force.
  3. Hardcore strategy fans will surely love this new title. Map creating abilities will add shelf life.
  4. The game needs a little more spit and polish before it can assume its proper place in the Pantheon.
  5. Wherever you look, something is missing. [Oct 2007, p.74]
  6. Delivers the goods in spades, with an improved engine and a new emphasis to real-time rather than turn-based action. [Oct 2007, p.82]
  7. Combat Mission says good-bye to WWII, but hello to an inept interface, broken AI, and hideous visuals.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 28
  2. Negative: 15 out of 28
  1. Apr 4, 2013
    This review is based on patch 1.32 and all modules, primarily as a single-player game. First of all I'll freely admit that version 1.00 was a buggy unplayable mess. The current version is completely stable on windows 7 and nearly all initial complaints have been addressed. The most important thing to realize about this game is that it is a hardcore tactical military simulator, not a blockbuster RTS-game. Past and current military professionals might enjoy this straight right away, others may need to read various US Army field manuals, mechanized infantry platoon and squad FM being a good start. CMSF is a highly intellectual challenge where real-world tactics work and are rewarded. Minor mistakes can be severely punished. Luck is a minor factor, rarely deciding the outcome of a given scenario. Realistic victory conditions; neither side will mindlessly fight to the last man, a 15% casualty-rate might be enough for your mission to be declared a failure. I don't think this game is a perfect training tool for real life military forces, but can probably be applied with considerable success to illustrate key concepts of modern warfare. CMSF offers both turn-based and real-time game. Turn based feels more structured and forces you to plan and time your actions more precisely since you have NO ability to influence your forces as the 60 second turn plays out. Veteran and Elite skill-levels disables borg-spotting and fosters attention to your command and control. (Iron skill-level where even friendly units must be spotted on the battlefield is too hardcore for me.)

    Clunky user interface (learn hotkeys immediately).
    Dated graphics (but acceptable for the genre).
    Occasionally poor pathfinding (Issue more precise orders).
    Asymmetric warfare may be a turnoff for multiplayer games
    Suspect DRM incompatible with Zonealarm anti virus/firewall.

    Outstanding sense of realism.
    Modules add great variety in allied units.
    Different allied forces benefit from application of their respective doctrines.
    Great campaigns with lots of varied mission types.

    Above all: CMSF is a great and continuous learning experience about modern warfare. Highly recommended! I hope the next installment in this series will have a more userfriendly DRM.
  2. ArtP.
    Oct 24, 2007
    I liked it when it first came with the bugs and each time they patch it, it gets better.
  3. JensB.
    Jun 29, 2008
    I would have given this game a 3 when it was released, however, after eight patches, this game has improved immensely. There are still issues, especially with infantry combat in dense, urban terrain, but overall the game is very playable in its present state. If you were disappointed with this game 6 months ago, I recommend giving it another try now. Collapse
  4. NickS.
    Sep 9, 2007
    The thrill has gone... A very paltry offering compared to the original CM series. I guess they wanted to hook in some of the zap and zoom crowd.
  5. DieALotNoob
    Sep 14, 2007
    Dysfunctional AI, sub-par gfx, tons of hardware problems with AMD, Intel, ATI + Nvidia, dysfunctional LOS+LOF, obviously no quality control before release, huge dissapointment from this release which is nothing more than an open beta. Expand
  6. AnonymousMC
    Sep 15, 2007
    Crap game of a once good game developer. This unfinished bug ridden alpha has nothing in common with its predecessors CMBO, CMBB and CMAK.

    Nonexistant TacAI, pathfinding is a joke, abysmal gfx programming, many problems with ATI and NVIDIA cards, nonfunctional quick battles, nonimmersive campaign.

    Spare yourself the money to buy this unfinished piece of wanna be wargame. Life is too short to waste time on this.
  7. JohnS.
    Oct 24, 2007
    Incredible bug ridden piece of crap. LOS/LOF is totally fucked up. Pathfinding is a joke. Multiplayer is still absent/not-functioning even after the 1.04 patch. Stay away from this kind of crap! Battlefront obviously tried to rip off their loyal customer base, which build up over the past with the CMx1 titles, to make a quick buck. You better burn your money instead of wasting it with CMSF. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews