10For me the game is just nice. Although there is not many improvements comparing with previous parts of Men Of War indeed, the game has nicer graphics, runs much more smoothly than even the first part of MoW, and gives us some more options to use in fight. However, some new options could be added (eg. digging trenches, different camouflages, some better interface (if we have over 30 units in the battle, including artillery and tanks, we need really some seconds to discover where our unit is and to control it using it's picture in the interface. Pros:
Nice feeling of II WW
The best tactical RTS now
Some more options could be added
Not the best interface
Only few maps in Frontline mode… Expand
8This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Assault Squad is a big improvement over Men of War in many ways. New textures give troops, vehicles, and weapons a more detailed, realistic look, and AS finally fixes the ranges of weapons, making the game more realistic. AS also added some new units that make the game a lot more interesting than its predecessor. Once again, the GEM editor is an excellent feature, giving the game an almost unlimited re-playability (this of course requiring you to take the time to make your own maps). The only downside of Assault Squad? Once again, it is the single player. Although 1C finally added skirmish mode and got some better voice actors, skirmish in itself is a massive let let down. All the missions (UK, US, USSR, Germany, and Japan), with the sole exception of the maps and the enemies, are carbon copies of each other. It's especially noticeable with missions for the same faction, as you get the same units for the same objectives. There's no story to the missions at all, and only a fraction of the total units in the game are available to use in the missions. Even the new defense and infiltration missions are the same, save the scenery, which really takes this 10/10 game down to an 8. If not for the amazingness of the GEM Editor, this would be a 7/10 game.… Expand
There are two main games in the WW2 RTS genre; Company of Heroes and Men at War. The former is by far the easiest. I rate Men of War's difficulty at about 8/10 on Hard difficulty, it's not impossible to beat but if you're playing on the highest difficulty setting and don't have any friends for co-op you WILL find it impossible unless you are a professional gamer. So you might be thinking this game would make a great challenge, and yes it is, but not in gameplay. The challenge lies in mastering the faulty interface and micromanaging your units. Some battles might have hundreds of units and trying to do this gets extremely frustrating, especially because your units are highly expendable and will die like flies if you leave them alone during an attack. There are no controls for coordinating your attacks or directing your units other than to point and click, and you will be doing a lot of pointing and clicking because if you leave it up to the AI you will lose immediately. This is made more awkward by the lack of an interactive mini-map, you will have to click, scrolls, click, click, scroll and it gets tedious really fast. The game does have its positives; the micromanagitis means your have a huge influence on the battle and placing the right unit in the right place will often make a big difference. There is a large range of army, motorised and artillery units at your disposal and there are often several ways around a problem with different units and difference tactics. It's fun to out-manoeuvre, out gun and out flank a defending army but the bad interface slows down gameplay and breaks the flow, tearing your out of that immersive General's chair. It really does feel like your struggling more against the game's mechanics than the actual game. Despite all this, the game deserves a relatively good score because it is a good game. It is unique, fresh and for once it doesn't feel like someone is holding your hand guiding your through they game experience. It's just lacking a lot of polish and a bit of story. If you are veteran of Company of Heroes or strategy games then go for Men of War, if not be prepared for a learning curve resembling brick wall but lot of fun to be had if you do manage to climb over it.… Expand
Having been a big Men of War fan and enthusiastic modder ever since 'Soldiers Heroes of WW2' and subsequent games all unusually having different titles yet sharing a great deal in common in game engine and style of game play, I was rather surprised by the final result of Men of War: Assault Squad. It left me disappointed. Following are the reasons why.
Firstly the game is virtually a copy paste from the 'Vanilla' Men of War game. Now people may consider that a harsh thing to say, as veterans of the series will know that that's nothing new in the series and in fact most of the games current features, vehicles & units have all had previous lives all the way back to the aforementioned 'Soldiers'. In itself it's a good thing, a process of evolution from one title to the next. However this edition of the Men of War product is in my opinion failing to evolve and in many areas devolving instead. Many features such as skirmish mode have big design flaws as well as disastrous bugs that linger from older titles yet should have been the attention of developers. Skirmish mode is liner and repetitive with little in the way of grand tactical challenge, options being grab and hold ground like an enormous Pac Man made up of dozens of little screaming soldiers and chomp your way through a horde of enemy units that flood down a narrow battlefield limiting any concept of manoeuvre (a key aspect to any battle). Each skirmish map is a copy paste of the last, sticking the player into a new environment that despite being graphically impressive is mostly old scenery rearranged from the Vanilla game. Path finding is pathetic (no improvement from original) and should be better after all the years and needs to be corrected or even slightly improved. Examples being units wondering around aimlessly or not at all when called into battle, AI driving over its own defences and getting stuck.
Compared to Vanilla Men of War single player/co-op fails to be as fun or actually challenging in ways other than to time and sense. One of the key areas of the original being its carefully designed battles that gave the player a freedom despite its scripted nature. In fact I've looked at Assault Squad's scripts and found them to be lazy and limited by comparison to the earlier efforts and even more so the results.
Multiplayer claims to be better balanced and claims to be less about heavy units and in theory I understand the aim of the developers. The original tended to have a mechanic that led players to gravitate to heavy vehicles, yet light vehicles and infantry could easily out manoeuvre heavier tanks and the balance was arguably very good. The playing style as a lot to do with the results and the appearance of imbalance. Assault squad changes engagement ranges and weapon ballistics for all units to give a greater sense of realism which overall is a great idea that fails to adjust other game mechanics such as map sizes ad overall scale of the battlefield (showing the limits of the engine) and to take into account the view distance of the player and the ability to zoom out far enough to see what is being fired at and vice versa. It would have been a wise and simple change that has been sadly omitted (my guess is for frame rate issues??).
Plus points are to be found but are limited to fractionally better graphics and a few new maps (others being modified or removed from the core game altogether). Also the limited movement of the tank mounted Anti-Aircraft guns is a good change to make them less effective against infantry from the sides and rear (a simple change yet a wise one).
Overall the game fails to cover any new ground despite what major reviews suggest. People new to the series will no doubt admire the core game play and ideas but that isnt new to this game. Older players from previous games such as 'Soldiers HoWW2' and 'Faces of War' will possibly be disappointed. I know that quite a few enthusiastic players feel neglected and unhappy with the way the series is going. Digital Mindsoft seems intent to shed its old core of players and create a more mainstream game to compete with rival titles and seem more preoccupied with promoting the same material over and over using clever marketing and shiny graphics. Bye bye Men of War it's nothing personal just business.… Expand