Eric Young's Squad Assault: West Front Second Wave PC CD-ROM
Published by Dreamcatcher
Developed by DAS Entertainment
Release Date: Out Now
Eric Young's Squad Assault: West Front Second Wave, an introduction.
Around two years ago a game called Eric Young's Squad Assault: West Front was released and it was quite well received. The game was a squad level combat game, very much in the same vein as Close Combat and Combat Mission. This Second Wave edition of the game is essentially a kind of gold edition with the bulk of the game being the same but with an additional amount of content thrown into the mix too.
What's the game about?
Eric Young's Squad Assault: West Front Second Wave is a World War II tactical combat game. As the name suggests you'll spend most of your time in France. The game offers 3 tutorials, 60+ battles, 25+ operations and 6 campaigns which should provide you with at least a year's worth of gaming. The scenarios are both historical and hypothetical and the campaigns allow for a high degree of replayability to further increase the longevity of the game. Multiplayer gaming is also catered for with head to head games over either a LAN or the Internet.
What's good about the game?
The game is essentially a real-time game like Close Combat but you can pause the action at any time and give out an order, which in effect gives the game a turn-based feel. The best aspect of Squad Assault is its attention to detail and realistic behaviour of the soldiers you'll control. You can't just send them into dangerous situations and expect them to plough on regardless. Your units have mental health states ranging from fanatic to panic, so you'll have to keep on eye on them and look after them at all times if you want your orders obeyed. Just like in Close Combat, you'll need to think like you would do in a real life battle situation and this will make the game very appealing to grognards everywhere. Highlights specific to this Second Wave edition include 2 new campaigns, 50 new battles and editing tools.
What's not so good about the game?
If you own the original Squad Assault: West Front then you've already experienced a lot of what the game has to offer. That said though if you enjoyed Squad Assault you'll probably want to pick up this Second Wave version. Those of you who are of a more traditional RTS persuasion might find the realism the game has to offer a little too much. Certain elements of the game can be toned down but it's never going to be a standard RTS in the same way that games such as Sudden Strike are. In fact Squad Assault is a difficult game to come to terms with if you haven't already played titles such as Close Combat or Combat Mission.
How does it look?
Squad Assault doesn't look that great to be honest but fortunately it's the type of game that doesn't rely on eye-catching visuals. The maps, units and buildings in the game whilst not looking brilliant are certainly good enough for you to enjoy the game. Smoke effects and explosions won't take advantage of your latest 3D card but again everything that's here gets the job done and it's easy to follow what's going on.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers will have no problems with Squad Assault. Most of the information in the game is text only so you'll be able to understand what's going on. Briefings and objectives are text only which means you'll have no problems in determining what needs to be done in a mission. Comments that your units make once you've issued orders are not subtitled but this isn't really a problem. Squad Assault also makes good use of icons to convey information.
Eric Young's Squad Assault: West Front Second Wave is definitely a game for the serious grognard rather than the casual RTS player. Its strength is its realism and taken on this basis, it's a game well worth purchasing. Graphically it's not the best and whilst the game doesn't rely on fancy graphics it would have been appreciated if the game had looked more up to date. Those who already own the original Squad Assault: West Front may be less tempted by the overall package and in fairness it's tougher to recommend to someone who has already played the original game when it was released around 2 years ago. Still for £19.99 it's worth a purchase for those gamers who like a challenge and have the dedication to get the most from the game.
Overall Game Rating: 7.2/10
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Squad Assault: West Front Second Wave is a good squad-based tactical World War II combat game. If you enjoyed either of the Close Combat or Combat Mission series this should be to your liking.