World War II Online - Blitzkrieg: (Strategy)
This game is perhaps one of the most ambitious under taking for the gaming development community. However, it may just be a bit too much for First Strategy and Cornered Rat Software. What appeared to be a great concept turned into a quick release that appeared to have never gone through Quality Assurance or user Beta-testing. Upon installing the game, one notices that half the installation CD was for the manufacturers intro videos. If theyd spent more time on the actual game than their in-game intro commercial, few bugs could have been avoided. The game manual was somewhat lacking in ease of usage, requiring several read-over and actually playing with the key commands/controls in Off-line practice modes. But that could very well be the result of the actual game design and all the various elements that a player can choose to play as. The Technical Manual is fairly extensive, but had I wanted the history of all the weapons used in WWII, I could have gone to the library or local bookstore.
Now, having spent 4 hours trying to install the CD program, a 68+ MB patch (good thing I had previously downloaded this from work on a T1) and another 6KB Playnet patch. All of which should have given any gamer a red flag I was finally able to enter the game. I should also mention that the load time for Off-line practice and On-line is extremely lengthy. Once on the battlefield and trying to learn each keyboard/joystick assignment. (A joystick is recommended for controlling the vehicles and planes. Where the standard W-A-S-D keyboard setup is for the infantry.) My first attempt at playing the game was that of an Allied Anti-Tank gun. Hefting and pushing the gun took an extremely long time, until I got a hitch/tow from a player using a Bedford Truck. We soon took off to face the enemy, picking up stray infantry players. Upon deploying the gun, I soon ran into an enemy tank. I gave it a couple of hits, but my lone gun was no match for the tank. In no time I was killed. This game is for one of patience, especially if you choose to play as an infantry or anti-tank. Without a ride, one could spend hours trying to get to the action.
This game, even though being shipped buggy, is still fun to play. But I dont know if its worth the $10 monthly subscription to play. At least, at the time of this writing, there is a current freeze on the subscription fee. Beside the few remaining loyal followers, this game may very well see the inside of a discount bin. If the manufacturer wants this game to succeed and bring back those people they lost, they should offer the buyers some form of an incentive. The incentives can range from a monetary rebate, a free CD with the patch files (instead having people download a massive patch), or an inexpensive expansion CD. This expansion CD should not only fix the problems of this first game release, but also introduce the naval element and other countries (as the game package had stated). Perhaps PC Gamer magazine would do them a favor by putting the patches on their magazine subscribers demo monthly CD.
Replay 3 Graphics 3 Sound 2 Playability 2 Value 2
F.I. Rating 2.4 / 5
Replay = A games life span, ever changing ending and not being linear.
Graphics = Self-explanatory, aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
Sound = Self-explanatory, its ambiance and special effects.
Playability = Ease in play and control.
Value = When its all said and done, Is it worth the price paid for?
F.I. Rating = First Impressions rating, the average total taken from the above 5 categories.