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Top notch WWII strategy game
The Steel Panthers series is one which is highly regarded within the wargaming community, thanks to its combination of historical authenticity, accessibility and enjoyable turn-based action. World at War is one of the later games in the franchise and focuses on the years 1930-1949, with the game's core revolving around tactical level engagements on a hex-based series of maps. Turns represent around 5 minutes of real time, with the units under your control being an authentic mix of infantry, artillery, vehicles and heavy weapons teams. The main game features an extensive set of campaigns, including ones set around Normandy and Guadalcanal, with more than 100 scenarios to play through as well as campaign generator. The missions on display here are generally excellent and do a great job of simulating the different kinds of warfare experienced during WWII, from infantry heavy battles of Guadalcanal, to tank based engagements of North Africa. Visually World at War is slightly less impressive, with environments that are plain but with units that are nicely detailed and full of character. The enemy is also sometimes less than impressive, perhaps a mark of the game's age, and displays little use of real strategy. However, this can be overlooked due to the game's sheer entertainment factor. While it may prove a bit daunting for newcomers, with some frustrations in the interface, for old hands this is a fine strategy game, with a high replay value. The amount of content is quite remarkable, with missions that are varied, challenging and fun, and with the high level of detail that fans demand. Highly recommended, for fans of the Steel Panthers series and for wargamers in general.