History Channel: Civil War - Great Battles

Action 2003 Windows Activision Shooter Historical

Not such a great battle

The History Channel turned out a number of games based on significant battles from history, including Civil War: Secret Missions and Great Battles of Rome, but unfortunately none of them are really up to scratch. This one is a turn-based strategy game but you're better off with Sid Meier's Gettysburg if you want to explore the period and should steer well clear of this mess. As you'd expect, this one allows you to replay America's darkest hour and which takes you some of the pivotal battles which shaped the nation. This one takes a mix of gameplay styles, with the various missions giving you both an overall view of the ensuing chaos where you can move your troops and plan your strategy, and with a more personal take on the action as you see things from down on the battlefield and where you take command of your individual soldiers. You've got a range of historically accurate units to control, while you can also play the game from both sides of the conflict, and there are lots of reference materials included too. In theory at least, this sounds like a decent enough strategy game but in practice, it turns out to be anything but, unless you're the most undemanding of wargamer. To start with, the visuals are pretty bland and unappealing, but although this could be forgiven if the gameplay was any good, it unfortunately isn't. The game progresses at a snail's pace which gets frustrating and tedious quickly, while the gameplay mechanics themselves are overly simplistic and which mean that battles don't require anything even approaching strategy. All in all, a pretty shameful experience.

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