History: Legends of War is a turn based strategy game based upon the US Third Army’s battle across Europe to the heart of Germany in World War II. You take control of General George Patton with the aim of commanding your troops and leading your fellow country men to victory.
Think of History: Legends of War as a game of chess, albeit slightly more violent – each player takes turns to move their troops around the level with a certain objective in mind. These objectives can range from killing everyone in the level, surviving a German onslaught or escorting a VIP to a certain area. Before each level you need to pick the troops you wish to take into battle, for the majority of levels you can pick up to 10, although this can vary. To start off with you’ll only have basic riflemen at your disposal but as you progress you’ll unlock snipers, RPG fellows, foreign allies, tanks and even planes.
Once you’ve entered the battlefield you can get down to the nitty-gritty, each troop has three things you can do with them, you can move, shoot or fire your secondary. Each player can only take a certain number of steps, this number changes with the different troop types, the game does a decent job of manoeuvring the troops around the map, you just need to click where you’d like them to go and they’ll avoid obstacles automatically. If you don’t have enough steps to get to where you want to go then your troop will fall short or your designated target.
After you’ve moved – or not moved – your troops can then start shooting, if you wish. With a simple click of the button you troop will change to their shooting mechanism, from here you simply have to aim at a bad guy and press the trigger – the aiming can be a little fiddly but there’s no rush so you can take as much time as you like to line up the perfect shot – if the enemy if further away then your shots will get less accurate. However, each troop has a cone of sight, if you walk through an enemies sight cone then they’ll automatically start shooting at you, your troop will also automatically return fire – I found it’s better just to avoid walking in front of enemy troops and just pick them off from a distance. That’s basically the core mechanics of the game, you can switch between your troops with a click of a button and once you’ve finished moving and shooting then you need to enter the pause menu and end your turn – something which I found a bit odd.
As you complete levels you’ll gain prestige and your troops will gain experience – as long as they haven’t died. If a troop dies then he’s gone forever, which isn’t ideal – troop damage also carries across levels but you can heal them before each level, although this does cost prestige points. You can also use your prestige points to recruit new units should you need to, you can also increase your stats, such as health, damage, ammo and so on.
There’s 21 missions to work through and as far as gameplay goes they’re all much the same, with the obvious objective changes. Graphically the game looks decent enough, it’s nothing ground breaking but at the same time it’s not going to offend your eyes. One of the main problems I struggled with was the camera control, there’s so many ways to move it and so many buttons combinations to remember that it can become a bit of an annoyance. There’s also a few sound bugs here and there, the sound might cut out for a little while and when you select a troop they shout out the same phrases over and over, which isn’t a bug, just a little annoying.
There’s also a multiplayer mode if you fancy it, although it’s only local and it only supports two players. It works exactly the same as the single player, one player controls the US army whilst the other controls the Germans, then you have to pass the controller between each other when it’s your go. It’s perfectly decent and if you enjoyed the single player then there’s no reason not to get a buddy involved – obviously online multiplayer would have been nice and it’s a shame it’s not included.
So, History: Legends of War, it’s a strategy game and a decent one. There’s some enjoyment to be had here if you’re really into your turn based strategy games, and even more so if you love war based titles. If you’ve never really played a strategy game before and fancy giving it a go then there’s better titles out there to sink you teeth into, there’s worse games as well – History: Legends of War simply sits in the middle.
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