G.I. Combat is another WWII simulation title to hit the marketing recent months. Actually a follow up to Close Combat, this newer title focuses on the Battle of Normandy. Though there have been many excellent war simulations on the market this year, G.I. Combat is not one of the more stellar titles.
G.I. Combat has many things going for it. Cut scenes are amazing, and look to be ported from old newsreels, giving the game a grittier feel. There are a large amount of troops, weapons, vehicles, and the like at your disposal, all well rendered and skinned. The graphics are right on par with other simulation style games, and audio, while limited and somewhat repetitive, is still well done. G.I. Combat also loads with the Gamespy network software, allowing for easy connections. I was able to go head-to-head against a friend with a 56k modem connection with, of course, sizable lag, but one would think a cable modem connection or higher would compensate.
However, there are many things that cause problems in play. For one, the tutorials are not much help for the novice tactical 'wargamer,' with little to no explanation of how to accomplish mission parameters. Though the interface itself is simple as far as issuing commands are concerned, the screen controls themselves are kludgy and uncomfortable, often making controlling your squad a nightmare. The main feature of this game is to allow morale to affect your soldiers' response to orders, but there doesn't seem to be enough variance to notice this feature.
Even with all of the points I've mentioned, G.I. Combat is still worth a look, especially if you're a war game enthusiast. Novice users will definitely be uncomfortable with the layout and such, but former 'pencil and paper'? gamers should be right at home. A flawed, but acceptable title.