Joint Task Force
Most of the time, I'm of the mind that gameplay is what really sells any given title. Sometimes I'm wrong, but that rule usually holds true. Strange thing is, occasionally you find a game that's horrible because of everything but the gameplay.Joint Task Force doesn't lack for good gameplay ideas, eerily copying most of the ideas from Company of Heroes. However, it isn't the poor execution of that gameplay that kills this title either; it's the entire presentation of the game.
I'm not sure where to start. Is it my disappointment at hearing some horrible voice acting that soured me to this title? Maybe it was the interface that makes the game feel like a cheap budget purchase. Perhaps reading all manner of typos in the in game text is what got me. Whatever the reason, I had a feeling from the start that this game wouldn't be worth the money it cost me, and that's always a bad sign.
In terms of gameplay, let me point out a few problems. There's a cover system in place, where your soldiers can hide behind sandbags to give themselves some additional protection. Problem is, it doesn't work properly, as ordering your soldiers to take cover only puts part of your troop behind the bags, leaving the rest just standing out in the open. Damage seems to be relatively high in this game, which would normally be fine (I love high-balanced games) if it didn't mean that your infantry basically disintegrated in combat. You're fighting with individual soldiers, rather than squads, so you lose them on a regular basis. Finally, all of the meta-game abilities, special skills possessed by your commander, don't really seem to alter the play style at all, even though they're supposed to do things like adding to the defense of your allies in close proximity. I found myself relying on tank rushes as my backup weapon, and well placed artillery as my primary weapon.
The main problem is in how this game presents itself. Graphically, it can render vehicles and buildings with some quality. Soldiers, effects, interface, cutscenes, all of these elements make the game look terrible, almost painfully so. As far as my ears went, I think the jarringly bad voice acting, especially with units that are talking regularly, is what really killed me.
Overall, this game doesn't seem at first to be all that bad. It has some serious gameplay flaws, but it by far outstrips them with a weak presentation that only excels at one thing, and that's drawing neat little pictures of military hardware. There are so many better games on the market that I can't say this would be worth playing.