Order Of War
We've Now Seen every possible combination of the words war, heroes, order, call, duty, tour, arms, brothers, medal, tales, men, faces and valour - excluding Tour of Brothers, Tales of Medals, and Faces of Men (you can have those ones for free, game designers).
Atrociously dull name aside, Order of War is based on the little known (in the West at least) but fairly successful Russian RTS game Operation Bagration, which details the reclaiming of Eastern Poland from German forces by Russia's Forces during 1944.
Of course, we all know that particular operation was named after 18th-19th century Georgian Prince Pyotr Bagration, general of the Russian army who received a mortal wound at the Battle of Borodino. You'd have to be thick not to know that.
The Bigger Picture
Russia has a bit of a chip on their shoulder, as we're so busy congratulating one another over our little beach landing that we overlook the far larger invasion of Eastern Europe by Stalin.
When they're not hieing shot down, Russian bombers raze towns to the ground in a dazzling way. Could the destruction here beat even World in Conflict's carnage? That's a remote possibility.
To The Skies
You'll be commanding ground units, as well as the Russian air force, which as we know from having played 11-2 Sturmovik to death after death, was an effective force.
This is Wargaming.net's most detailed game to date, after their relatively wishy-washy strategies Massive Assault and Galactic Assault. It employs a World in Conflict-style point-of-view.
In Da House
Two different campaigns will see you fighting across great swathes of Poland, either across massive distances using artillery, or down to the nitty gritty scraps in entrenched, urban environments just like these. Those houses!
Air units will be brought more into play than usual, only to be blown out of the sky by these massive anti-air cannons. Order of War's slick visuals make the resulting fireballs and trails of smoke stand out beautifully.
We dole out secret awards celebrating lovely skies in games, and Order of War is deserving of one. Not only are its clouds all nice and crisp, but its tanks and aircraft leave so much lingering smoke it's actually crazy. Actually crazy.
Download Order Of War
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Having A Strategy game that you can breeze through without actually using any strategy is criminal. Unless you think that simply selecting all your units at once and right-clicking near the enemy is a strategy. In which case, shame on you.
Order of War has a veneer of depth and quality - on the highest settings, it looks pretty good (even though load times and performance aren't as good as we'd have liked) and there are the usual raft of units and options. Two campaigns of nine missions each are accompanied by deathmatch and skirmish multiplayer modes. Not a single one of which is interesting.
The one shining light is the Survival mode, which doesn't fall foul of the build-and-rush mechanic because you aren't looking to expand, just defend. If more had been made'of this type of gameplay, the game would have scored more favourably.
Anyway, as mentioned, tactics don't come into the picture. There's certainly no real need to think beyond launching a full-frontal assault anyway, given that any cover that doesn't use buildings or trenches doesn't seem to do anything of note, other than block tanks a bit. Attempts are made to disguise this, with big arrows indicating that you should do certain things to win (attack from two sides and so on). But because most of the time your units are all in the right positions to pull off said attack, it's just another form of full-frontal assault; just more fiddly due to having to move two or more fronts at once.
Order Of Bore
Things don't really improve as you go on. In fact, it wouldn't be unfair to say that they don't really change either, essentially, other than things grinding to a halt the more units and explosions are chucked about (even on reasonable systems). It would also be fair to say that the more men and units you have to control, the worse the game's problems become, with even more emphasis placed on mad rush attacks. If there are any internal calculations going on in the background with regards to flanking or manoeuvres like that, then it certainly isn't hinted at when playing.
Essentially, there's no point really bothering with Order of War other than to play the Survival mode. If you're after WWII strategy, grab a cheap copy of Company of Heroes. You might not control as many men, but at least you'll have some fun.