Squad Assault: West Front
But like Gl Combat before it (also set in Normandy, 1944), Squad Assault has to go down as an heroic failure. The weapons, vehicles, tactical principles and the chaos of war are all there, captured by a passable 3D engine that can be zoomed, panned and rotated at will, but the game is beset by coding problems that ruin any enjoyment. The game is a real-time combat sim where troops operate in realistically composed squads and are supported by tanks, mortars, flamethrowers, field guns and the like. Line of sight is vital, and troops react realistically when they come under fire, with soldiers cowering, routing and even surrendering when put under pressure.
But unfortunately tanks spot men crawling through hedgerows from ridiculous distances, squads ordered to defend houses spill out on to the lawns, and the command interface is sluggish and unresponsive. What's more, the Al is diabolical, with the computer placing all its defending troops in wide-open spaces ready to be butchered, and operating in ridiculous flocks when on the offensive.
Undoubtedly, if Mr Young could harness an effective 3D engine while capturing the elegantly simple yet enormously in-depth tactical realism of his much-missed Close Combat games, then we would have something special on our hands. But. sadly, it seems this calls for more resources than are apparently at the great man's disposal. In multiplayer it's better, but with such fundamental issues with the gameplay and so many technical problems, you only need play a couple of missions to accept Mr Young has a long way to go to realise his 3D vision.
Download Squad Assault: West Front
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP