World War 2 Online
Four years ago, when Cornered Rat Software announced it was developing a persistent universe, massively multiplayer online WWII strategy shooter, most people said it couldn't be done. The idea was too grandiose; WWII wasn't a popular time frame; the flight sim was dead etc. Well, it's proved the critics wrong - at least, in part.
The first release was plagued with disasters, caused in part by financial pressure to get the game out the door. It was, to all intents and purposes, unfinished. Copies were returned, flame wars ignited and journalists started looking smug with that 'I told you so...' expression on their faces.
Many revisions down the line, though, and the game's shaped up. So much so, that the developer's released the latest upgrade - v1.14 - and while it's not a quantum leap, it is another step down the evolution road in terms of graphics.
WWII In colour
However, before we start describing the changes, it's worth stepping back and having a long, hard look at the game. When WWIIOL was developed, Cornered Rat Software took the unusual step of making it both PC and Mac-compatible (a throwback to its days on the WarBirds series). While this may have increased its subscriber base - there are an awful lot of Mac gamers in the US - it seriously hamstrung the look and feel of the game.
Four years on and age was seriously starting to take its toll. Graphically, it's been overtaken by almost every other game, although that's not to say the game isn't eminently playable.
Since we last reviewed WWIIOL, the game's undergone many changes, including the cosmetic. For a start, the trees, shrubs and buildings now look far better than the basic textured models we've been stuck with for the past half decade.
There's also the addition of new functions, most of which are at a command level. While this won't be very obvious if you're new to this - you fight where you're told to - it does make for some entertaining gameplay. The new Fallback command enables defenders to retreat into a town, but gives them new spawn points. This then turns the tables on attackers, forcing them to defend. There's also been some work on munitions: grenades now fire shrapnel and the gunnery has been tweaked.
But the most important factor in any game is whether it's fun -and WWIIOL still delivers this in droves. Whether it's flying fighter cover over the battlefield or hunkering down with your rifle as the enemy tries to storm the town, that whole element of adrenalin and teamwork is still there. It's an enjoyable and addictive game that boasts substantial numbers playing at any one time. Which is what WWII was all about, surely?
Download World War 2 Online
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP