previews\ Oct 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command - NDS - Preview

E for All 2007 Preview

One of the best strategy games to come out in the past few years had to have been THQ’s Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. The game has been a big success, standing out as one of the best titles to use the ubiquitous Warhammer license, spawning a couple great expansion packs in the process. Now the series is looking to turn heads on handhelds with Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command. As the name implies, Squad Command puts you in control of up to six soldiers or Space Marine units as they perform missions to prevent the Chaos onslaught. The game looks pretty good on either the DS or the PSP, and is set to provide a fun and engaging strategy experience either online or off.

The games will be mostly the same on either platform, obviously each benefiting from its system’s own strength. The DS version, for example, will allow you to use the stylus and touch-screen configuration to select and move your units, while the PSP will benefit from improved graphics.

On whichever system you play it on, Squad Command will offer turn-based strategy elements that shouldn’t make any strategy gamer feel too out of place. The game has your standard elements, like action points that wind down as you do things or move around the environment and an end turn option for when it’s your enemies’ turns. Each unit has their own unique strengths when it comes to attacks.

One interesting way that the game separates itself from other strategy games out there is through the use of sight lines. Even though your team will use guns and ranged weaponry to attack their foes, they’ll only be able to attack things that are within their own sightlines. Therefore you’ll have to attack them whenever you can see them, and they’ll more than likely be able to take you out as well.

The game will have some pretty robust online features for each system. The PSP will allow for eight players to skirmish online, while the Nintendo DS allows for six players. Both versions will support wireless play locally and via the internet.

Graphically, the game does a great job of capturing the essence of the Warhammer universe, with the PSP benefiting from sharper textures and a better framerate. Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command is shaping up to be a competent strategy game with some great online elements, and should appeal to both strategy fans and Warhammer addicts alike. Look for it in November.

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