reviews\ Sep 4, 2001 at 8:00 pm

World War II Online - PC - Review

World War II Online is the latest pop culture homage to one of the bloodiest and disturbing conflicts in the history of man.  However the amount of work put into this project creates a new level for simulation games.  Unfortunately it is a level I think many people are unwilling to play on.

WWII Online features a scaled but topographically accurate map of Europe.  At first this would seem like a great idea. It brings the user deeply into the world of the game and by implication the world of real WWII soldiers.  Unfortunately it also means that the distances are accurate as well.  Even in 1/2 scale it literally take hours of gameplay simply to get to and from targets.  This is of course assuming your in a plane and not simply a grunt walking your way along the dirt roads on your way to the next offensive.

Not only are the distances and the topography accurate (to 1/2 scale) but so are the vehicles.  This is obviously a WWII buffs dream but for the rest of us it raises a host of problems.  How many people going out to buy this game have attended flight school?  I know I haven’t and I’d like to think I'm not in the minority on this one.  The amount of technical skill required is astounding and obviously far more than a casual gamer is likely to have.  While less technical vehicles such as tanks, trucks and cars require less outside knowledge to drive or fire many of them are as in reality designed for more than one person thus making them exceedingly difficult to use when not attended by a full crew.

While the sound system is impressive in its ability to relay the sounds of a constantly changing battlefield the graphics barely make the grade.  Though for the most part decent the 2 dimensional feel or poorly done polygons pervades most of the scenery.

World War II Online is a great game for the soldier while in reserves or the history buff but for the everyday gamer it may be too technically challenging with two little reward.


Install: Easy
I had no problems with the installation

Gameplay: 5
Realism to the point of difficulty.

Graphics: 6 
Better than average but not by much.  Less effort on some of the games unseen aspects and more on its makeup may have helped.

Sound: 8
Tell the difference between German an French tank fire without ever turning to look.

Difficulty: 8
Difficulty comes from mastering the vehicles after that its up to your opponents

Concept: 9 
Great concept if a little tired.  WWII has been capitalized in the past few years but this is a great adaptation of one of the most terrible wars of all time.

Multiplayer: 10
Puts a new meaning to the words massively multiplayer.

Overall: 7
An incredible effort hampered by its meticulous clinging to detail.

  Since this review was written, there has been many patches and updates, which according to some of our users has really improved the play of the game.

Per the 10/24/01 Strategy First PR:
"The update, available at no additional cost to everyone who purchases a retail copy of the game, brings new player-controlled strategy, character advancement systems, an all-new version of the 3D game world and many other features."

For a complete list of improvements and to read the full Press Release please go here

Click here for  All Recent Patches and Updates


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