War Times Review

The Soviets build themselves an army.

Select a group of units and click on a new location and you'll unleash pandemonium.  If there is any kind of obstruction in the way units will bump into it and around it as if they are trying to find a way through by feel.  After failing to do so they'll charge down an alternative path, but not every unit will decide to do this at the same time.  What's more is that other units that haven't quite decided where to go will run into units trying to find a different path, and when the units do move out they don't always decide to go by the same route.  The result is constant unit hand-holding and guidance if you want to keep a force together as it moves across the map.  In reality it's not just that you can beat the game by moving a large mass of troops across the enemy's forces, it's that you have to because it is impossible to coordinate multiple strikes by smaller groups of units.  In fact, the pathfinding in the game is so poor that even your gatherers will have a hard time keeping out of each other's way on the short trip from a resource site to your headquarters building.

The enemy AI is just as poor as the pathfinding AI.  The enemy will send troops at you singly and in pairs allowing you to make short work of them.  Even after you've spent half the mission killing off the enemy's solo suicide attacks it doesn't catch on and continues to waste its troops one by one.  On occasion you may run into larger groups of enemy units, but this occurs when you are on the offensive.  I'd like to think that the AI was planning some sort of strike or was setting up a trap for my offensive forces, but I think that I would just occasionally run into the reserve pool from which the solo and dual attacks were drawn.  Needless to say, strategy gamers won't find a whole lot of challenge in War Times - outside of trying to get their army to the enemy in one group.

The game's graphics won't win any awards either.  Trees and other vegetation appear fuzzy and ill-defined, and buildings are blocky and almost featureless.  The units are pretty blocky and look downright odd when you zoom the camera in.  For example, German soldiers appear to be wearing kilts and shirts with the sleeves ripped off.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 42%.  War Times succeeds in disappointing both strategy gamers and World War II buffs.

System Requirements:  Pentium IV 1.0 GHz; 256 MB RAM;  32 MB Video RAM; 4x CD-ROM;  1.0 GB Hard Drive Space;  Mouse.


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