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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

CDV / 10tacle Studios

 

Developer

Digital Reality

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

February 2007

 

 

- A Red Alert-type twist to the WWII strategy genre

- Hits all the RTS conventions

- Good graphical detail

 

 

- We’ve seen this before

- Infantry units can be really difficult to spot

 

 

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War Front: Turning Point

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

War Front: Turning Point doesn’t actually bring anything new to the real-time strategy genre and up against technical powerhouses like Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes and the very-soon-to-be-released Command & Conquer 3, Turning Point could have just waved the white flag of surrender but the developers at EUROPE-BASED Digital Reality gives it a go by offering a strategy game that will feel instantly nostalgic and familiar to anyone that plays it.

 

war front turning point          war front turning point

 

It’s been almost six years since Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge – the expansion for Red Alert 2 – but that was the title that instantly comes to heart when playing War Front: Turning Point.  The story revolves around an alternate timeline, one in which Germany successfully invaded and occupied Britain during World War II.  The event allowed Germany to secretly develop advanced technology; at the same time America is also developing futuristic technology.  The two clash on the battlefield: strange looking flying machines jet over rooftops, exoskeletons (read: mechs) march slowly toward the enemy, APC “moles” tunnel under the earth toward enemy bases, and giant Zepplins float overhead, supplemented by the typical bazooka-toting infantry and standard tanks (and a few other surprises).

 

There are three countries to play in Skirmish and multiplayer modes – German, Russian, Britain/America – but only the German and Allied sides are playable during the single-player Campaign, which spans 11 missions (for each).  During the Campaign, the mission objectives play out through the Hero units, which, in

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typical fashion, afford bonuses to nearby troops and if killed will respawn at a barracks facility.  Again, this should be instantly familiar to any RTS fan.

 

The same can be said of the unit queuing and grouping, map navigation, resource collection, (limited) camera control, and tactical choices.

 

Maybe more than any other strategy game I’ve played lately, 

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Turning Point has effectively neutered the tank rush.  A rush of six tanks can easily be dealt with by a very small defense force – it comes down to mixing up groups of units to form effective fighting units.  However, a real problem rears its head when forming these teams: the units, particularly the infantry, can be hard to pick out of the crowd or even find on the map.  There are keyboard shortcuts for hunting down some of them, like BUILDER units, but many of the backdrops for these battles are such that they effectively camouflage your units.  (I even had the problem spotting a few buildings.)  Maybe this speaks to my diminishing eyesight, but I wound up using the “pause” feature a lot to just find the right units.

 

war front turning point          war front turning point

 

That said, the engine powering Turning Point affords much graphical detail in a 3D space that can be viewed from many different angles even if the zoom function is very limited.  I wouldn’t say that it eclipses Company of Heroes or even JTF or Act of War, but Turning Point holds its own in the “spectacular battles” category, and even the more subtle aspects like trees and fences that are knocked aside by large mechanized units, and (rapid) time of day and weather changes.

 

Besides the Campaign and Skirmish modes, Turning Point also offers a variety of multiplayer modes, which “behave” well enough, but I found myself sticking more to the Skirmish mode when I just wanted to play rather than setting up a game over Gamespy.

 

War Front: Turning Point never tries to reinvent the wheel – it simply does a good job of mimicking the conventions of real-time strategy games that have come before it and puts it into a very comfortable setting.  Points off for not doing anything that new, but points awarded for making it instantly accessible to anyone familiar with the RTS genre.

 

- Omni

(March 14, 2007)

 

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