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Making History: The Calm & The Storm review

Kick Hitler in the ass one more time

Pros

  • Managing your economy
  • Variety of victory conditions
  • Compelling
  • one-more-turn play

Cons

  • Mediocre manual
  • Very slow-paced
  • The average sound effects

George Santayana, the Spanish-American writer, famously said, "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it." We think he was probably describing the gameplay concept behind developer Muzzy Lane's Making History: The Calm & The Storm, the latest PC descendent in a long, proud line of turn-based strategy games focused on global domination in World War II.

You play as one of eight countries (Japan, Germany, England, U.S., U.S.S.R., China, France, or Italy) during history's most over-analyzed war in an effort to nab the most World Power Points in one of three pre-selected victory conditions: Alliance victory (the alliance with the most World Power Points wins), Ideology victory (the top scoring ideology wins), and National victory (the highest-scoring nation wins).

We loved having the option to select alternate victory conditions per scenario because it changed how we approached each game and added replayability. The game offers only five scenarios, each covering a distinct chapter of WWII, but in all fairness each is hundreds of turns long so it all balances out. Though 8-player multi-player is available, it's hard to imagine it becoming wildly popular since the normal single-player game requires a pretty hefty time commitment, let alone adding seven more people to the mix. Unfortunately, play-by-email (PBEM) isn't offered at all.

Making History is primarily focused on the broad canvas of national decision-making, and in this regard it feels very much like any of the classic world or city-building games but with a bit more depth. Economic policy decisions involve the good-natured distribution of foreign aid to allies and trade embargos for your foes (take that Germany and Japan). If need be, you can manhandle your economy back onto track, via World Trade Markets and infrastructure improvements.

More Info

GenreStrategy
DescriptionThis was originally an educational title. Yeah. But, somehow it's actually good. Super accurate WWII strategy complete with economic and diplomatic warfare.
PlatformPC
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date13 March 2007 (US), 13 March 2007 (UK)
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