Inside this game are the makings of an absolutely brilliant realism-focused RTS - the classic Close Combat series stretched over three dimensions. No resource-gathering, no super-tough hero units, no click-fest tactics, nada. And when all hell is breaking loose, shells bursting all around and cannon fire ricocheting off your tanks’ hulls, the game is, as they say, a blast.
But sadly, there’s a platoon of issues lurking to ambush the unwary. First up, Theatre of War is rock hard. As we speak, fan forums are filling up with puzzled hardcore strategy game veterans wondering what they’re doing wrong.
More importantly, the game is in need of some furious spit and polish. The camera control system is wonky, making everything needlessly difficult. There’s not enough info feedback to let you know what your individually modeled troops are doing. The behavior of your units can be erratic, irrational and unrealistic (standing up in a field while being machine-gunned). Plus, the audio is weak too, making the action half as gripping as it could be.