Refusing to be pigeon-holed as just another WWII based real-time strategy game, War Front: Turning Point gives historical accuracy a vacation, and tries to inject the much visited era with some style and pizzazz. Picture The Rocketeer meets Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and you'll get a good idea of the look War Front is going for: giant armored zeppelins, mechs that eat tanks for breakfast, and huge bombers of 1941 proportions.
All these advanced goodies have been brought to you thanks to the successful assassination of Hitler (for some reason). It's a strange premise, but it works. Still, despite its unique take on the weaponry and events of WWII there's not a lot to see in War Front that's genuinely new to the genre. Expect a strong case of déjà vu when playing through the single-player campaign, as you run the gamut of the usual "build up your base and destroy the enemy" or "take your squads from point A to point B" mission objectives.
Fortunately, things heat up in multiplayer matches and skirmishes against the computer, thanks in part to the game's take on air strikes. You can access them rather quickly and begin sending huge bombers to rain death on your enemy's base. These are powerful attacks that can practically destroy a base in one blow, but are also easily countered by well placed anti-aircraft turrets and vehicles.
The vicious back and forth between death from above and anti-aircraft fire from below - combined with the usual clash between ground units - make for some fast and furious online multiplayer matches with maps that can host up to ten players. We also found that the AI worked well for filling up slots in free-for-all and player vs. computer matches. The AI is brutal, and puts up a great fight without ever feeling cheap.
Unfortunately, War Front still falls just short of stardom. It's a highly polished iteration of a military-based RTS with balanced armies, relentless AI, and fun multiplayer matches. But crazy ice-shooting tanks or no, War Front feels a little too like much the many other military-based RTS games that crowd the market. Its quick learning curve and devilish AI seem designed to appeal to the hardest of hardcore RTS fans. But it's just these sorts of fans who may be most weary of this somewhat derivative - though surprisingly solid title.