Faces of War

Judging by the latest build, it would seem that the face of war is a huge, beaming grin, with a tiny wry smirk at one end that grows each time you take advantage of this RTS's array of realistic details.

Example: a firefight dominates a town square. Taking control of an anti-tank trooper, you sneak behind the enemy and send a rocket pounding into the back of their tank. The force of the explosion rolls it forward (smirk), crushing a few of its foot soldier allies (smirk).

Without the tank, the opposing force feels overwhelmed and flees (smirk), some retreating into nearby buildings (smirk) and some choosing to use as cover the wreckage of the very tank you justdemolished (smirk).

Ordering your men to assault this new, fortified position could mean heavy losses, so you swap to your flamethrower unit. A quick blast of flame sets fire to a nearby copse, the fire promptly spreading to the buildings and allowing you to gun down the men as they try to escape the blaze (biggest smirk ever).

And so on. Faces of War is the sequel to 2004's UK bestseller Soldiers: Heroes of World War II and developer Best Way is saying it's the game it wanted Soldiers to be.

It builds on Soldiers' in-depth command of a small squad of individuals in World War II, with the option of taking direct control for the times when you need that extra precision (or just want to have the fun yourself).

The key word here is "individuals." Your men all have their own exchangeable equipment, models, morale, and way of going about things. The idea is to avoid the clone troops present in, well, almost all strategy games to date.

If an enemy shoots at your team you might see some of them break for cover, some return fire and some crouch or go prone. If you tell everyone to move to a certain location they'll take slightly varying routes while trying to keep together. Best Way has stated its goal was to make the game look like Call of Duty viewed from the air, and it shows.