Faces of War hands-on

There'd better be a damn good rationale for us to go back to the WWII frontlines - again. But Ubisoft thinks that they have the reason in their expansive squad-based real-time strategy battler, Faces of War.

Recently, we took a long, hard look at Faces in a hands-on of the first few levels. The environments are what struck us the most when we first laid eyes on this war-torn RTS. Even the training scenarios contain a shell-shocking amount of authenticity and detail. Down-to-the-rivet attention was given to everything from the King Tiger Panzers to soldiers' jackboots. Tracked, towed and carried weapons look, sound and perform true to form.

For example, while commanding our rookie German platoon, we needed to fend off a wave of British counter-attackers in order to secure a vital bridge. Armed only with short range MP-40 carbines and a few grenades, we suddenly found ourselves out of ammo. Thinking quickly, we rummaged through the corpses of the first luckless Brits and found a cache of powerful Bren long-range rifles. We were in business.

Because of the startling amount of detailed control we exerted, it was important to remember we weren't commanding an entire army - just our core units. Instead of the usual commands for attacking, wecould lay down suppressive fire, or take control of the real-time sharp-shooting for our team. We could also bandage our wounds or juice ourselves with a morphine syringe. There was even a button to plant a shrub.