It's become passe to gripe about the glut of WWII shooters out there today, but after playing Activision's latest military-based FPS, we immediately quit our bitching. It turns out that Nazi-era guns, tanks, and steel are a welcome relief when compared to slugging it out 19th century-style. Who knew?
We're willing to give props to the folks willing to make a Civil War-era shooter (originality always counts for something), but A Nation Divided doesn't completely satisfy. History buffs will no doubt appreciate the historical scenarios and choice locations of the twelve battles, with locales like Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run getting their juices flowing as assuredly as a weekend re-enactment. Unfortunately, you'll find that your Johnny Reb or Billy Yank will repeatedly get picked off by foes with amazingly accurate firepower, even when you're using cover. We had no idea that muskets could penetrate six-inch-thick wood from 100 feet away, but evidently they could and did.
Your arsenal is full of realistic period-piece muskets, pistols, swords, and (occasionally functional) grenades that definitely feel accurate for the era. Unfortunately that realism does not translate into "fun," since it takes you about half an hour to reload your weapon. An added bonus is that the chambers hold just a handful of bullets (or, in the case of your long-range rifle, only one), so replenishment is a constant necessity. This leads to frustratingly comical interludes with you going through your reloading paces while your see the enemy doing the same, patiently waiting for another chance to murder each other. Man, war was friggin' boring in the old days.