Wartime Command: Battle for Europe 1939-1945 E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Codemasters' World War II strategy game formerly known as Battlefield Command is preparing to deploy to stores later this year.

Scheduled for release toward the end of this year, Wartime Command: Battle for Europe 1939-1945 is a real-time strategy game being developed by the same team responsible for IL-2 Sturmovik. Through roughly 60 battles based on actual events, the game will take you through the entire Second World War, starting with the invasions of Poland and France in 1939-40, then taking you to the war on the eastern front and the D-Day landings, and then climaxing with the fall of Germany in 1945.

You'll assume the role of either an Allied or Axis commander in the game, and your missions will include covert operations, rescues, city skirmishes, ambushes, sabotage, and the like. Each of the armies in the game, which include the British, US, German, French, and Soviet forces, will not only be equipped with the correct weaponry for the time period but will also wear authentic uniforms. Adding to the sense of realism in the game will be battles going on around you that you have no control over, so while your missions will largely be confined to an area measuring approximately one square mile, you'll see other engagements in progress elsewhere on the map when you zoom the camera out.

Individual soldiers under your command will be modeled in much the same way as a character from a role-playing game and will feature no fewer than 36 distinct attributes that define their personalities and their effectiveness on the battlefield. Soldiers' skills will improve as you progress through the game, and if you can keep them alive long enough, they'll even learn to operate autonomously. Soldiers under your control can even be given positions of command themselves, and the leadership skills of your chosen platoon leader will determine how effective the troops under his command are and how much time you need to spend managing them.

For more information on Wartime Command: Battle for Europe 1939-1945, check out our previous coverage of the game.

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