Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers Impressions

Fight through war-torn Europe in this World War II-themed action game that uses Snowblind Studios' prolific game engine.


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Acclaim and developer BattleBorne Entertainment are bringing two seemingly disparate elements--World War II and the dungeon crawl--together in a new action game for the PS2 and Xbox called Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers. The game will use the Snowblind Studios-developed engine that powers many previous and future action role-playing games such as Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Champions of Norrath, and The Bard's Tale. While all of those games have a medieval fantasy setting, Combat Elite will take the genre in a new thematic direction by casting you as one of three soldiers helping to fight the good fight against Nazi Germany in the war-torn Europe of 1944.

At the outset, Combat Elite will let you choose from three different soldiers, two from the United States and one from Britain. Each soldier will have an innate weapon proficiency, specializing in pistols and rifles, for example, or machine guns and submachine guns. However, as you play, you'll build up skill points that you can use to upgrade your combat abilities (much like in more-typical action RPGs). An upgrade to your rifle skill, for instance, will give you the expected better aim, but other categories will have more-interesting effects. Upgrading your grenade skill will give you an indicator that shows where the grenade is going to land, while an upgrade to "combat sense" gives you better targeting abilities. This sort of customization coupled with the multiple starting characters should give the game a solid amount of replay value.

Combat Elite is spread across roughly 45 missions and will take you to such famous WWII locations and events as D-Day, Operation Market Garden, and Bastogne. As you'd expect from a game of this type, you'll be able to play through the entire single-player campaign in two-player cooperative mode. Combat Elite: WWII Paratroopers is due out in June, so look for more on the game soon. In the meantime, you can check out our previous coverage on the game's previews page.

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