War Times Preview

This upcoming World War II-themed real-time strategy game will let you play as one of four major powers from the European theater.


The brave soldiers who fought in World War II probably never imagined that their actions would be immortalized in computer game form, but thanks to developers like Legend Entertainment, that's exactly what's been happening for years. The studio's upcoming 3D real-time strategy game, War Times, will let you take control of one of four major nations from World War II in the game's single-player campaign, its instant-action skirmish mode, and its multiplayer modes. The four major nations from which you can choose are the US, England, the Soviet Union, and Germany. As in other real-time strategy games, you must gather resources (in this case, ore and oil), build a base of operations, and recruit a powerful army to crush your enemies before they can do likewise.

War Times will let you play as one of four major nations from World War II.
War Times will let you play as one of four major nations from World War II.

As you might imagine, each nation in War Times has different strengths and abilities that come into play on the battlefield. The game will also feature a number of general tactical features you'd expect from a 3D strategy game. For instance, the game will feature different kinds of terrain that can impede the movement of certain units. Terrain, like snow, can slow a unit so that it moves at only 40 percent of its normal speed. The game will also make use of the terrain by bestowing a defensive bonus to units on higher ground. Units near heavy cover, such as thick forests or smokescreens (provided by smoke grenades), will also receive defensive bonuses. To make the most of these bonuses, you'll also have to carefully choose your armies. Choosing an army follows a general rock-paper-scissors balance. For instance, infantry units will be cheaper to recruit than tanks or fighter planes, and they'll also sustain less damage from heavy artillery fire since they represent smaller targets. However, they'll obviously be more fragile on the battlefield.

The four major nations will have different qualities that distinguish them from one another. For instance, the Germans are the most technologically advanced nation in the game and can, therefore, recruit such devastating units as the Panzer IV medium tank, the Stuka-187 bomber, and even antipersonnel vehicles like the SDK-251 and the Panzerwerfer 42 armored car. The Germans will also be able to recruit powerful foot soldiers, like flamethrower infantry.

The British army will instead thrive on the strength of its military intelligence, which provides it with the best spy units as well as some of the best defensive structures in the game. For instance, spy infantry units can become invisible on the battlefield, and eventually they can reveal their own line of sight to allied units so that not only can you see faraway enemies, but you can also paint them for long-range artillery strikes. British vehicles also emphasize stealth, reconnaissance, and defense. For instance, the British Matilda medium tank is a decent vehicle, but it can also be upgraded to include an onboard spotlight that increases its line of sight.

The US Army has a few powerful units, including specialized infantry and the most powerful air units in the game. For instance, the US can recruit grenadiers whose explosives are effective against enemy infantry and light vehicles. The grenadiers are also quite effective against elite soldiers, many of whom have exceptionally long ranges, and they deal double damage to enemy infantry. The US also controls the air with such ships as the P-51 Mustang fighter and the heavy-duty B-29 bomber.

You'll need a combined force of arms to win your battles.
You'll need a combined force of arms to win your battles.

The Soviet Army's most prominent advantages include its heavy-duty tanks and its amphibious vehicles, which can be used to cross shallow rivers. The Soviet elite amphibious soldier, for example, has the same improved range and damage bonuses as the American elite soldier, but he is also able to cross shallow waters and is invisible to the enemy while doing so. The Soviets will also be able to commission top-level vehicles, like the KII heavy tank and the Katiuska rocket-launcher truck, which will bedevastating in the late game.

All told, War Times will let you build about 70 different structures, and it lets you recruit about 80 different units between the game's four major nations. The game will also feature three skirmish modes that will be made available in multiplayer: melee, protect the general, and total victory. Melee and total victory have similar objectives and involve defeating all enemy players. Protect the general multiplayer mode starts each player out with a general unit, and the player who destroys all enemy generals while protecting his own becomes the winner. War Times is scheduled for release in November.

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