Platform:PC Publisher:1C Company Expected Release Date: Winter 2009
In a year that’s boasted high profile RTS titles such as Dawn of War 2 and Empire: Total War it’s been sleeper hit Men of War that’s had us returning to our RTS ways most often thanks to its blend of hard-as-iron levels, huge campaign and intense micro-management based gameplay.
It’s also proved itself to be a an excellent multiplayer game in co-op mode too, with the game’s huge defensive missions proving particularly well suited to frenzied multiplayer games.
Obviously we’re not the only ones who thought Men of War was a winner though, and Russian developer 1C has decided to slake fans thirst for more World War 2 explody goodness by expanding upon the original’s three extensive campaigns with an expand-alone follow up in the form of Men of War: Red Tide.
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This time the developer is sticking with its local roots and, rather than dragging us back through D-Day or Market Garden as so many WW2 games have done before, 1C is basing the game around the war time exploits of the Soviet marines (hence the "Red Tide" subtitle).
Campaigns will be set around battles of the war that, outside of Russia are no well known, with more than 20 new missions across the Odessa, Sevastopol, Theodosia, Eltingen, Nikolaev and Constanta theatres.
1C are also looking to make the game’s storyline more engaging (rather than the badly written mess that glued the original’s excellent missions together) by bringing in Russian writers Yana Botsman and Dmitry Gordevsky, who have previously worked with the same production team on similar WW2 strategy titles Soldiers: Heroes of World War II and Faces of War. However, going on past experience a fair bit of the narrative detail gets lost in translation, so we’re not exactly expecting Shakespearian storytelling.
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Having played a few of Red Tide’s missions there’s not a lot different on the surface from the original and it’s obvious that not too much attention has been paid to the criticisms that were levelled at Men of War. Production values still appear comically rubbish in places and even in their native Russian the voice overs are painfully amateur. However, the dodgy presentation has practically become a perverse part of the enjoyment of playing Men of War, and it’s the core gameplay that’s important in the long run.