Men of War - Graphics

Men of War is a fantastic looking game as an RTS goes, despite running on a heavily modified and updated version of the same engine that predecessor Soliders: Heroes of World War 2 used way back in 2004. Thankfully, graphics technology has moved on a fair bit in the last five years and now Best Way has been able to squeeze the absolute maximum from the engine, resulting in enormous open levels and phenomenal unit detail, with plenty of variety in both.

Not every mission is played out over boggy brown fields or copy–pasted World War Two countryside either, with different settings like an idyllic mountain retreat, replete with babbling spring, or the snow and ice covered approaches to Moscow all rendered beautifully.

The game also packs a very impressive in-house physics engine (again, amazingly, a tweaked version of the same engine from Men of War’s five year old ancestor), with tanks crashing through defences, stalling on tank traps, and buildings crumbling and collapsing under explosive fire. Even individual shells have a physics effect, with tanks rocking backwards under fire.

Men of War Men of War - Graphics
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Such a capable physics engine also makes for awesome explosions, with tanks, vehicles and buildings totally destructible to the point that you can blow the individual wheels, tracks and even turrets off vehicles if you hit them with the right weapon and from the right angle. There’s even a dynamic fire system, with flames spreading through dry fields and flamethrowers spewing infantry roasting fiery death in deadly arcs.

While the individual soldiers might lack some of the detail and animation of those in Company of Heroes, they’re certainly not too shabby, especially when you consider the level of customisable detail available thanks to the inventory based system –you’re able to equip different weapons, body armour and even, yes, change the hats your men are wearing, resulting in chuckle worthy hat stealing antics the first time you realise you’re able to rob enemy corpses for their helmets.

Men of War Men of War - Graphics
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It’s the vehicle models that really steal the show though, with every tank and vehicle accurately modelled from its real life counterpart at the Kubinca Tank Museum. While some strategy games might have a few dozen or so different vehicles Men of War has literally hundreds, from scout cars to assault guns to monstrous 600mm mortars, all of which have been painstakingly recreated.

Even better is that thanks to the game’s heavily optimised old school engine Men of War is surprisingly undemanding. Even when there are hundreds of soldiers, dozens of tanks and multiple fiery, smoky explosions on screen at the same time a mid range card like an 8800GT or HD 4850 won’t sweat running Men of War at 1,680 x 1,050 with maximum detail and 2 x anti aliasing so long as it’s backed up by a half way decent dual core processor and just 2GB of RAM. Although extremely large explosions such as those from bombing runs or sustained artillery might see the frame rate dip a little bit at these high settings, these are rarities and the game deserves to be played looking its best, if only to appreciate the level of detail the modellers have gone to.
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