World Wars II

It was two months ago that I first played World Wars II.  I was really looking forward to it.  It seemed more like a real-time version of Nintendo’s Advanced Wars series that I was so fond of a few years ago.  It also featured eight-person online play and multiple game types.  I was sent a couple of review copies to make sure I could experience this game at it’s finest.  Brian and I were seriously hyped.

And then we played it.  Although it wasn’t bad by any means, it’s so underwhelming that it almost seems worse than it is.

In World Wars II, you’re given a squad of various troops and vehicles to command.  The problems with the game start right away with unwieldy tutorial.  I had to replay through it a few times and I still couldn’t get a feel for the controls or the gameplay.  Everything about it seems overly complex.  Steering, turning, rotating the turrets on tanks, etc.  Nothing here is intuitive or user-friendly, making the game about as inviting as the welcome mat at Majdanek.  It doesn’t help that it’s not possible to complete the tutorial in the eight minutes a player would be allotted to demo the game.

This is the only game play picture chosen by the developers to represent their game on the marketplace.

It also doesn’t help that the best way to learn nearly any game is to play single-player.  That option is here, but for the life of me I couldn’t even complete the first mission in campaign mode.  Even on the easiest difficulty setting, the enemies are absolutely flawless marksmen that will accurately fire every single shot.  You, on the other hand, are just a person who has to deal with the clunking aiming and slow response time of your character.  I tried.  God knows I tried, but I couldn’t get past the first enemies I encounter on the first stage on the easiest setting possible.

I’ve had my skills as a gamer brought into question more than once since starting this site.  And while it’s true that I’m not exactly proficient in the art of throwing a dragon punch, I would still consider myself as having pretty decent gaming ability.  After my performance in  World Wars II, I seriously started to question my own skills.

And then Brian couldn’t beat it.  Huh.

Brian called his friend Cameron over and they tried it co-op.  Nope, still couldn’t beat it.

I was sent a second review code so I gave it to my buddy Alan C with the Tea, who operates his own XBLIG blog.  Guess what?  HE COULDN’T BEAT IT EITHER!

Now, I’m not going to pick on this subject too much, because even most mainstream shooting games (coughFARCRYcough) can’t get proper AI done.  But the first level, and the first baddies?  Yikes.  That’s some shitty AI coding.

So I used multiplayer to learn the mechanics of the game.  I played several games online with Brian, and it was comically awful on both of our parts.  Nothing made sense, the controls were bad, and switching between characters was a fucking nightmare.

A few days later, we played again and the results started pretty much the same way.  But then things did start to click and we kind of had fun with the game.  It wasn’t perfect by any means.  Even after putting several hours into the game, the aiming is slow and clunky.  In a game where you primarily are trying to shoot other people, that can get a bit annoying.  And while you’re fighting with these mechanics, you’re also having to juggle other factors.  You have to watch your gas tank on each car.  You have dozens of troops to position and shuffle to.  At this point, World Wars II feels more like a boring desk job than a game.

Swissplayers Game Studios helpfully included two screenshots of World Wars II’s menus on their marketplace page. Yes indeed, this does confirm the game features menus. Awesome.

We spent most of the time playing capture the flag.  The name is very misleading.  It’s actually a territorial-control game where you find a base and squat on it until your flag gets raised.  Whoever gets all the flags first wins.  There’s also a game that is more close to capture the flag.  A pile of gold is hidden inside a base.  You have to blow up the base, expose the gold, get it, and take it back to your base.  I actually found this particular game type to be boring.  But the territorial control stuff was alright.

Honestly, I can’t recommend World Wars II because it just takes too much time and effort to enjoy the whole thing.  It’s probably a lot more fun with a full roster of eight people, but so is throwing yourself out of an airplane.  The aiming system just blows.  It would probably played better as a twin-stick shooter.  The unbeatable AI cripples the single player experience.  Online multiplayer is the only way to have fun, but it won’t be possible unless every player has put in the required time to actually get good at it.  Somewhere in here was the trapping of a good game, but the final product doesn’t live up to its potential.

Oh, and one last gripe.  The four pictures selected by the developers to represent this game on the marketplace were fucking pitiful.  Only one is a screenshot of game play.  Another is a screen of someone looking at the map.  The other two pictures are of menus.  Fucking menus!  Jesus Christ, guys!  These are the pictures that you’re trying to use to sell your game.  At least try to be more picky about them than the DMV is.

World Wars II was developed by Swissplayers Game Studios

240 Microsoft Points pointed at a box of the board game Risk and declared that your online indie multiplayer strategy game should not be more complicated than that in the making of this review. 

Review copies of World Wars II were provided by Swissplayers Game Studios to IndieGamerChick.com in this review.  The copy played by the Chick was purchased by her with her own Microsoft Points.  The review copies was given to friends with the sole purpose of helping the Chick test online multiplayer.  Those people had no feedback in this article.  For more information on this policy, please read the Developer Support page here.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

4 Responses to World Wars II

  1. Man, that game actually looked pretty sweet, I am disappointed.

    Have you tried Wizorb?

    • Kairi Vice says:

      Yes I have. It’s a former Top 10 game. I wasn’t as in love with it as everyone else, and my review was brutal against it despite enjoying it. I hate brick breakers, it just happened to be the first brick breaker that caught my wrath.

      There’s a review index in the links above with all my prior reviews. Check it out. And welcome to the site! 😀

  2. Alan C says:

    Holy shit, this game is hard. Numerous attempts over the course of weeks, and I still can’t beat that first little clump of guys with their tank-driving buddy. It’s insane.

    WWII seems to be let down by its ambition. I applaud the attempt to be a deep, detailed wargame but it’s just so complicated and clunky and…not very much fun most of the time.

    Good point about the trial period, too. I think it took me somewhere around an hour of playing and re-playing the tutorial before I got my head around how to command my forces. There’s just nothing here that would sell the game in an 8-minute demo.

  3. You just don’t like it cause there’s nazis in it, with femnazis nowhere to be found.

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