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Posted on Dec 22, 2010 in Games PR

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Intel

Brian King

Hot off the presses from Battlefront is a nice overview of what we can expect from the upcoming Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy game.  For fans of the original Combat Mission series (myself included) this new title represents years of waiting for Battlefront to take Combat Mission from the sands of the Middle East (their Shock Force titles) back to World War II.  The screenshots and accompanying details gives us a peek at what we can expect from a finished product. I don’t see any details about release dates, but we will certainly be keeping a close eye on this as we move into 2011.

Link to the full press release about the new game.

11 Comments

  1. I have enjoyed the CMSF and Afghanistan titles in the Combat Mission game series.

    These are the best small unit computer war games I have played.

    A couple of things I’d like to see addressed in the upcoming titles (and maybe patched in the already released games):

    - Leaders belong in front. During setup in the Quick Battle games, I always see leaders in a default position behind the elements they are supposed to be leading. For platoon leaders especially, this isn’t really right. They don’t have to be in front the whole time, but a leader should generally be where he can control the action and have direct influence. There are some sayings in the Army: “You can’t lead from the rear” and of course, “Follow me!” Platoon leaders should not be hanging back.

    - Afghanistan had units starting out mounted. That would be helpful across the series. It is wearisome mounting up infantry, especially when it is just to access ammunition onboard the tracks and strykers.

    - For the quick battle games and the scenario editor, it would interesting if designated elements could be given an expanded range of setup locations. For instance, if you could set up a sniper team across a deeper portion of the battlefield – representing their movement into the area earlier than the main body.

    - Fix the air support. This would apply to earlier titles, rather than the upcoming WW2 stuff. In CMSF, it seems to me that the Apaches should be able to do the hellfire thing from a ways off and deliver significantly more destruction. Even the Hinds in Afghanistan didn’t seem to have as much effect as I would anticipate. Maybe this was a play-balance decision, but I was always underwhelmed by the effects of CAS in both Afghanistan and CMSF.

    - Finally, a wish: It would be interesting to see a game based on the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah fight in Lebanon.

  2. [quote] It would be interesting to see a game based on the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah fight in Lebanon.[/quote]

    No it wouldn’t it would be boring as hell and only a small handful would even want to play something like that. Waste of time and resources.

  3. I don’t want this to come across as a vindictive rant I just don’t see how this game can be described as in any way complete. The whole package just comes across as rushed and incomplete.

    Issues

    Graphical rendering issues such as pop-up (trees are particularly bad)
    The ground moving/twitching when giving orders to troops!
    Guns not displayed on soldiers hands
    Spelling mistakes in mission briefings, c’mon please! where’s the QA?
    Persistent crash bugs
    Delays in rendering, particularly trees
    Dumb AI, path finding with tanks is frustrating to the point of hilarity.
    The interface is clunky (to be fair this may just be personal taste) However the points above are not.
    The ‘available artillery’ popup menu sould disapear when pausing/unpausing. The inability to switch between spotters with this menu active is dumb.

    Graphicaly this game is an improvement over Overlord and Shock Force unfortunatley it’s still pretty ugly by modern standards.

    I’m getting an Elemental:War of Magic feeling from this game so far (the developers took the beta testers a little to seriously, who said ‘everything you do is amazing!!!!’

    I want to like this game, it’s a shame and without extensive patching a missed opportunity for a timely series reboot. Unless you’re a fanboy type, I would wait until 3 or 4 patches are released before considering purchasing this game. In it’s current state it’s a 40%er. If your dead set on buying it, at the very least play the demo so you know what you’re getting for your money.

    I’m not up for a fight on a biased forum, I just want to make unsuspecting gamers aware before buying an obviously unfinished game.

    Please don’t kill me! but I honestly want this game to be great, unfortunatley its just not even a passable strategy game it its current buggy, busted state. Patch, patch, patch!

    Played on a Q9550 @3.4ghz, 4gb Ram DDR2 and an NVIDIA 260Gtx.

  4. I agree with the above criticism. The interface is terrible and out of date – almost impossible to use!. Its very hard to move the camera around. The scenery is awful and badly rendered, the load on the processer is HUGE compared to what you get.

    Awful game! Shame, because with a little work it could be a winner.

    Stay clear of this title is my advice! Looks over ten years old!

    • I agree with your criticisms of the game engine. There is a huge need for optimisation, hence all the graphical popup and glitchy rendering issues. The lack of reviews, to me at least indicates Battlefront know the game’s bad. No reviews have appeared and I suspect when they do it’ll be bad. Such a shame.

      I wonder if Panzer Command: Ostfront is any better? I really like detailed strategy turn based/ RTS games, but haven’t seen a decent one released in a while. Any suggestions? War in the east looks good, but it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

  5. “I really want to like this game”

    Why when you are clearly not a fan of the series, or this type of game? This blows the older versions away, and they were always award winning war-games.

    The interface takes a bit of learning (maybe 2 hrs) but it’s perfectly fine if you read the manual. To say it’s ‘unusable’ is simply not true.

    Playing the full release here and i reckon it’s a superb war game …. but definitely not for the graphic obsessed, or Call of Duty crowd. The CM series (or any serious war game) has never been about the looks. That’s not what will make or break this game.

    Path-finding is fine when you give the unit the correct instruction …. slow command for tight gaps or tricky vehicle manoeuvres for example. Also making sure you route the infantry squad through the very small, easy to miss gap in the bocage is another.

    Also now in CM, smaller objects and features in the terrain can be obstructions obstructions. The maps are much less abstract in this respect. You can’t route stuff the way you did in CMAK. Any path finding problems i have had turned out to be bad instruction on my part, not understanding the new terrain/objects dynamic, or cowardice among troops :-)

    The only thing that disappoints is that some much-loved features are missing from the original games – the command lines being the biggest miss – but there are enough improvements to make it a far superior game.

    But definitely try the demo as CM is one of those things you either love or hate.

  6. “Why when you are clearly not a fan of the series, or this type of game?”

    You couldn’t be more wrong! The first Combat Mission game is my most played strategy game of all time. It had problems but they were minor enough not to spoil the experience.

    With extensive patching this game could be salvageable, there is probably a great game in there it’s just obscured with the huge number of bugs, glitches and poor design choices.

  7. Aye, the graphics and the interface are moderately clunky and dated but what other game comes close to modeling WWII tactical combat as well as this game does????? Seriously, I’d like to know. The criticisms above seem like some serious nitpicking when there is really no good alternative to choose from. I give CMBN a big thumbs up (even in its v1.0 state) and look for many years of good gaming with the new engine just like I did the first Combat Mission series.

  8. You’re right, there aren’t a lot of other small scale strategy games like this, but that doesn’t make it any good. It just makes the fact that Battlefront released it in this state even more of a shame.

    The large number of issues this game suffers from, discussed above, combine to make the overall package very poor indeed. I really hope a large patch is released soon.

  9. dave146 clearly has a HUGE axe to grind. Combat Mission Normandy is THE tactical combat game to get. Hands down. Nothing beats the realism, detail, and gripping excitement of this game and it’s sister series, Shock Force. Download the demo. You won’t be sorry.

    • Shock Force!?

      The Shock force that gets an average 62% review score on metacritic, and a 2.9/10 from users? I would DEFINITELY download the demo first!

      Buggy and rushed? yes, Gripping? no.

      Still waiting for the patch….

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