Most helpful positive review
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Beautifully formed small troop turn based strategy game
on 19 April 2011
I would never have considered this; none of its design or marketing indicates that it's a relatively cerebral turn-based strategy game. Other games in the series are action games. However, I was very fortunate and won some 3DS games in a competition. When I looked at reviews to see which ones to keep, I discovered the true nature of this one and decided to give it a go.
Here you have six or fewer individual soldiers, with specific abilities, and a series of campaign missions. It's turn-based and square grid-based. At first you're led by the nose -- do this, then do this... so that you can learn about what the troops, and the enemies can do. Later you have much more flexibility to plan tactics.
3D doesn't have to be used in a flashy way; in this game it makes the whole game feel a bit like animated tabletop wargaming on an elaborate set. The terrain, elevation and structures affect the gameplay and being able to see them in 3D makes it easier to make placement decisions. It's possible to move around the camera, and there are some rather nice 3d sweeps at the beginning of each mission. It's all very charming and fun to play, and quite addictive. The 12 rating reflects the subject matter; terrain and characters are realistic and soldiers are 'killed' with guns. But there is no blood or visible injury and I would be happy for a slightly younger strategy-minded child to play it.
I've been playing on the medium - Veteran - difficulty level. When I tried playing an early mission on 'Elite' I got pounded; but with Veteran although I've lost the odd scenario, I can mostly just about pull through.
Some have said this is an RPG, but there's no skill tree; each character levels up in pre-determined ways.
It's also a big game; reassuring in these days of shorter games. As well as the lengthy campaign, there are 'skirmish' missions that don't fit into the main campaign but illustrate different playing styles, and a head-to-head mode. I think it does a good job of both showing what the 3DS can do, and showing why you might spend £30 on a DS game rather than a couple of pounds on an iPhone game.