The RTS WWII games have a new entry in AXIS & ALLIES that expands the traditional battle-focused strategies to now include the complexities of supply and command & control. AXIS & ALLIES delivers on all levels: playability, AI, graphics and sound, and historical accuracy. This is a solid game that will provide many hours of enjoyment and challenge. A good value for your entertainment dollar.
AXIS & ALLIES (A&A) is the latest title from ATARI, and provides a series of campaign scenarios for the Allies (which starts first – so perhaps it should have been named – “ALLIES & AXIS”) and then the Axis. Following a brief tutorial, A&A starts the Allied Campaign right off with the Battle of El-Alamein. This is somewhat confusing and yet comical, since the opening Allied Campaign video is of the Soviets – and then your first scenario you are the British.
However, you play through the series of linear battles roughly following the timeline of WWII. Each battle is rather unique – for example, whereas the Battle of El-Alamein was focused on quickly seizing the nearby oil refinery, taking out the beach bunkers/artillery, and then making a lightning raid along the coast and backdoor into the Nazi fortifications, the second Battle is at Guadalcanal – where you establish a defensive perimeter, buff up your troops, and send a formation down the coast to engage the enemy – relying on an airpower carpet-bombing to obliterate the Japanese forces when the counterattack. The third is a very difficult Stalingrad encirclement campaign.
We immediately noted that one of the positives for the game is the graphics and level of detail in the game’s construction. The range of units is well developed and the art work is commensurate with today’s gaming – however, there are no new innovations here, just solid graphics.
The game certainly lives up to its billing, in offering a wide variety of playing options. The design team did a good job in offering multiple campaigns, scenarios, skirmishes, and the board-game option. The battles typically last about an hour, with some blitzkrieg available for quick games. A&A gamers will quickly adapt to the interface and commands, and the intuitive nature of the game makes pickup easy and fast.
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A&A also has a wide variety of units – from battleships and planes, to tanks and artillery. Infantry can come in the assault, mortar, anti-tank, flamethrower infantries, etc. Tanks and artillery are similarly divided, and again – you can increase unit effectiveness by managing the technology tree.
AXIS & ALLIES is a solid RTS WWII game that provides state of the art graphics, good AI, and the need to carefully manage your supplies as well as the battlefield.