Men of War: Assault Squad is now on Steam!
Did you ever play Soldiers: Heroes of World War II? If you didn't, it's free on GameTap right now
, so if you have a friend to play through the coop campaign with, you should check it out. Whether or not you've played it, though, it doesn't matter: it has a sequel out that is like 10 times as good. It's called Men of War
and it's awesome.
WHAT IS MEN OF WAR
Images that follow seized without permission from the Internet at large but mostly RockPaperShotgun.com. Sorry!
Men of War is a tactical World War II strategy game. There is no base or unit building. You get a set amount of points, and you buy units with those points. Then you use those units to blow the crap out of bad guys, or the environment, or friendly people on accident. Other times you use those units to seize an objective, or attack an area that your opponents defend, or to steal a valuable cargo trailer and tow it back to your base while the enemy tries to do the same thing. It's kind of like Close Combat crossed with Commandos crossed with Company of Heroes. Anything that starts with a C is probably in this game, come to think of it. Unique features in Men of War:
- Every unit has an individual inventory and can pick up stuff like ammunition or guns from the ground
- Every VEHICLE has a unique inventory, letting you refuel and rearm enemy vehicles whose crew you have killed
- Every unit can be individually controlled with something called "direct control," which is tons of fun for something like a Tiger tank. You basically drive around and shoot people, or if it's a man you run around and shoot people. A little like a 3rd person shooter but slower and more tactical.
- The AI is ridiculously intelligent; you can order a squad to take cover behind a wall and they'll stay there and shoot at enemies from behind it, or you can tell them to hide in the bushes and they'll remain hidden until they ambush the unsuspecting enemies
- The game is quite realistic (although ranges have been scaled down to accomodate players). Why is it realistic? Well...
- Tank combat! The tank shells all fly in accurate trajectories and everything, but the real awesome part is the calculation of penetration, which takes into account angle, speed, and armor. You can not only blow up enemy tanks, but knock out the treads, shoot the turret or the barrel, or blow through the engine, or smash into the crew quarters and kill everyone inside.
- Infantry combat! Machineguns will mow down 20 enemy infantry in a few seconds, rifles will kill their targets in a shot or two, and a grenade can make meat out of men
- The terrain! Every building and object is 100% destructable. You can DRIVE a TANK through a HOUSE and CRUSH EVERYTHING. It's awesome.
- The game has a million units: flamethrower infantry, Fallschirmjaegers, Stormtroopers, King Tigers, Fireflies, upgunned Shermans, uparmored Sherman Jumbos, M10s, M18s, T-34s, Tigers, Panthers, a million Panzer IV variants, plus Panzer IIIs and Panzer IIs and Panzer Is, light vehicles out the wazoo, tons of artillery, and so on. That's just a small sliver of what you have available.
- Single player campaign that's moderately fun, ability to play through all those missions in coop to make it totally fun, and fantastic multiplayer with lots of game modes
- Awful, awful voice acting! JUST SO BAD. Russians hate paying for voice actors or something.
Sounds like fun eh? Well if you want to get in on the action, you can buy it from like 8 places. Your best bet right now is to buy Men of War on Steam
or at the very least try out the Men of War demo
but I'm sure you can find all sorts of places to purchase it. The DRM, I believe, is quite lax, and there's none of that Starforce crap that Soldiers: Heroes of WW2 had. The demo on Steam appears to be partially broken, or at least it won't really install; try GamersHell
The game isn't nearly as hardcore as, say, an actual turn-based wargame, but if you're used to "select all of my units and click attack" there's going to be a learning period. Single player and multiplayer are two different beasts, but by far the best way to play single player is coop: doing it with a friend is much more fun (MIND OUT OF GUTTERS). Twice as fun with voice chat, too! You'll never top the thrill of yellling at your friend for destroying the Panzer IV you stole because he thought it was an enemy tank.
I've made a lot of videos of the game in action. This is the first one; just follow the video responses to see the rest:
TIPS FOR ALL GAME MODES:
- Direct control turns your men into supermen, or ubermensch if you're playing as the Wehrmacht. Hold down control to activateit or hit end to toggle it (I use end)
- People who are prone are less likely to die in pretty much every situation, unless they're trying to run away.
- Mortars are murder. If you're being shelled by a mortar, take it out as fast as possible. Also, use mortars!
- Flamethrowers have perhaps the best possible cost/benefit ratio if you use them right. You can roast an entire squad in a second or two, and a few seconds of flame on an enemy tank will set it on fire and knock it out forever.
- Smoke grenades can provide wonderful cover if you need to cross an open field.
- There are lots of little tricks you can do to reduce micro. For example, to repair a tank, just select the tank and hit the repair button in the lower right. A tank crewman will get out of the tank, pick up the repair kit from off the tank, repair it, replace the kit, and get back inside.
- Similarly, the 1-9 hotkeys in the middle/bottom of the screen (where WoW also puts its skills) save lots of time for grenades and stuff like that, and I think you can drag any skill you want to those bars.
- Riflemen and infantry like them can build sandbags, which are great cover. Click on the little gear in the lower right, click on the shovel/sandbag button, and drag out the sandbags.
- Things like AT guns, mortars, and heavy machineguns come with their own cover AND concealment. Click on the gear in the lower right and you'll see the option to deploy either bushes (don't ask me where they come from) or a little sandbag pit. Once deployed, these aren't moving, though, so you'll have to abandon them eventually.
Stolen from the DMS forums
- The circle around your cursor indicates the spread radius
- The first figure in white shows you the distance in meters
- The figure in the box indicates you the penetration strength of your gun, it depends on your gun and distance
- The color of the box indicates if you can penetrate the enemies' tank armour or not
- Green means it can be a successful hit
- Yellow means it can cause damage to the tank
- Red means it is very unlikely you cause any damage
- Every shot on the same target increases the accuracy
- HE shells are less accurate than AP shells
Also keep in mind that if the little fuzzy dot is red instead of orange or blue, your shot is obscured. For an AP shell, this might not matter, because if it's being obscured by a tree it will just go through the tree, but usually this means there is a building or YOUR OWN TANK in the way, so don't fire until you figure out what's blocking you.
TIPS FOR SINGLE PLAYER/COOP:
- The game is quite difficult, so don't try anything rash unless you're prepared to face the consequences
- Direct control can be helpful; it goes a long way to making each guy count
- If you open up the objective list and click on the little binoculars near the objective, it will show you where the objective is
- Salvage everything that might be useful, or that looks cool. Nazi uniforms look cool! But they are evil.
TIPS FOR MULTIPLAYER:
More information please
- Eyes on the prize! If the objective is to capture certain points, CAPTURE THEM! And so on. Stormtroopers and their infantry equivalent on each side capture points faster.
- Quality over quantity over quality! Don't just buy the most expensive tank, because if it gets knocked out that sucks, but resist the urge to buy a bunch of tanks and swarm the enemy, because one well-used tank is much better than three badly-managed tanks. Direct control is quite helpful here but mostly on the attack.
- Let the computer take control of tricky shots if the target is moving fast and you're having trouble leading.
- Mines are great for holding on to a location, but they only work once or twice before a sapper shows up. Don't expect mines to hold your flank forever.
- Best way to take out tanks, besides shooting them with tanks? Infantry with AT grenades are fantastic. Double click on a tank and your dude will attack it with his AT nade. Select the tank first to see its line of sight.
- If you can steal an enemy tank, that's sweet. Tank crew are very cheap, so buy them and repair overextended enemy armor that you've knocked out. To keep this from happening to you, use the dynamite on each tank to detonate a vehicle you have to abandon.
- Keep everything moving. A tank, mortar, or AT gun that your opponent can pinpoint in the fog of war is as good as dead once he gets around to attacking it. If you move after every four or five shots, you'll stay much safer and cause your opponent much more trouble.
- Right click on a unit you're thinking of buying, and read the box that pops up. Fun historical info, right? Now click the "show detail" or "show specifications" or whatever, and go HOLY CRAP because this tells you everything you need to know about vehicles and tanks. It is INCREDIBLY useful, and you should mostly use it for comparing the power of guns on tanks and the thickness of armor.
- Keep your infantry spread out, or they'll all die to something in one impressive but somewhat depressing explosion.
- You can steal stuff like body armor or AT grenades from dead enemy troops. I once picked up a panzerfaust with a tank crewman I didn't need for anything else, and 10 minutes later, out of nowhere, he used it to blow the crap out of a Puma.
Okay sure. Right now we've got Germany, Britain, the USA, Russia, and the Japanese. There are tons of maps and basically the game is awesome. Lots of Russian people play it so if you speak Russian you'll feel right at home, only you wont be drunk on vodka so it's not completely like being Russian. If you played Soldiers: Heroes of WWII you'll mostly be familiar with the basics but Men of War improves a lot with the controls. Infantry are now grouped into squads and the AI is much better, leading to much less "my men are dumb and died" and much more "I AM EISENHAUR, I DEFECTED FROM AMERICANS TO GERMANS BECAUSE I LOVE THE TIGER!"
There is a standalone expansion called Red Tide
which adds some moderately fun single player/coop missions but isn't really worth it unless you have a good coop buddy to play with.
There's a semi-sequel, Assault Squad
, coming in the moderately distant future. There is little information available about it.
Look at that! He hid a Tiger in a building! He drove the Tiger straight into the building!
Cool Links for Awesome People
Men of War Forums
Rock Paper Shotgun articles on Men of War
. See how many there are? Those are all good articles. Read 'em.
My YouTube channel
. I make lots of Men of War videos; I am to be both funny and informative. Learn tactics and World War II history, or just check out what the game looks like in motion.
which is even more impressive if you disregard "Cheat Code Central's" stupid score.
A very good review that breaks down the positives and negatives, all without insulting women or minorities
Also some people mod the game but I dunno anything about that.
Not only can you set PEOPLE on fire, but you can set BUILDINGS on fire (burning the people inside), GRASS on fire (eliminating the concealment for the people hiding there, and setting THEM on fire), TREES on fire (killing the sniper who climbed up there for a better shot), TANKS on fire (roast the crew, wait for it to cool, steal the tank!), CHICKENS on fire (lunch), and anything you set on fire can spread to whatever's next to it! Really they could make a second game like this where instead of fighting in World War II you set it on fire.