Classified: France '44


Your name is Captain Willard Cassidy. You and two other daredevil soldiers have been parachuted into Picardie, France, in 1944, deep behind enemy lines. Your first goal is to contact the French Resistance. Then you and your men, with the help of the Resistance fighters, must create havoc across the North of France to the German army and installations. Your team must confuse and weaken the enemy so they are on the back foot when Operation Overlord is launched two months from now. Good luck, Captain; we count on you in Classified: France '44.

Classified: France '44 is a turn-based strategy game developed by Absolutely Games and published by Team17 on the 6th of March 2024 on the Steam Platform. The game is also available on PS5 and Xbox One Series X|S.

What an elaborate strategy game Classified: France '44 is; I was sucked in from the start. Why elaborate? Well, there are a number of things you can do in the planning before launching a new mission. I also like the moral character attributes within the combat phase, which can determine how much pressure your characters are under and their effectiveness in combat. But before you do that, you must choose which of the three difficulty levels you'd like to play the game in. I strongly recommend starting with the regular difficulty, which is how the game is supposed to be played. You can also add the Ironman option, but you won't be able to quit or restart a mission or manually save your progress.

Then, you'll have a great introduction through live sketching accompanied by great voiceovers. These illustrations will reappear after completing each of the missions, where the story of these men unfolds from Captain Cassidy's perspective. The first mission will be a solid and comprehensive tutorial before you get to the Northern France map.

The map is a significant aspect of the game. There are ten regions, and each is divided into three parts. Each region will be occupied by one of the three resistance cells: the Criminals, Gaullists and Radicals. Each region will have a specific ability, and every time you complete a mission in that region, the tie with that resistance faction will increase, and you'll also be able to receive additional benefits from that part of France. For example, in the Nord Pas-De-Calais, there is a hospital. If you acquire one out of the three areas, it might take four days to heal a character's injuries, but if you have all three areas, it will take only two days. Each region has a specific ability to unlock, and yes, you must have all three areas in each region to acquire these benefits. After a few missions, German figurines will appear on the map. At first there’ll be one, but as you progress, you’ll find four figurines scattered around the map. These units will eliminate the connection with the resistance faction that is operating within that specific area. The only way to counter this is to send an FFI (French Forces of the Interior) unit to stop their progress. To be honest, it will be tough for a while because you need to complete a specific mission to be able to recruit these units. Although some missions will have an FFI token as a reward, reaching the highest relations with each Resistance group will also give you a free FFI token. But to be honest, that won't be enough, as it will only sideline each German unit for three days. Ongoing FFI recruitment will be needed as soon as they are available to you.

The basecamp tab is where two of your characters will chitchat, adding more substance to the story and giving you more insight into your characters. It will also boost the morale of both characters and heal one fatigue point.

The loadout tab is where you can swap weapons, customise outfits and upgrade skills for your characters. After each successful mission, your team will receive supply and experience points and rewards, including weapons and uniforms. The maximum level your characters will reach is level 25, and they will slowly progress toward it. There are usually one or two levels per mission, as long as you have selected them. Even if you have eight characters on hand, you can only select four at a time for each outing, leaving the others to perform alternative operations on the map. The skill tree per category unit is cool, with four paths to follow and 36 skills upgrades each. For the marksman category, you get to decide if that specific unit will become a sniper, huntsman, veteran or defender unit. It’s the same for the leader, scout, support, and heavy units, but with four different paths. Most skills cost one point, but some of them cost two experience points. The last tab is for the three resistance factions, and as your relationship grows with each faction, you'll be able to purchase more weapons and gears with better combat values. Remember that anything you do or anything you purchase will require supply points. On top of that, events will happen here and there, requiring you to choose what to do.

In terms of the gameplay within the missions, it’s typical of the game genre, and I particularly enjoyed the morale aspect that can interfere with each of the characters during battles. So, let's say you are shooting at an enemy that takes cover behind a tree trunk. If your character is positioned in front of the trunk, you might not hit him, but the fact that bullets are hitting the trunk will unsettle his morale gauge, and if the gauge is fully depleted, the enemy won’t be able to do anything the next turn. It's well done. I think that the difficulty progression of new enemy units onto the battlefields is pretty fair on the regular level of difficulty. I also like that you can plant bombs on tanks, planes, brides, V1 launch ramps and armoured vehicles, but I am a bit disappointed that buildings can't be destroyed during combat. 

There are three types of missions: ambush, assault and stealth. Ambush will allow you to kill from three to eight soldiers with stealth ability – melee weapons. During the assault mission, you will be in combat immediately, and in the stealth mission, you'll be able to sneak and kill most of the soldiers on the map until one of your units is detected. The maps are small to medium in size, which is fine.

The graphics, voiceovers and illustrations are splendid. I experienced a few issues with the screen flickering here and there; in one of the missions, my screen went black for a few seconds while moving the camera angle, and then one froze while loading a save game. It's really not bad for over 25 hours plus of gameplay. On all accounts, I thoroughly enjoy this game, another top-listed strategy game for 2024. Oh, and the game Encyclopedia is brilliant.

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for

Classified: France '44 Steam Store Page


+ Great Graphics and voiceovers
+ Good character skill tree
+ Good character customisation
+ Implementation of difficulty progression in combat is fair
+ Three levels of difficulty
+ Good tactical implementation in map and combat phases


- Few issues with screen flickering and one crash after loading a saved game
- The screen went black for a few seconds while moving the camera in one mission
- No trading cards as yet

Review Summary

Classified: France '44 is well-presented and provides good tactical pre and in-mission gameplay. It is dangerously addictive and shouldn’t be missed by the fans of the genre.

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Zeepond Rating: 8/10