Men of War II

Review

So far, in 2024, I have had the pleasure of playing a few strategy games set in the World War II era, all of which were turn-based. So, when I was offered the opportunity to play Men of War II, a real-time strategy game, I jumped on it like there was no tomorrow. Sixteen hours of gameplay down the track and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the game due to its vast content. Well, here are my two cents worth regarding Men of War II.

Men of War II is a real-time strategy game developed by Best Ways and published by Fulqrum Publishing on the 16th of May 2024 on the Steam platform. The game is also available on the Epic Games Store.

The first thing that impressed me when I launched Men of War II was how much content this game had. If you enjoy playing singleplayer campaigns, you'll have access to various missions and modes for all three factions (Germans, Russians and Americans) available in this game. Four different campaign modes, three of which have a combined 102 missions and the conquest campaign, which is an offensive and defensive skirmish type of gameplay. There are four scenarios, and each map has a faction HQ at each extremity and around 15 locations to conquer. Each faction will take turns making an offensive at the closest location on the map, and the other faction will defend it. If all locations are gained by one faction, it’s game over. It’s fun and interactive and can go on for ages. And if multiplayer action is what you are looking for, you'll have three PVPs and one PVE mode at your disposal.



On the other side of the spectrum, I don't think it’s necessary to force players to be continually online during singleplayer campaigns, which this game requires. To give you an idea, I was AFK for three to five minutes for a coffee break, and when I returned, a popup menu was up telling me to click on a button to continue my game or I would be kicked out; the timer was nearly out of time. The other thing that struck me was the sheer speed of the gameplay and the fact that you have no options to slow it down. I was quite overwhelmed seeing all AI units AI (friendlies and opponents) moving so fast while I was just trying to get my bearings on the map and beginning to implement actions. So, it might be a good idea to first launch the tutorials, which, by the way, are excellent. You also earn experience points and supplies and can use the latter when you play a PVP game. You earn experience points, supplies, and money after each successful mission, and you use the money and experience points to unlock new units and purchase these new units for your battalions, divisions, etc.    

The gameplay is good, and I like the interface as all the commands are just a click away. Depending on what campaign you select, some missions will have only a certain number of units, while others will give you access to reinforcements, which are called echelons in this game. As far as I can see, there are up to three tiers of echelons, and in some missions, there is a certain amount of time to wait before the second and third echelons can be utilised. I am unsure if there are more than three tiers of echelons, as I haven't played all the missions. What was clear to me very quickly was that you have to give orders to every soldier, tank, and canon. Yes, you can select a group of soldiers and give them orders, too, but I found that I was having fewer casualties by strategically moving and placing each unit one by one on the map. All foot soldiers come in groups of various numbers; for example, the infantry units will come with a group of five soldiers, and each soldier will have their own weaponry, ammunition and helmet in their inventory. Infantry units can dig trenches and foxholes, while engineering units can erect barbed wire and place mines and anti-personal mines as their main perks. But you can view fallen soldiers' inventory and pick their gear and ammunition. There are also boxes to be found; you can inspect their contents and pick up what you might need, although because of the speed of the gameplay in specific missions, it is quite hard to do. There is a huge number of units for all three factions, from infantry units to tanks, cars, sidecars, trucks, canons, artillery cannons, anti-air defences, planes and all guns, machine guns and rifles from the era.

In terms of realism, I think the developers excelled here. Pretty much everything can be destroyed on the map, and the animations of fallen soldiers are top-notch. You can see where every bullet and ends up. The AI is pretty smart, and you can play each mission on the easy, normal or hard difficulty.

Yes, there are gameplay issues, such as the occasional infantry units getting stuck and being unable to be used. I had a few problems with some units that were shaking for a while. In my view, the loading time is a tad too long. I had a few games at the online PVE and I did have fun, but I haven't tried the PVP mode as it is not my cup of tea.

The graphics and sound effects are excellent. Unfortunately, the voice-overs are average, and the German and Russian accents are lousy. Overall, the game is very sound and offers massive replayability for both solo and multiplayer campaigns, but I don't understand why we must be connected to play campaign modes.

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for Zeepond.com

Men of War II Steam Store Page


Positives

+ Great graphics
+ Good Sound effects
+ Three factions with large numbers of units
+ Three campaigns with 102 missions and one conquest campaign mode
+ Great tutorials
+ PVE and PVP modes
+ Hundreds of hours of gameplay

Negatives

- Must be constantly connected to play the campaign modes
- The gameplay is too fast, and you don't have an option to slow it down
- Several bugs here and there

Review Summary

Men of War II has a massive amount of content and realism that will appeal to veterans as well as newcomers to the genre. Get ready for hundreds of hours of gameplay.

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Zeepond Rating: 7/10

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