The Great War: Western Front is not a perfect game, but it presents the battles of the First World War in the form of a relatively good strategy experience. Follow the game review.
The First World War, as one of the bloodiest battles in human history, began in 1914 and plunged the world into a period of darkness for four years. During this war, military equipment experienced certain changes and even chemical weapons were used for the first time in a battle. Unlike World War II, this battle has not been depicted much in video games and we mostly remember games like Battlefield 1 based on it. Now, Petroglyph Games, the same studio that many may know for Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, has gone to World War I to create a strategy experience, and the result is The Great War: Western Front. But how successful has this work been in providing an entertaining depiction of this battle in the form of a video game? We will answer this question below.
The Great War: Western Front is reminiscent of games like the Total War series in terms of style and overall style. The style of the game is a combination of a turn-based campaign on a relatively large map of European countries, and when the forces engage in battle with each other, we enter into wars that take place simultaneously or in real time.
At the first encounter with the game, its different modes attract attention. The game has sections such as campaign, historical battles, skirmish mode and multiplayer battles. However, before going to any of these modes, I suggest that no matter how skilled and experienced you are in strategy games, you must play the training part; Because The Great War: Western Front has many small and large mechanics that you will have a hard time experiencing without getting to know them.
Undoubtedly, the most important single-player experience of The Great War: Western Front is its campaign section. The part that includes the two missions of the Central Powers and the Allies. In both these missions, you can start from 1914 or 1916. After that you will be faced with maps of Europe with your forces on one side and enemy forces on the other. To achieve victory, there are two ways ahead of the gamer; First, reducing the enemy’s fighting motivation to zero by attacking its different fronts and achieving victory, and secondly, capturing the enemy’s central city. In their turn, gamers can only attack houses adjacent to their own forces, and the enemy will do the same in their turn. The result of the battle affects the motivation of the insider and the enemy, and for example, if it leads to a great victory, it will result in a positive score for the insider and a negative score for the enemy. If the score of one of the parties reaches zero, the war will be lost.
The creators of the game The Great War: Western Front paid great attention to small and large details, and if artificial intelligence problems do not prevent them, paying attention to these things and using them correctly can determine the fate of battles.
In the turn-based campaign mode, many small and large factors are influential in determining the outcome of battles, one of which is the proper management of resources. In each turn, you will receive a certain amount of gold, which you can use to train troops or turn into ammunition needed for war. In order to be able to attack enemy-controlled territories, you need to spend ammunition, and as a result, you must manage these resources in a correct and logical way. In the case of achieving great victories in battles, one star will be deducted from the front you attacked, and if these stars reach zero, that land will be conquered by you. But the point here is that the limitation of resources makes strategy always play a prominent role in decisions, and as a result, if you focus all your energy on capturing a specific part of the enemy’s plan, you will be weakened on other fronts, and the enemy can also Earn positive points by conquering your lands. Meanwhile, the technology tree also plays a prominent role, and just like the real history of war, you can gradually get equipment such as airplanes or tanks through it, which have an impact on the outcome of battles. Also, missions like spying on the enemy and using such tools are very important.
The tactical and strategy-oriented decisions in the game’s turn-based battles promise an engaging experience. But in reality, the attractiveness of this section is highly dependent on the degree of difficulty you choose. In the low difficulty level of the game, everything goes too fast and in a small number of turns, you will be able to reduce the motivation of the enemy to zero and win the war. On the other hand, at high difficulty, where everything is expected to be more interesting, most of the war situation becomes an endless loop; Because as much as you may succeed, the enemy will hit you on weaker fronts and there will always be a balance between the points, which in itself is not a bad thing, but it becomes questionable when you look at the other aspect of the game, the battles. Let’s pay it at the same time.
When attacking enemies in turn-based mode, there are two ways ahead of you; First, handing over the result of the battle to Auto Resolve, which only announces the result of the war, and especially in higher difficulty levels, extremely unexpected things may happen in it, and even when you have obtained detailed information about the enemy’s forces through activities such as espionage, and you know that You have the above, fail miserably again, and the second is to enter a war while in control of yourself. The simultaneous battles of The Great War: Western Front have a really creative and detailed design. At the beginning of each battle, you can arrange your fortifications, defensive positions, cannons, and your own forces on the map in any way you like, and of course decide whether you want to bring them all into the field at this time or later as auxiliaries. Take advantage of them.
At the beginning of the simultaneous battles, you will not have a view of the enemy’s positions, and for this reason, you have to make many decisions later and after the start of the battle. Usually, wars proceed in such a way that on one side, the defense forces are placed and have to defend their position by settling in the trenches, and on the other side, there are the attacking forces that have to capture them. Undoubtedly, one of the main positive features of the game is the incredible detail that can be effective in the outcome of these simultaneous battles. For example, infantry forces are necessary and important for capturing enemy trenches or occupying strategic points on the map, but they are very weak against equipment such as fixed machine guns or even enemy aircraft fire, and if you send too many of them to enemy positions without thinking. They will be killed very easily. As a result, you have to provide the position first by using tools such as artillery fire or using the air force at your disposal, and then issue the order to attack the infantry. Cannons have different types of shots, and for example, you can even use their Smoke mode to create smoke in a part of the map and hide your forces from the enemy.
Just like the reality of the First World War, the battles are firstly depicted in a very large area, and as a result, on the map at the same time, you may need to react in several areas, for this purpose, the option to pause the game is also available, which can be stopped by stopping it. He issued orders and then witnessed their implementation. Also, the battles are strongly dependent on the trenches, and for example, to capture a strategic point, you must capture the enemy’s trenches or trenches first, which can be a surprise; Because if you don’t have the right information, which you usually won’t have, you don’t know how many forces are deployed in each trench, and as a result, you may be surprised and get into trouble. In addition, in continuing to try to achieve realism, equipment such as tanks or airplanes are extremely powerful, and their correct use can determine the fate of a battle. Of course, this does not mean disrupting the balance of the game, and both parties involved have such equipment and how they are used determines the outcome.
Another interesting thing about the simultaneous battles of the game is that if you have several battles on a certain front, you will see the result of the previous battles in the next times, and the structures built or destroyed will remain in place, which gives the game a more realistic state. . With these explanations, on the surface everything looks really good and great; A combined campaign of turn-based and simultaneous modes that is strategy-oriented in both modes and can be very attractive to fans of this style. But in reality, everything is not so perfect and there are some things that affect this charm.
The campaign part of the game The Great War: Western Front practically lacks a specific challenge at low difficulty levels, and at normal and higher difficulty levels, it enters an endless loop of repetitive tasks that become boring and boring after a while.
First of all, when you try to play the game on normal and higher difficulty, the battles on the turn-based map take a long time and you have to be patient to achieve victory. This causes you to have to fight on the same front again and again, and as a result, you have to do a large number of simultaneous battles, which become repetitive and boring after a while, and only if you achieve a real victory and capture the enemy’s territory, it is possible because Focusing on one particular front, in another front you can easily give them a territory. This puts the game into a loop that is not easy to get out of. But the more fundamental problem is related to the simultaneous battles themselves and the role of artificial intelligence in them. Imagine that you have built your defense and support structures on the map with utmost care and you are fully prepared for any eventuality. However, in practice, not everything is done as it should be and all your hard work is wasted as a result of the strange workings of artificial intelligence.
The problems of the game’s artificial intelligence show themselves most of all in the command of the infantry. It happens relatively often that you, for example, direct the troops to a certain trench or give an order to capture the enemy’s trench, but the troops first go towards it from the strangest possible route, and in addition, sometimes before entering the trench, they go a little around themselves. They rotate and this issue is enough for them to be killed by the fire of enemy automatic machine guns or even their planes and artillery in the easiest possible way and all plans are ruined. Especially considering the large size of the battle maps, it often happens that you order a group of troops to settle in a safe place and because you feel comfortable about them, you go to another side of the map, but due to the strange routing of the troops, they are in the wrong place. and as a result, when you go to them, you will see that there is not much left of them!
Unfortunately, this problem has a bad effect on the overall quality of the game and is the main weakness of The Great War: Western Front, which affects many other aspects. Apart from the campaign mode, the game also has a section called historical battles, where there is no news of turn-based mode, and instead, you have to experience some of the most important battles of the First World War simultaneously. Battles such as the Verdun battle are described in this section, which are narrated with documentary-like images from that era and can remind gamers of the history of this great war. These battles have an attractive design and scenario, but the problem of artificial intelligence here also has a negative effect on the overall experience. Skirmish sections are also available in the game to design custom battles with artificial intelligence and the multiplayer section, which you can go to. The overall balance of the game is suitable for multiplayer experience and even though the game lobbies are very quiet, but if you find the game, you can enjoy this part as well.
In terms of visual experience, The Great War: Western Front focuses more on the quantity of work than its quality; This means that the battlefields are vast and depending on the season you play in, weather conditions and snowy or rainy environments are well depicted. In battles, we see a large number of forces moving here and there at the same time. But it is enough to zoom in on them a little so that the very low details of their design show itself and even make you feel a little excited. Also, the animations related to the troops are very simple and basic, and if you zoom in on the position when you intend to capture a trench, there will be no apparent conflict between your forces and the enemy, and they will be deployed in the trench simply when the health bar of one of the parties is empty. . More attention to this aspect of the game could have provided a better image and atmosphere than the battles. Voiceovers are also in good condition and convey the sense of battles to a great extent.
Overall, The Great War: Western Front is a strategy game with interesting ideas that has both its own positives and problems that prevent it from becoming anything more than a merely good game. Attention to details and small and large things that affect the result of the game in turn-based modes and at the same time are one of the successful aspects of this game, but especially the problems related to artificial intelligence make many of the strengths of the game to be affected by this problem. All in all, if you are a fan of strategy games, The Great War: Western Front is a good option to experience and can depict the battles of the First World War in a suitable way.
The review of the game was based on the PC version and its code was sent to Zumji by the publisher.