Gary Grigsby’s World at War Preview (PC)

Gary Grigsby’s World at War is yet another war game amidst many others of the same type. World War 2 is not an uncommon setting for strategy games, but this game is looking to set itself apart.

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The game takes place during the turbulent years of 1940 through 1946. You can control any of the five world powers (or more than one). There are Japan, Germany (which includes Italy), Russia, China, and the “Western Allies” (UK and the US). It’s a little disappointing to see that the US and the UK are controlled as one, but it prevents the game map from becoming too confusing. It’s also interesting that China is counted as one world power, since its role in the war wasn’t as great as the other world powers.

The game itself plays out like a turn-based board game, with each of the world powers taking turns. A turn consists of two parts: movement and production phase. The movement phase will involve you spreading out your units as you see fit, and engaging the enemy in combat. Combat itself is rather simple, and takes you away from the map to a combat screen, where you see a visual representation of the attack. After which, you’ll get a summary of the results.

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As your units are out attacking, you have to make sure they are supplied and that you are producing new units. In addition, you want to research new technology and produce new weapons that will tilt the battles in your favor. Overall, each turn will involve a fair amount of action a lot of decision making on your part. Playing out one campaign will take quite a bit of time; probably as long as it would take you to complete some games in their entirety.

There are over a dozen types of combat units in the game, and a sprinkling of support units and structures. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a difference in the units between sides. Although you will see a different graphical representation, they seem to be equally powered. For example, American fighter planes will be on par with Japanese fighter planes. This is probably done for simplicity’s sake, but it is somewhat disappointing.

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The game is not that hard to get into. Contrary to other war games, you can just start up the game for the first time, and be killing enemy troops within minutes. The game’s control scheme is set up very logically, and you can manage most of the game without a reading of the manual. However, don’t be mistaken. There is plenty of complexity to the game that will make sure the campaigns are dynamic and interesting. Add to that a difficulty setting that can scale the computer to your skill level, and you’ve got a game that will keep you busy for months.

The game is nearing completion, and it looks like it will be ready for release soon. It will be interesting to see how the game pans out as a finished product. If you’re a fan of turn-based strategy, this will definitely be one to look out for in the coming months.

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