War Front has the dubious honor of being the first RTS we played after SupCom (hereafter this period will be known as A.S.). Fair or not, SupCom raised our expectations, and War Front just doesn’t measure up—in fact, it feels like a bit of a fossil.
However, like the old rocks at your local museum, at least it’s been cleaned and polished to shine for those who care to take a trip down memory lane for some old-school fun.
The game is set in WWII, but before you turn the page groaning, it is at least an alternate WWII—one in which the United States, Britain, and Germany must team up to thwart a Soviet menace. The “alternate” setting also means that the units you get to wage war with are only loosely based on their historical counterparts, so you get access to all sorts of cool toys that Hitler and his cronies could perhaps envision but not create. We’re talking about things like sonic and ice-spitter tanks, mobile shield generators, jetpack soldiers, burrowing tanks, and delta-winged bombers. The units look great, and everything on the screen blows up real good—War Front’s gameplay may be archaic, but its pyrotechnics are modern day. The three factions’ armies are visually distinct but functionally similar, which means battles are fairly balanced.
The game’s story unfolds over the course of two 11-mission campaigns in which you see events through the eyes of the Allies’ leading hero, John Lynch, and then Germany’s Roland Hellman—Schwarzenegger protégés rife with bravado and cliché. The story is well told, with copious entertaining cutscenes that the repetitive missions cannot quite live up to. Most missions require you to eradicate an enemy base from the map to move on… yawn. And if you’ve played any RTS from the late ’90s forward, you’ll find little that is new.
The multiplayer offerings are rich, however—up to 10 people can play a single game online, and there are a few interesting game modes in addition to the standard deathmatch options.
Up to 10 people can play at once!
Let's be honest, it's pretty old school--little has changed in RTS games since the late 1990s.