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Game Features: Enemy Front: A Fresh Take on WWII

Military Games

Game Features: Enemy Front: A Fresh Take on WWII

Enemy Front is a recently released World War II first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of American reporter Robert Hawkins.

Enemy Front is a recently released World War II first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of American reporter Robert Hawkins.

by Brian Belko

On September 1, 1939, the Luftwaffe began heavy bombardments on the Polish capital city of Warsaw. This marked the beginning of the Battle of Warsaw, during which one of WWII’s most intense and bloody battles turned full-on siege.

In addition to military targets, the Germans also bombarded hospitals, water works and other civilian targets. Terror bombings were also conducted, in which the Luftwaffe pilots would strafe civilians with machine gun fire.

Land fighting began a week later, when German armor units reached the southwestern suburbs of Warsaw. Despite initial radio broadcasts by Germany claiming the capture of the city, Polish troops and rebels did not go quietly. They repelled the initial German push into the city and held it until the end of the month, when the Polish army finally capitulated.

Five years later, the Warsaw Uprising began, which turned into the single largest military action taken by European resistance groups during the war. The Polish rebels had two goals with the uprising: to drive the German occupiers out of their city and to assist with the overall war effort against the Axis powers.

After vicious urban fighting, around 22,000 casualties and countless Polish civilians lost to mass executions, the Warsaw Uprising officially came to an end on October 2, 1944. Over 85% of Warsaw had been destroyed from fighting that year, but Polish resistance fighters held their own for 63 days with very little support from the outside.

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The Warsaw Uprising Up Close

Enemy Front, developed and published by CI Games, puts you in the shoes of American reporter Robert Hawkins during the Warsaw Uprising. Hawkins has taken up the fight with the Polish rebels and their underground operations. This premise, along with a plethora of character choices, offers gamers a fresh take on the oft-overdone WWII FPS genre.

The game’s campaign allows you to choose how you want to fight. Do you prefer charging the enemy head on? Then grab your captured MP40 and rush into the fray. Perhaps you enjoy a more stealthy approach, sneaking through the shadows and sabotaging the enemy before they know what hit them. In Enemy Front, the playing experience is tailored to personal preference.

Through a series of flashbacks, gamers are also given the chance to experience WWII on several different fronts, but the majority of the game takes place in the streets and buildings of Warsaw. The flashbacks do inject some always-welcome variety into the game.

Enemy Front employs several different features that, when combined, add up to a realistic wartime experience. To maintain your cover, players must wait until low flying planes pass overhead to mask the sound of your gunfire. Tossing stones in another direction distracts enemy units. To remain stealthy, players must move enemy casualties to more discrete locations. Small details like this make Enemy Front a very enjoyable experience for any WWII gaming buff.

Enemy Front employs several different features that, when combined, add up to a realistic wartime experience.

In-Game Objects, A.I. Hit-or-Miss

That is not to say that Enemy Front is a perfect game. While the CryEngine3 gaming engine does a great job with creating backdrops and scenery, it does struggle when in-game objects are closely approached by the player. Cut-scenes also do not hold up graphically to many other current generation games.

The A.I. can be hit-or-miss. Get sighted by one enemy, and every other enemy unit is instantly aware of your position. This also goes for the friendly A.I. units; don’t expect much help from your fellow rebel fighters in the heat of battle. NPCs are also sometimes difficult to interact with, but this never caused any major issues during my time with the game.

One other small problem that I noticed as I played through several missions was the poor hit detection. This was especially noticeable during room breaches, when time is momentarily slowed down. These are minor issues that did not mar my enjoyment of the game at all, however. The good features more than make up for the small moments of annoyance the missteps can occasionally cause.

The multiplayer is an entirely different story. It was difficult to find a full server and lag was an issue in every server that I managed to connect to. The gameplay itself seemed fine, but the lag really killed any enjoyment I might have gotten from it. With its basic maps and game modes, the multiplayer feature of Enemy Front felt like something tacked on to the game instead of something the development team spent much time on. However, the game did just release and CI Games has plenty of time to improve the multiplayer components, provided the online community embraces the online features.

The poor multiplayer should not dissuade you from purchasing this game. If you are looking for a new WWII campaign to experience, then Enemy Front is most certainly worth a look. The gameplay options allow for solid replay value, as do the optional secondary objectives and the secret items to find in each mission.

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