By Joseph Luster

For a detailed strategy game focusing on World War I, the folks behind Command & Conquer Remastered and Star Wars: Empire at War have delivered The Great War: Western Front. As one might expect, this one focuses on the pivotal Western Front campaigns between 1914 and 1919, letting players choose their own factions, direct their armies in real-time battles and, should everything (hopefully) go according to plan, eventually lead their forces to victory. This will be easier said than done, but The Great War offers a lot of resources essential to achieving said victory, including the ability to step into the role of both Theatre Commander and Field Commander.

Both roles play a crucial part in the ups and downs of battle. When wearing the hat of Theatre Commander you’ll be tasked with challenging turn-based gameplay from a grand strategy perspective, carefully spreading resources across the Western Front and doing the research necessary to know precisely where your various assets are best utilized. On the other hand, Field Commander puts you right in the thick of it in real-time battles that pit your units against your opponent’s. Both will shape the course of history, at least in the context of your own virtual war, and the balance between the two results in a game with some pretty impressive levels of replayability.

Beyond the main campaign, The Great War: Western Front offers modes like Historical Battles, which specifically let you relive iconic moments in history. There’s also Skirmish, in which you can create your own battles and, of course, plenty of Multiplayer to sink your teeth into and test your might against others.

One of the seemingly small details throughout that really adds up over time is the way your battles ultimately shape the overall battlefield. All of the explosions and gunfire have an impact on the environment, and those scars and craters remain in subsequent encounters. This isn’t just an aesthetic bonus, it allows you to create your own complex trench networks and further develop your strategies as you progress through the campaign. The weather also plays a significant role, with snow and rain encroaching and affecting unit movement, artillery performance and other key aspects of combat. Mastering the conditions of the battlefield and its surrounding environment is just as important as properly placing troops and vehicle units around the map.

Whether you choose to play as the Allied Nations or the Central Powers, The Great War: Western Front features weaponry, tanks, artillery and infantry that are as true to history as possible. If you’ve been itching for an authentic World War I strategy experience, you might just find the concoction Petroglyph has brewed here to be most potent.

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Publisher: Frontier Foundry
Available: Now

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