By Joseph Luster

It’s time to travel back to the era of World War I once again in The Great War: Western Front, which puts you in control of the battlefield in a unique dual role system. The team at Petroglyph (Command & Conquer: Remastered, Star Wars: Empire at War) has been working to deliver a robust mix of turn-based and real-time strategy that tasks players with both managing their units on the battlefield and zooming out to control the war at large and bolster their nation’s will as they claw their way to victory.

The roles with which you will primarily be concerned are Field Commander and Theatre Commander. As the titles imply, the former involves taking real-time control of the battlefield. As for Theatre Commander, this role gives you a more all-encompassing view of the campaign, allowing you to manage the Western Front from a grand strategy viewpoint. It’s in this role that you will be researching new technologies, bolstering the defensive and offensive capabilities of specific regions and attempting to turn the overall tide of war in your favor.

There’s more than just the tangible loss of life and equipment to deal with in the battles that lie ahead. Each faction’s National Will is impacted by victories and losses, and if this stat is reduced to zero it will decide the outcome of the conflict. Taking charge with unique strategies and seizing opportunities like territorial claims and the capture of essential defensive positions could completely redefine the conclusion of The Great War as we know it. The encounters that take place in each region also affect the region itself, leaving the mark of combat in the form of retained trench networks and the consistent degradation of the battlefield. This creates an authentically persistent world that can be used to your advantage if you return to previous sites of battle for future encounters.

Petroglyph teamed up with Imperial War Museums to help create the most authentic historical strategy game possible. We’ll have to wait until The Great War: Western Front’s PC launch in 2023 to find out how they fared, but what we’ve seen so far certainly looks like a promising effort.

Genre: Strategy
Platform: PC
Publisher: Frontier Foundry
Available: 2023

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