Call to Arms
Ever since the great Spielberg film, Saving Private Ryan, different forms of media, including the game industry, have taken advantage of the popularity a World War II story-line brings to the table. The Medal of Honor series exploited WW2 to no end, and by the time Company of Heroes came along, I was totally burned out on the whole deal. I did play COH at some point, however, and found that it was a pretty darn good game, in spite of its tired setting (WW2 once again).
When a friend of mine mentioned the more recent Men of War series, co-developed by Digitalmindsoft, I was very skeptical about trying any of their games since, I saw the same ol’ Sherman tanks and M-1 rifles of WW2 when I first checked it out. I longed for something more updated. So when the same friend told me about Call to Arms, a war game that takes place in the modern era, it caught my interest. He also said that it was similar to the Company of Heroes mod called Modern Combat, which (surprise!) also took place in contemporary times. I’d played Modern Combat briefly in the past and had enjoyed it to some extent. Then it suddenly dawned on me how few strategy games out there are for the PC gaming crowd.
When he sent me a review copy of Call to Arms just the other day, I have to admit that I was a little more than elated after watching a few videos of its gameplay. After installing it on Steam, I loaded it up only to find no one playing it on multiplayer. But that was understandable as it is an Alpha build, and you probably have to coordinate with other people to set up a mutual time to play MP together.
The interface was a little clunky (again, understandable), and it was a little bit of a challenge to get a proper game going vs. the AI. Once I did, however, I was in for a real treat…
I was thrust into the game as the Global Revolutionary Movement, one of the two playable factions. My enemies were the other faction, the United States Army. We entered onto opposite sides of a rain-drenched oilfield, where the main objective was to take and hold three capture points. The capture flag/point system is similar to the Company of Heroes series, although German developers Digitalmindsoft have additional game modes in store for the full version.
The first thing that I noticed was that the environments looked spectacular. Those in the 4k gaming community will be especially impressed. Abandoned vehicles litter partially destroyed highways, and you could practically see dust falling from the eaves of desiccated buildings that were scattered across the battlefield. I built a couple of initial squads and rushed forward in an effort to secure two of the three flags first. That is when I realized that by hovering my mouse cursor next to an object, I could see how my squad would stack up against it. I don’t mean just some multicolored dots as in COH, but I could actually see exactly how their bodies would line up when being positioned up against them, upon clicking on each particular location.
One of the flags was already occupied and my squad approaching it out in the open without cover was decimated. The other, using cover and concealment, made it to their destination in short bursts of running from cover to cover. I shortly learned how easy it was to toss grenades at enemies who were bunched up behind objects, and also how to heal individual soldiers. The interface was both intuitive and easy to learn.
Line of site was also well implemented, and as certain troops bobbed in-between cover and concealment, I caught glimpses of them, but in many instances was unable to fire accurately at them. This led to some tense standoffs as both sides maneuvered for superior positioning while trying to outflank each other, taking pot-shots at one another the whole time. This is truly a micro-ists paradise, as strategy and superior tactics must be implemented in order to win each engagement. Bodies also stay on the battlefield where they went down, which helped to maintain the immersion, rather than mystically fading away in seconds as in most Real Time Strategy offerings. Finally! It looks as though we might have the next great strategy game for the PC gaming community…
I’ve only scratched the surface of this outstanding new RTS, as the build that I tried out doesn’t have vehicles in it yet. Digitalmindsoft plans to have a ton of more content once the game is released on Steam, come tomorrow (July 30th).
- Two factions, the United States Army and the Global Revolutionary Movement
- 10 maps
- 20 realistically modeled vehicles and heavy weaponry
- Over 60 firearms and customization
- Full mod support
Call to Arms looks to be shaping up as a super-tactical RTS of epic proportions. Get the jump on it by upgrading your computer rig in order to squeeze as much juice out of its incredible graphics as possible. Here’s my suggestion:
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