Men of War: Assault Squad 2
It took me quite a while to get around to trying out Men of War: Assault Squad 2. After trying out Company of Heroes 2, and finding it rather lackluster when compared to the original Company of Heroes, I felt as though MOW: AS2 might be more of the same. I’d tried out the other main World War 2 RTS, Sudden Strike 4, but was likewise not impressed.
However, after watching a few Let’s Play videos online which featured MOW: AS2, I had a: “What the heck? Why did I not try this game out earlier?” – type of moment. I saw someone playing a few multiplayer games which featured Allies vs. Axis teams, and they unfolded like some sort of high-budgeted summer blockbuster. MOW: AS2 is certainly one gorgeous game to look at.
Luckily, MOW: AS2 isn’t merely just a pretty game to behold; there’s a lot going on under its hood. There are many, many things that set this masterpiece apart from other games within the WW 2 RTS genre. For instance, while playing my first couple of games, I learned that like other squad-based RTS games, you can indeed move your units as entire squads. However, in MOW: AS2 you can also move your individual men around as well. Not only that, but each individual man has his own weapons and gear which you can access through handy inventory screens. Talk about attention to detail.
The game also features five factions that you can play as Americans, Russian, British (Commonwealth), Germans, or Japanese. What I really like about MOW: AS2 is that not only are each of these factions completely unique, but they are all included in the base game. By way of comparison, COH 2 only gives you Russia and the Nazis to play as in the base game. If you want to play as any other factions, too bad—you have to purchase them as DLC. Not cool at all.
In MOW: AS2, you can also issue orders to each man within a squad. For example, while playing as the Americans, one of my squads got pinned down by a German tank. Instead of being helplessly suppressed, I ordered one of my men to flank around the enemy tank and toss an anti-tank grenade at it from a second story house window. The tank exploded, which freed the rest of my squad up and allowed them to advance.
One thing that you will probably learn real quick when playing MOW: AS2 is that no unit is an island. In other words, if you advance your units without backup, you’ll probably end up dead. I’ve tried to lead a tank column or two into towns and watched in horror as they were ambushed by enemy infantry who were wielding bazookas, landmines, and anti-tank grenades.
Likewise, I’ve tried infantry rushes on fortified positions containing mobile AA emplacements, heavy machineguns, or armor, and saw them shredded to pieces in seconds without even getting to fire a single shot.
The main lessons that I’ve learned from playing MOW: AS2 is that you always have to utilize combined arms tactics, at least if you want to win. Nowadays, I’ll always send a couple of infantry squads to guard the flanks of my tanks against both enemy infantry and anti-tank guns. And now when I rush my infantry in, I do so with the aid of light, medium, or heavy armor, which serve as escorts.
MOW: AS2 also features a much-ballyhooed about Direct Fire mode. Every single unit on the battlefield under your command can be accessed and controlled, utilizing an up-close-and-personal perspective. This is a really handy tool that you can use when you feel that your units aren’t doing their best at hitting enemies. Moreover, since every piece of armor has multiple hit boxes, you can, for instance, aim directly at their engines or tracks. This makes incapacitating, or one-shot-killing vehicles, a viable option because you have such control over where each round lands.
There are a vast number of infantry types as well as a wide array of vehicles at your disposal in MOW: AS2. You’ve got everything from your standard infantrymen, to assault infantry and combat engineers—all the way up to German Tiger tanks and gigantic Japanese tank killers.
There are also a good number of maps to play on as well. As opposed to the same old Eastern Front maps that you are restricted to with other WW 2 games such as COH 2, with MOW: AS2 you get some really diverse maps.
You can engage in pitched battles across small towns in Western Europe, snowy German villages, and even tropical locales in the Japanese isles. As an added touch, animals such as chickens, cows, and horses populate some of the maps (I try to avoid killing them as much as I can).
Men of War: Assault Squad 2 is a masterful wargame which I feel is highly under-appreciated. It has a massive amount of depth, great gameplay, beautiful graphics, and lots of replayability. Try it out for yourself.
Men of War: Assault Squad 2 features great graphics that make its WW 2 RTS gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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