PC/Mac/Linux
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System Requirements Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 9.0 Pentium III / Athlon, 800 MHz RAM: 128 MB GeForce 2 / Radeon 9000 class graphics 3D accelerator, 32 MB RAM Monitor supporting 800x600 resolution CD or DVD drive DirectX-compatiable sound adapter Mouse 3 Gb free hard disk space Internet. 28.8 Kbit/sec for playing at Nival.net master-server Front Line: Fields of Thunder is a historically accurate military Real-time strategy game very similar to the popular Blitzkrieg II (The game manual makes direct comparisons between these two RTS games). There are two different campaigns with ten missions split up in three chapters. You can either play as Germany or the Soviet Union. The campaigns take place in 1943 in the battle of Kursk. You start at the fifth of July and end with the battle at Porohorovka for Germany and releasing the city of Belgorod for Soviet Union.

How do I play?

I highly recommend going through the tutorial to get familiar with this game interface. The tutorial is a breeze compared to the real missions. My biggest complaint with this game is that it’s very hard and you cannot modify the difficulty level. Each unit has a special ability and purpose that is detrimental to your game if you lose them. There are supply vehicles for reloading ammo, repair vehicles for fixing tanks and detecting mines. Basically you shouldn’t select every unit you control and send them blindly to attack an area. The infantry and tanks come in various ranks and sizes. They have special firing, recon and attack modes. To help them last longer enable rapid fire and dig trenches! Each mission has various objectives, which usually involves attacking, defending or claiming territory. There is no means of resource gathering, you have your starting army and possible reinforcements as objectives are completed. Your army may include artillery, armor, infantry (including snipers) and air force. Tanks will have the most crucial impact on battle results, but don’t underestimate infantry. You can call in for reinforcements, what’s available and the quantity depends on the mission. (There are trainers out there allowing unlimited reinforcements). Once you have your objectives and army handed to you, it’s time to command them. You can select individual or multiple units and choose their attack mode and deploy them on the map. A green arrow on the map usually indicates your objective. Chances are you’ll run into enemies and mines along the way so keep an eye out, or better yet send out a recon plane! Once an objective is reached (and fought for) you get another and possibly some reinforcements. After a mission is complete you will gain experience and perhaps a promotion.

Multiplayer

There are a couple multiplayer modes. You can play via LAN or through nival.net (requires free registration). When I went online I saw at most one other person. When you play online your objectives are to capture as many flags and destroy as many enemy units as possible. There is a ladder mode as well, which is the same type of game but the results on how you do in the end will stay with you. These results are considered for promotions and rewards if you do well.

Graphics

This game is technically 3D but it’s very poor quality and looks more 2D. One advantage is that it doesn’t require a powerful video card to play it. You can zoom in and out of the map to keep track of your units, but you can only zoom in so far. The units are unique but not enough to distinguish them apart other than clicking on them for more information.

Sound

Unlike the graphics, the sound will not disappoint. The background and title music is good. The units have unique attacking, moving, and battle sounds. When you click on your infantry you’ll get a response in German or Russian. As to what they are saying, I have no idea.

Appropriateness

This is a war game so there is violence. The graphics are not detailed enough to show blood or anything. There are no civilians to worry about so that’s good.

Final Thoughts

I’m really not into strategy games, and this game rubbed it in my face that I’m not too good at them. I really wish there was an option to change the difficulty level. Chances are if you like war strategy games like Blitzkrieg II, you’ll enjoy this game. However, I don’t recommend this game for casual players because it’s pretty hard. The lack of an online community is disappointing too.

Final Ratings

Game Play 12/20 Graphics 6/10 Sound 8/10 Controls 4/5 Stability 5/5 Appropriateness 47/50 -3 for shooting objects that represent enemy aircraft, tanks etc

Overall 82%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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