Classified: France '44

More info »

Classified: France '44 review
Howie Howard


The war behind enemy lines

The war behind enemy lines

Classified: France '44 is a turn based single player tactical war game by developer Absolutely Games with Team 17 publishing. This X-COM style squad based game is set in the weeks leading up to the allied D-Day landings on Normandy Beach in Northern France. The main landing which was essentially the beginning of the end of World War 2 happened on June 6, 1944. The invasion of the beaches, code named Operation Overlord, was preceded by allied special forces operations and attacks intended to soften up the enemy before the main landings. This is the framework in which Classified France '44 takes place.

It's all about special operations

Squad-based tactical war games generally consist of a series of missions that need to be accomplished in order to advance and open up following chapters. Classified: France '44 is no different in that regard. In the beginning tutorial mission, a squad of four soldiers is transported to the mission site where a main objective along with a few secondary objectives need to be completed. Each of the special operations soldiers has their own specialty and accompanying equipment. The first tutorial mission consists of destroying an enemy communications antenna where every nuance of how things work in game is spelled out in detail.

After completing the opening introductory missions, access to a strategic map that shows the various operational regions in Northern France is provided. This is where missions are chosen and where squad member equipment load outs and health is managed. Each of the regions in the area of operation is controlled by different French partisan groups and it is your squad's duty to help them in their resistance efforts. After finishing a mission for one of the partisan groups, that group's opinion of you will rise. This favourable rating will open up the groups weapon shops for your usage. The partisan group favorable rating does not seem to effect their opinion of your squad if you start helping a competing group and there are no consequences to a changing favorable rating.

Know thy enemy before attacking!

The choice of available missions in the game is diverse. Some of the available missions include destroying important enemy assets, eliminating German officers, stealthily trying to steal intelligence or rescuing prisoners and more. It's all there and the missions become more difficult as your team advances through the campaign. New recruits can join your team after being rescued and your squad will gain experience that can be used to increase skill levels and to unlock new weapons. As you complete missions for the different regions in France the Germans will send in Gestapo soldiers to reinforce their defeated units and take land back. Luckily the Gestapo officers present in Classified are of the Hogan's Heroes variety and they won't pose too many problems when going back in to clear them out.

The actual combat mechanics are pretty much basic fare as far as squad level tactical games go. Each soldier is provided with a finite number of action points (AP) to start with, and these points are used to move, open doors, shoot, reload, etc. If an enemy unit is sighted, an in-range line from your soldier to the enemy is shown. So you need to end your movement behind some sort of cover just in case you can't dispatch the enemy with one shot. If you click the mouse cursor on the enemy his attributes will be high lighted in a little box. This is important information because it tells his health, what type of unit it is and what his moral is. Moral is important for both the enemy and your troops. If moral drops to half then the enemy, or your soldier, is suppressed, meaning he can't fire back at you. If moral drops to zero then your soldier or the enemy is broken and he misses his next turn.

You won't be killed in this invasion...

During the actual combat sequences, you of course need to keep track of a weapons ammo level. It takes five AP to reload and if you don't have enough AP to reload and shoot you can always switch to equipping a back up pistol. A pistol might have a zero percent chance of hitting the enemy but it can serve to suppress them. Or, if there is a fuel barrel or a vehicle near by a shot from the pistol could suppress the guy with a resulting explosion. On the next turn a reload can be made with a following shot that will hopefully take the enemy out. If it doesn't, the result could be a broken enemy soldier that will miss his next turn. During each combat exchange a close up view will appear to show the action and this is a very nice feature indeed!

Another sticky decision along with faction favour essentially being meaningless is that only German soldiers can be killed in combat. Your troopers can only be wounded which will cause them to miss the next mission and this might cause you to use a less experienced soldier or be one short. It's nice that you won't suffer the possibility of losing an experienced squad member, but the realism suffers because real war can be horrible when it comes to human losses. I guess this feature could be good because I didn't need to restart the mission or load up an older game save after I made a bone headed move and ended up losing my guy. Which I have been known to do every now and again when playing squad tactical games.

We have won this war...

There is just so much to Classified: France '44 that it would take pages to define it all in detail. The weapons list is long as is the variation of mission types you can complete. Stealth plays a big role in some of the missions where moving around silently while dispatching enemies with a bladed weapon can make or break the mission. Friendly fire plays a big part in Classified as well so you need to be aware of where all of your troops are located around the map. They could become suppressed or worse. Ambushes can be set up and there is a very pleasing story narrative with interactions between squad members during cut scenes.

The developers have done their due diligence when it comes to researching historical aspects of the D-Day invasion. Every detail was thought out and then presented in a realistic manner. The troops and their large inventory of equipment and weapons are realistic and true to form for a game based on history. The cut scenes and commentary serve to further the narrative about individual solders serving behind enemy lines with their quest to free the world from Nazi dominance. Developer Absolutely Games stated that their ambition concerning Classified: France '44 was to tell an authentic story about these soldiers and I think they did a fine job of it. Replayability is high with the inclusion of a mission creator and modding tools which will ensure a lot of available player-created content.

As always, follow us on Instagram for news updates, reviews, competitions and more.


fun score


Very detailed and well thought out historical WW2 behind the lines D-Day squad based tactical war game.


A bit of realism is sacrificed when deciding to make squad members be immortal and faction favor-ability be meaningless.