by Sergio Brinkhuis
reviewed on PC
The only other way to get additional food stores is by conquering points that have some food in stock - but there are a set amount of these points. What makes it strange is that –technically- supplies could limit the time you have available to conquer the map. Yet lack of food doesn’t seem to have any affect at all, your forces will keep fighting at seemingly the same strength and efficiency. The PDF manual that comes with the game provides no information about this at all, so it is a mystery what the food actually does other than disappear over time.
Officers comes with a full compliment of World War II vehicles ranging from artillery units to Zundapp scout bikes. There is so much variety that you will often find yourself setting up small defensive pockets made up of a number of different vehicles that compliment each other in their task. And if the vehicles available to your own side aren’t enough, you will regularly be presented with the opportunity to capture an enemy unit. Anti-Tank guns are slow to move but can be hooked up behind a truck and then quickly transported to another area. These are just small details but they do a lot to make the game fun and realistic.
Keeping your men alive
Combat is often fast and furious but that doesn’t mean that you can race around the map killing everything in sight. Quite the contrary, you will be struggling for every inch of progress across the French countryside. Every strategic point, no matter how small, has defenders that have firmly dug themselves in. Rooting them out is best done with sheer force and even then there’s a price to be paid. Soldiers will be hurt and vehicles will be damaged. Because of the limited number of reinforcements available, I found myself repairing and healing my units after each battle in order to give them better chances to survive the next attack. Obviously this takes some time. During these periods of recovery and consolidation, the enemy AI won’t sit still and might be harassing your positions so keeping them as short as possible is key to winning the campaign.
Apart from your units in the field, there are also other tools available to make your life as a commander a little easier. As mentioned before, you can order artillery fire to soften up enemy positions and this is quite effective in clearing out enemy forces. You can also call in bombing runs, reconnaissance flights and paratrooper drops. The success of these depends largely on who controls the skies. Initially, the German Luftwaffe presence is very strong. Taking over airfields will greatly reduce their effectiveness but you can also launch fighter planes and use anti air units to take out enemy planes.
The feel of war
Officers: World War II does a great job portraying the mechanics of war. At the start of each mission, you are clearly the underdog. As you gain control over the main strategic points you will feel your own power grow while that of the Axis declines. Yet even with one sector left, the enemy can still surprise you occasionally, requiring you to scramble to hold on to an important location.
Multiplayer games are only available over LAN, which is a bit of a letdown. The game’s graphics are nothing to write home about but they do the job. Besides, there is so much going on that you will soon be too busy to worry about looks. While Officers: World War II isn’t for everyone, it does offer World War II strategy buffs a challenging and entertaining experience.
No Pros and Cons at this time