THE GREAT WAR:Western Front Review


A highly authentic strategy game that excels in immersing the player within the grinding attrition of World War One, reports Tom Baker

Victory will only be measured in inches, and in the hundreds of thousands of young men tasked with obtaining it
pictures Petroglyph Games

For those seeking a relaxing experience, this game is not for you. Developers Petroglyph Games and Frontier Foundry, in association with the Imperial War Museum, have delivered perhaps the most authentic portrayal of World War One to date.

Although many titles have tried to encapsulate the realities of the conflict, few have been successful – the difficult subject matter and stagnant tactics proving awkward to translate into gameplay. However, as a real-time strategy game, with an intense focus on authenticity, this new release shines in its ability to immerse the player in the ‘war to end all wars’.

Players may choose between the Entente or the Central Powers and are given two key roles. The first puts the player into the boots of the theatre commander, controlling highlevel strategic decisions on a topdown map of the Western Front. Here, the game’s principal aim becomes immediately apparent – overcome massed defences or assaults through sheer attrition and endurance, all while sapping your opponent’s ‘National Will’ by scoring battlefield victories. Here, the player is tasked with defending their own hexagonal spaces of the map, ‘territories’, or taking their enemies – afeat accomplished by gradually whittling down each number of stars on a given territory to zero.

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