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Men of War 2 Review (Linux & PC)

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Men of War 2 Review

Part of what sets Men of War 2 apart from most RTS games is likely the same factor that will determine if it’s the perfect game for you. On the one hand, you may find great pleasure in Best Way's efforts to deliver something new that we haven't quite grown accustomed to. On the other hand, their efforts may leave a bad taste in your mouth, prompting you to turn to more well-known franchises like Company of Heroes. In any case, before making a hasty decision, be sure to read until the end of our Men of War 2 review to know if it's the right game for you.

On the Frontlines

Tunker and army

Men of War 2 takes us back to the frontlines of war, specifically World War II. It features three prominent belligerents: Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Each one has a unique storyline, which history aficionados will likely find enjoyable unraveling. And while I do commend the effort to infuse backstories that fuel your actions on the battlefield, seeing as most RTS games quickly brush over story campaigns, Men of War 2 still could have done a better job. 

At the moment, you have dialogue that might as well have been AI-generated. You sit through weak character development and uninteresting voice acting. At times, characters repeat the same lines over and over again, and it becomes frustrating to listen to them yap away. Still, at least you have some form of a story to dig into, even if it can use more depth. Meanwhile, the music works. It’s not bad, but it’s not excellent either. It gets the job done and that’s frankly all you need.

No Man's Land

checking battle ground with Binoculars

Zoom in on the environments, though, and even artillery and the intricate detail on them is impressive. You see vast stretches of land, diverse in their lush green forests and bare-ridden beaches with long-winding trenches for cover. Even the characters don’t look too bad either, with quite realistic gore whenever they’re blown to bits. Indeed, the damage to vehicles and terrain is convincing, adding to the sense of a full-fledged conflict.

Still on the environments, further into the game, you realize just how the intricate detailing on them comes in handy when strategizing your next move. Even shallow valleys can provide the perfect cover against a steadily approaching storm. Enemies seek cover, too, behind trees and obstacles. Overall, the battlefield feels like it comes full circle when your units and enemies alike blend into the environment around them and use the diverse terrain to their advantage. 

Got Your Six

Combat ground

Onto the meat and bones of Men of War 2, the combat system. Now, veterans will already be familiar with the unique point of view Best Way chooses to go with. Instead of controlling a squad as a whole, instructing them to attack or hide as a unit, Men of War 2 requires you to micromanage your units instead. What that means is that each soldier in a unit has a unique use case. 

A specific soldier can be the grenade carrier, for example, and thus, whenever you need to set off an explosion, the character you will need to instruct to do so. Yes, even if you will have to dispatch them from your unit to deploy the grenade some miles away. Soldiers take orders individually, which, while adding more strategy, can be overwhelming for others. 

Too Late for Treaties

battle ground Men of War 2 Review

Men of War 2 allows you to control your snipers, medics, riflemen, and more independently. It can really narrow down the impact of war, where unleashing your sniper on the enemy really puts a smile on your face when they successfully take out the intended goal. Yet, the UI doesn’t make it any easier to micromanage every soldier of every unit, because, in addition to independently running soldiers, you also have different unit types. 

You have your tanks, artillery, and infantry units, among many more. So, you’ll be pushing them out to enemy territory, to take out as many opponents as they can. Yet with the micromanaging system, it means that you’ll need to give commands to each soldier in your infantry unit; for example, as they carry out your wishes, go over to the tanks and give out commands to them. 

Brutally Unmerciful

Soilders watching millitary cars

But when you return to see how well your infantry units are doing, if you’re lucky, they will have carried out your plan successfully, but if there was any flaw you failed to consider, then they’ll probably be wiped out. So you decide, hey, maybe I’ll try to keep a keen eye on all units at once. However, with so much going on and the chaos of the battlefield, it’s easy to miss an air strike that just pops out of nowhere, a stray bullet that ricochets off the ground or an enemy tank that manages to slip past you. 

It doesn’t help that Men of War 2 has no enemy markings. So, you can’t really tell where the enemy might be hiding or likely to attack you from. The only indicator is a line that divides the map, and your troops and the enemy’s, into two halves. Your goal is to strike down as many enemy units as you can on the opposite side of the battlefield, and if you have the upper hand, the line will push forward into enemy territory until you’ve won.

Bite the Dust

New orders

Now, don’t get me wrong. The combat system in Men of War 2 may not be the everyday RTS system we are used to. However, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have something special to offer. Micromanagement can be a headache, for sure. Yet, it does usher in the realistic feel of combat, with all the chaos that erupts on the battlefield. Often, you’re in shambles, mindlessly emptying your magazine on enemies and hoping it’s enough to buy you a little more time to regroup. I just wish the UI was a little bit more intuitive than it currently is. 

Furthermore, Men of War 2 is solely combat-focused. You cannot build new units, instead, you gradually unlock new ones the more you play. It means losing your units in battle comes at a heavy cost to make do with fewer, often at-the-brink-of-death soldiers. Fret not, though, as alongside unlockable units, there is a ton of more content to mull over. 

Far From Over

Gen Theodor

Besides the story campaign, you have the Conquest and Raids game modes. Conquest is more dynamic, allowing you to access different battalions on a battle romp across Europe. Meanwhile, Raids orchestrates skirmishes on a smaller scale, that procedurally generates 16 maps to battle through. Both Conquest and Raids breathe new life into the single-player campaign. They’re where Men of War 2 truly shines, with no boring dialogue weighing them down. 

Alternatively, you can check out the multiplayer campaign, which I imagine holds a lot of potential for pure chaos. No longer at the behest of AI, multiplayer can unleash a new world order, with unpredictable human opponents potentially throwing you off your game. With battles ranging from 1v1 to 5v5, and the sprawling Men of War 2 map design posing plenty of ways to sneak up on opponents, multiplayer could potentially be the star that lights the way into a prosperous future. 

Verdict

Battle Ground Men of War 2 Review

Taking command of the armies of the USSR, the U.S. and Germany, Men of War 2 sends you out to the battlefield. It gives you a diverse range of toolsets to decimate opponents. From diverse unit types to independent soldiers, Men of War 2 puts a strong emphasis on micromanaging your war efforts. It’s a solid attempt at capturing the chaotic feel of war, often with limited resources and paying a huge cost for your mistakes. 

Indeed, Men of War 2 is relentlessly punishing, demanding that you pay close attention to several factors, from enemy positions to potential hiding spots on diverse terrain and have a full grasp of the resources at your disposal. And while some of the micromanaging aspects of Men of War 2 may please veterans, others may find it a little too overwhelming. Even more so, the UI system can be confusing, with hardly a cohesive control system to relay quick commands. 

Alongside an unintuitive UI is poor voice acting. It’s hardly immersive and certainly a section that lets down the story campaign. Yet, having individual campaigns for Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union armies is a commendable effort. Hopefully, Best Way puts more effort into developing a more compelling plot that history buffs and newcomers alike will enjoy. 

Overall, Men of War 2 isn’t a game everyone will enjoy. Its fast-paced, micromanagement RTS system may spike a rush of adrenaline through your veins, ultimately brewing satisfaction at seeing your strategy play out exactly as you intended. But it can also cause frustration for others who are looking for a cohesive and intuitive RTS system that focuses on the big picture.

Men of War 2 Review (Linux & PC)

The Cost of War

Forget rock, paper, and scissors. Men of War 2 reintroduces its deep RTS combat system. It may not be for everyone, especially if you prefer to issue orders to units as a whole. Men of War 2, instead, demands careful consideration of each soldier’s resources. It necessitates close monitoring of your units. With the Conquest and Raid single-player modes, you have more freedom to experiment. In multiplayer, human opponents will put you to the test in a variety of scenarios. Hopefully, Best Way will resolve the UI intuitive issues so that gameplay runs smoothly.  

 

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.