Well well a new CC game in my grubby hands after such a long time. I just had to buy it of course after a intitial hesitation reading the MP discussions... and now I'd like to share a small review here from my impressions so far.
Maybe it will help someone that concider it.
So what's good then?
1. New graphics. It is really well done and in places significally so compared to the old games. Fog could have been better though but that seems to be fixed in an upcoming patch.
2. New maps are great those I have played so far. They are larger in scale usually than the old ones but a bit more zoomed in on the action.
3. New mortar fire mechanics. I really like this one, defenly a step up from the old style. (longer response times but if you have fired upon an area and switch back to it from another firemission it is concidered to be spotted already and responsetime for firing is very fast!)
4. Reworked UI for setup and choosing troops, looks great.
5. Moving soldiers to the force pool let them keep their gained experience, waited a long time for this one!
6. Excellent choise of battle, absolutly superb, it feels fresh even though it is part of the Normandy campaign which I usually concider is the most overused setting in Strategy gaming..
7. MP lobby. Haha yes I have seen the complaints as i mentioned above.. ;-) I think that there is definly still job to be done on the interface and stability but in the end of the day it works ok it seems. I click on my friends name, we join and then we go. As it should be concentrating on battling each other not battling the interface to be able to connect. :-) I have not tried a campaign yet though but i saw a thread somewhere it seem to work ok as well. There are some negative sides on this choise of MP though but i will come to that below.
And the not so good..
1.Unfortunally the AI does not seem to have got a workover from previous games. It is about average on defence and poor on attack. I really had expected something more here. Sure it plays just like the old CC games but in this aspect it is not a good thing. It is playable but personally I think MP is where this series shine.
2. Sound. Well actually the gunfire sounds good but this is the same recycled shouts we have heard since 1996. Comon guys, at least drop the annoying deathscream.."AAAARRGGHHHH" sigh, thought of it cheesy in 96 and it still is. But that´s me I guess.
3. MP lobby. As mentioned above there are some technical annoyances that probably can be solved with patches. but my main concern that i share with many other here is the logevity of this solution. To put it blunt if the company hosting this lobby closes down so does our MP, and the main incitament for me to play this game. As the direct ip connections was part of the old games and also the reworked games I fail to see why this can not be reimplemented. I think strategy gamers are in for the long haul and we keep our favorite games for a long time. But if a significant part of the game, is at risk to be lost for us, not today and not tomorrow but in 5-10 years time, then i understand if someone may hesitate a bit extra. (I know i did, but i bought it in the end and i do not regret it. Well for now anyway )
Also the way it works now the lobby feels very emty..Maybe because people meet up quickly and then "dissapear" into a game?
So to sum it up is this just the old CC with a new coat of paint? Well i guess you can call it that but it would not be entirely fair. It is a matter of a game that is more than the sum of it parts (as all CC games to me). In the end we get an new CC game with an excellent setting with all the good and the bad we are used to for such a long time. For this time it is good enough for me. But for the next release I expect more when it comes to gameplay. (cough AI cough)
A final request to the developers: Seems like there is a patch in the works. Could you please share som info on what will be fixed? And thanks for the game!