Legends Of War:Patton’s Campaign Review
A Stunning WW2 RTS
PSP fights its last stand in this brilliant World War 2 based RTS that would hold its head high even on an over saturated PC market.
It’s no secret that despite 60 Million sold worldwide the Playstation Portable has very few games gracing the little power house. Of late games have been few and far between, at least in the UK.
Two years ago I saw some screens of a WW2 shooter that at first glance looked like the fantastic Company of Heroes on PC. It also sounded like that game also in the game play department. To say as an older gamer with a passion for WW2 and all its history I was excited is an understatement. I lost track of the game with nothing seen of it until and new trailer was released last week. The new trailer brought those screenshots to life. How have they made such a great job on the PSP? Read on.
The main shock after doing a little digging and chatting to the developer was the news that the game was due out yesterday (20th October) exclusively on the Playstation Store. After talking to the developer the news is they are trying to secure a publishing deal to bring it to store shelves on UMD. If Sony doesn’t snap this game up themselves they will be missing out on what is one of the PSPs best games to date.
Tactical shooters of this kind just don’t lend themselves to handheld consoles, sure we’ve had Advance Wars, Field Commander and various turn based RPGs but nothing that feels right at home next to the best World War 2 RTS, Company of Heroes. Not only is the AI ruthless and punish you for sloppy planning on top of that you are treated to some of the finest graphics that stand tall next to the best PSP games out there.
On starting the game you are shown a slick intro movie then taken to the main menu where you can choose from Campaign, Multiplayer, Settings or Help with tips on how to play and a full Tutorial Mission, you play this mission the first time you play the game, don’t skip it as you will need help to get to grips with the game. You have three save slots so you can keep three games going or someone else can play without using your save on the same PSP. When you start you have an overview of a map of Europe showing your path to Berlin. Different Operations are divided into missions performing different types of game play from full out force to stealth missions, defence and escort missions. It’s all done from the usual top down view that is associated with many games of this type.
First of all you need to apply Patton’s skills, they range from Offensive Capabilities to charisma all improving on your team’s skill in battle. Next choose your units, you unlock more after you progress. You can purchase more units using prestige points gained by completing missions, more points for a clean sweep etc. You choose who you want to take into battle; this is where the RPG elements start to come into play. Each unit, man or vehicle are awarded EXP points in battle so building up a good set of units is essential as if you lose a man he’s gone for good. If a unit is injured you can patch him up before the next battle.
Now it’s time to head into action and this is where Patton’s Campaign starts to really shine. Controls. This is where a game like this can just fall flat. Luckily the controls are tight and very responsive. The analogue nub moves the camera in a fixed position all over the battlefield holding L1 locks the camera so you can turn it 360 degrees and zooms in and out while holding R1 again moves the camera 360 degrees but also tilts the camera up and down for a side view or overhead view. Tapping R1 or L1 selects your unit. Once selected you use the d-pad to select where you want the unit to move to, you then press X and off he goes. If you clear the Fog of War enough to see the Germans you can take a shot or throw a grenade by pressing triangle after lining up with the d-pad. It sounds complex but in no time at all you’ll be running about ducking and diving. Units can crouch behind walls, pick up health, ammo and later medics, engineers all join the fight to help out. Tanks, oh yes tanks are a joy to take into the battle but don’t get to cocky as the Germans are smart enough to out flank you and take you out with a well placed bazooka round to the petrol tanks. Once you’ve completed your objectives you are scored on your performance with Prestige and Patton’s Skills Points.
With everything going on you’d expect the graphics to take a hit. Not here. Without a doubt Legends of War is one of the best looking games to grace Sonys handheld. The first time you start playing you’ll be amazed by all the detail in the game. Wood sheds, burning buildings with fire and smoke bellowing from blown out roofs and windows. Birds flying past the camera as you pan it around. Farmer’s tractors, trees, cars, brick set streets. It really is a sight to behold. Most games that have any kind of draw distance, Monster Hunter being an exception, has fogging. Not here. The first time you blow up a tank and see debris fly through the air in a boom of black smoke with red ash as it falls leaving a huge crater you will smile a huge smile in the knowing that the developers have really created something very special on the PSP.
Multiplayer can be played with 2 players choosing units from a full stock. I’ve yet to try over ad-hoc party yet but as soon as we have I’ll update the review.
I’m playing the game on Rookie but hardened players needn’t worry as there are also some hardcore settings to give you a real test of skill and wit.
I know I’ve said at the start of the review I’m into the history of WW2 and I have visited the beaches of Normandy and yes I may get more excited than others for this game but if you choose not to give this a go it would be a great shame. It’s got everything you’d want and more for a handheld game. Weather you hold out for the UMD or if you’re a PSPGo owner needing a great game to make it worth your purchase look no further than Legends Of War:Patton’s Campaign.
Marks out of 10.
Available:Now from The UK Playstation Store Price:£23.99
By Krisaim (Purchased Game)