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Saving Private Ivan?
Now that everyone's seen Saving Private Ryan
, we all know that World War II wasn't the neat, clean, patriotic campaign for freedom that those old school documentaries made it out to be. Steven Spielberg revolutionized the way we remember World War II by cutting through the superficial propaganda so we could get a closer look at how it felt to be an individual soldier. With the Close Combat series of games, Atomic Games also revolutionized the way gamers view real time strategy. Besides using a real, historical setting, Close Combat III forces you to consider ammunition supplies, weapon efficacy on your target, covering fire, and the morale of your troops. Strategy fans who are used to ordering their Firebats or their mini gunners straight into the teeth of a well fortified enemy will be in for a big shock when they first play Close Combat III - your troops don't always obey your orders.
A burned out tank - glad I wasn't inside
Close Combat III: the Russian Front focuses on the entire eastern front during World War II, ranging from Hitler's invasion in 1941 to the Russian march into Germany in 1945. Considering the scope of that whole operation, perhaps "focus" isn't the correct word to describe CC3. Previous Close Combat games concentrated on smaller scale operations like the Normandy invasion and Operation Market Garden. Since the Close Combat engine is a real time tactical simulator, it was perfect for recreating the numerous sub battles of those two operations. On the other hand, the four years of fighting between Russia and Germany resulted in tens of millions of deaths, tens of thousands of destroyed vehicles, and dozens of gutted cities, including Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad. With that kind of perspective, you begin to wonder how a small scale battle engine (~ 50 soldiers per side, handful of vehicles) can begin to convey the immense scale of the whole eastern front.