Battalion Wars 2

Coming Attractions: Strategy and Simulation

Part 2: More on what's coming in 2008.

Part one of our strategy and simulation roundup covered Halo Wars, Civilization Revolution and Football Manager Live, amongst others. Here's the rest of the best.

Battalion Wars 2

Battalion Wars 2

More than a pretty acronym.

Remember the self-referential, idiosyncratic humour and gentle racial stereotyping that used to characterise British games? Kuju has done us proud with BWii. None of Battalion Wars 2's feuding nations is free from its pokey stick of satire, not even our own. 'The Anglo Isles: "This green and pleasant island nation once commanded a mighty empire, but is now relegated to the backwaters of global diplomacy." Battalion Wars 2 begins as Colonel Windsor launches an Anglican attack on Japa - sorry, the Solar Empire, having heard rumours from some mysterious source that their army has been developing a weapon of mass destruction. Sorry, superweapon. Still, it does at least turn out that they do have a pretty powerful satellite weapon hidden away, but they didn't know about it - someone threw it off a cliff several years previously.

The Solar Empire's General A'Quira is voiced by a loud, high-pitched man who mixes up his 'l's and 'r's, the Western Frontier's Sarge Herman by a chap who manages to sound as thick-necked as his buzz-cut-sporting on-screen representation looks. The evil empires have an accent that's a strange mix of Russian and German. BWii definitely has a sense of humour, and though it's mostly light-hearted it does tinge proceedings with a touch of satire on occasion.

Like its GameCube predecessor, BWii is very loosely based on Advance Wars - its mission structure, grading system and unit types closely mimic those of Intelligent Systems' handheld cartoon war-game, but it plays completely differently. It's a third-person blaster that lets you jump into the shoes of any of your units at the press of a button, leading the platoon with an assault veteran before switching to an anti-air unit to personally take care of an incoming bomber. It's all about finding the balance on the battlefield between commanding your units and taking control of them directly.

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