Expeditions: Divided We Fall PC Review with Stream
Real time frantic gameplay
Games based on real life war are so very often done in a first person shooter style, or sometimes even a third person view, but rarely do we get an RTS with one specific confrontation in mind. DWF takes place in World War II, and instead of just moving one unit around like a single commando, you are instead in control of six people. This is significant because so many RTS type games either start you off with one hero unit, or many low level grunts, but this real life equivalent of a squad being controlled by a commander lends a bit of reality to the situation.
Instead of a large field, or trenches, your combat zone instead has a heavy concentration of urban combat, as you need to kill your enemy while navigating through buildings almost constantly. This narrows the scope of combat quite a bit, so instead of sending all your forces to explore the blacked out part of you mini map like in other strategy games you have a full scope of your environment, but so does your enemy. This is a multiplayer only game, but instead of being turn based, it’s all happening in real time so the matches go very quickly and the gameplay can be frantic. While the multiplayer is a good way to test your skills it is really too bad there is no campaign as you might expect in a good strategy game. Many players polish their skill with AI and then go to multiplayer when they are good and ready, but that really isn’t an option here.
While DWF has a good theoretical basis for its style and environment, the real shame is the total lack of polish when it comes to graphics and UI design. Every menu looks like it was created by a high school student using nothing but stock images. All the text is in plain format with no attempt at standing out from anything else, and the placement is all over the place. Just joining a match really should be that difficult, but instead I need to pick what zone I want, and the matchmaking doesn’t seem to make sense. While in game, the level of zoom is inadequate as the buildings and sharp corners require you to be precise with all of your movements. The animations are slow and blurry even on the best settings, and even choosing a weapon is hard to figure out. There is a tutorial, but that might the worst part, as it only explains things on the most base level, and leaves out necessary information on how to continue onto the next objective. Making people think outside the box is worthy goal, but leaving them stranded with no info is just bad design.
I applaud the theory behind this whole game, as I would really like to play an RTS based on World War II completely, instead of something like Civilization that always changes. There are too many distracting detractions for this to keep you engaged. Also, while it’s not bad game design, the community is incredibly small, and it might take quite a while for you to get matched on multiplayer, which is where a nice campaign would keep you interested. Overall, it just seems that there are better strategy games out there, and DWF can’t break away from the pack.