When Firaxis unleashed a rebooted XCOM on the world, they revived the turn-based tactics genre. Prior to that, if you wanted to play what amounted to a chess game with guns and ever-changing boards, you would have to find one of the games from the mid to late ‘90s and hope that it would still run on your new system. These days, however, you just have to keep an eye on the games press as a new one is likely to be announced in short order.
The latest game to join the ranks is based on the Achtung! Cthulhu board game, imaginatively named Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics. Much like XCOM, it follows a squad as they make their way across a map, seeking out cover and flanking opportunities as the superior number of enemies do the same. In a twist, the game is set during World War II in Europe as a rag tag group of Allied soldiers and mystics penetrate the "Forest of Fear" to discover the horrors that the Nazis have called forth in their desperate attempts to win the war.
That setup promises so much but, in the end, the game fails to deliver. The maps, while large, are bland and boring as you repetitively wander through what seems like endlessly recycled forest assets. Occasionally, you get to explore Nazi bases for part of the level, but you will usually end up hunting Nazis from behind conveniently placed trees and rocks. Yes, forests aren’t necessarily that diverse in reality, but in Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics the same greens and browns and greys are recycled constantly.
In Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, outside of combat, your squad moves as one. This simplifies movement, but negates the tactical elements of scouting ahead and careful positioning before triggering combat.
Removing base management is both a blessing and a curse as you can concentrate on the action, just pushing from mission to mission.
Grumpy Old Man who still collects toys (THEY. ARE. NOT. DOLLS), PC Gamer lured to the Dark Side of console gaming, comic book reader and fan of all things pop culture.
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PC, PS4, Xbox One
4 October 2018
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