Close Combat 2
Written by Shigamoto   
Saturday, 08 January 2005

The second part in the Close Combat series was released in 1997. This time Atomic Games and Microsoft focused on Belgium during World War 2.



All of the campaigns and missions are set in Belgium, most of them around Arnhem. There are two sides you can play in the game, the Germans and the Allies. Both of them have authentic units and markings from the war. You can for example play the US 101st Airborne division in some missions.


There are four different campaigns and a couple of operations. The operations are virtually a couple of missions played on the same map. For example you are first ordered to stop a German advance attempt and then in the next mission you are ordered to counter attack on the same map.


The controls in Close Combat is pretty straight forward, you click the unit you want to control, a menu pops up and you select between move, move fast, fire, sneak and a couple of other options. However as the battles intensify control the units using the menu can be difficult and itís easy to accidentally order the units to do stuff.


All units have two bars you have to worry about. One of them is morale and the other ammo. As your units loose men without killing enemies they loose in morale. When they have lost enough morale they surrender or retreat. You also have to be careful how much each unit fires so that they donít loose too much ammo.


Close Combat 2 offers a lot of battle sounds, these sounds are gunfire, screams from wounded men, soldiers commenting and so on. All the sounds add to the experience significantly. Also the sounds may create a bit of frustration and you might loose focus, just as commanders would do in the real world.


Planning is essential in Close Combat 2. Sure you donít have to plan much when playing the recruit difficulty level but when you start with the veteran level strategies are very important. Much of the fighting is set in villages, which means that holding houses are very important. If you move armour into cities without proper infantry backup you will loose significantly, just as in the real world.


If you send infantry units into enemy areas without artillery cover you will also start too loose men fast. Close Combat 2 is real time so you have to think fast, itís really a challenge compared to turn based strategy games.


Atomic Games and Microsoft focused on strategy and thinking while developing this game. They didnít focus much on the graphics, sure they work but itís easy to miss units because they are so small. Itís also hard to evaluate which objects the units can hide behind.


Overall Close Combat 2 is a really good war game. It has all the features that a war game should have and then some. It creates a good battle atmosphere because of the sounds. A non war gamer might not find this game particularly interesting so itís a narrow audience the game is intended for.




Developer: Atomic Games and Microsoft
Website for game:

Publisher: Microsoft

O/S: Win 95/98/ME/XP

Cost of Full Game: N/A

Year of Release: 1997



Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM

Tested on:

Pentium III Mobile 850 MHz, 384 MB RAM, Windows XP





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