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The golden goose that is Close Combat laid another egg

The golden goose that is Close Combat laid another egg

Game News - posted by Trash on Tue 5 February 2013, 07:58:18

Tags: Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog; Matrix Games

The Close Combat series has been around since the mid 1990's and went through a long and convulted series developers and publishers. The last few years Matrix has been publishing a number of remakes and original titles with Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog being the latest. Check out reviews for it on both Strategy Prime and Real and Simulated Wars.
Fog has played and important role in the real operation. It helped the Germans to move during the early day hours without being targeted by Allied aircraft and it cut short more than one movement to contact. Panthers has implemented fog as part of the game play. In some specific scenarios, the entire 2D battlefield is covered by a milky cover of simulated fog, making it a bit cumbersome to spot not only enemy units (maybe a good thing) but also own forces (huh?). After a few games, the eyes get accustomed to the fog (outlining one's units in black helps a lot) but nonetheless the byproduct is friendly fog of war enforced by eyesight. The amount of information and how it is delivered to the player is one of the biggest assets a war game design has and in my opinion the developers should have thought this feature more thoroughly. A patch is on the works and it will include an option to remove this effect.
Yes, this time the big addition is fog. Oh my. Apart from them still using that tired 90's engine I'm surprised that in the many years since the first two titles noone has markedly improved on the AI. The graphic updates and small gameplay additions are fun but with an AI that can only move towards an objective or stay put that really doesn't matter much. Wonder how long they'll keep milking this one.

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