by Chuck “Magnum” Ankenbauer
“A hundred and twenty-five bucks for a game! Are you insane?”
If I would have bothered to even tell my wife that I just bought Steel Beasts Professional (Personal Edition), that’s what I would have heard, but lucky for me I simply avoided the whole discussion.
As it has been said many times in the forum, SB Pro PE is not a computer game, it’s asimulation. A simulation of modern armor combat, using real world doctrine, tactics, hardware, and round penetration tables.
The purpose of this review is not to convince you to pay $125 USD for a game, but to give you my opinion on what this piece of simulation software does and how it plays.
Sure, we keep saying it’s not a game, but I’m willing to bet that all the members of SimHQ didn’t buy SB Pro PE in a plan to join the Army and become a tanker. We bought it to play as a computer simulation, just like any other game or sim we buy and play.
Packaging and Installation
Steel Beasts Professional (Personal Edition), henceforth known as SB Pro PE, can only be ordered online from eSim Games. It is delivered in a small DVD size package. The game comes in a black DVD case — it’s overstuffed to make room for the included dongle which is a codemeter USB device that is needed attached to your computer to play the game. Once the dongle is installed, the CD can be archived away.
It comes with a nice spiral binder, a 96-page print manual that has just enough information to cover everything you need to know to get started, along with extra information like history and tank tactics. (Have I ever mentioned how I love spiral printed manuals, should be a law.)
If that wasn’t enough documentation for you, then open up the “docs” folder in your SB Pro PE install, you have 27 other types of documents to read and enjoy. Everything from word TACSOP’s and Platoon Tactic SOP’s, a PowerPoint tutorial presentation, to many pdf documents covering a multitude of topics. There’s even a Google Earth file that shows you all the real world combat and training zones. It’s the best damn documentation folder I’ve ever seen. I read every one of them (except for the one on slope calculation). I was totally lost there.
And another bonus. All those sweet, real world backgrounds you see on the credits are in a “slide” folder within your SB Pro PE system files. They make great wallpaper.