Iron Front: Liberation 1944 Page 4

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Iron Front - Riding Into Battle.

Gameplay

Campaign

The game includes two singleplayer-only campaigns. There are 10 missions in each side (German and Russian) showcasing the very end of WWII on the Eastern Front. Each campaign is very well done with proper background information and cut scenes. You start out small and move up in rank as you unlock the next mission in the series. Starting as a private and simply take orders and fight, while the AI tells you where to go and what to do. Eventually you’ll be put in charge of a small team or squad, and then eventually support missions, armor missions, and air missions. Giving you a taste of everything the game offers. Each mission takes approximately an hour, and can be replayed many times due to the open battlefields in the game.

Some examples of missions Magnum encountered while playing through the campaigns:

His small team was directed to drive to a windmill overlooking a valley, in that valley we had our defenses set. They had to first clear the area of enemy scouts, and then use the location to locate the enemies mortar platoon, and then call counter artillery on them.

In another mission, his tank platoon provided support in a large scale assault on a defensive position.

Another had his team move into a contested area, then set up a defensive position with AT guns and machine gun pits, while they waited then received the counter attack.

His infantry squad was directed to move up with an armor force through heavy enemy fire to support yet another attack.

Multiplayer

There are new facets to multiplayer with regards to game type and special missions. Along with the expected CTF, TDM, DM and so on game types, there is a new game type named Blitzkrieg. It’s a type of mission with several defended spawn points, where the attacking side must get them point-by-point, something not totally unlike found in the Battlefield series.

Missions

Also unique in Iron Front, there are special missions with tanks only, and another with aircraft only. These will be team battles in tank-to-tank and air-to-air.

Here are questions and answers some SimHQ readers asked about Iron Front:

Will it be possible to attach and fight with bayonets? No.

Will it be possible to adjust range on iron sights, scopes, and tank scopes? Yes, especially the artillery and tank scopes that have full detail for adjustments.

Does the multiplayer component work the same as Arma 2? Yes, it works the same as in Arma2 also with a dedicated server.

Are the campaigns co-op enabled like the original Operation Arrowhead, or are they single player only? Nope, the campaigns are not multiplayer compatible.

We did notice some items that need to be addressed in the Beta. In one mission you are tasked with detaching a field gun from the back of your troop transport. Well you can achieve the goal, but it is bouncing around and takes away from the gameplay immersion. Once unlocked and goal achieved, the field gun sits docile waiting for use. A Beta bug no doubt. Other “oops” include frequent crashes and lockups and AI is functional, but still dumb as rocks when it comes to preserving their own lives. Regarding the AI, we’re not sure it’s anArma 2 engine thing, or something that can be corrected / tuned within Iron Front. We have high hopes these will be resolved before Iron Front is released. It would be a shame to not address these well known Arma 2 issues in such good looking product. Remember, Iron Front is still in Beta. We’ll report more in the SimHQ Review of the final shipping version.

Graphics

While the screenshots in this preview demonstrate the detail to historic vehicles, quality of the textures, and 3D modeling, most amazing is the ability to go inside nearly all of the buildings and structures. There was a tremendous amount of work to complete and furnish the inside of structures. Additionally, all the buildings have varying stages of damage.

Iron Front - The buildings have varying stages of damage

Sound

The sounds are well done with great environmental sounds, along with good vehicle and weapon sounds. When in a battle you can feel and hear it, just like your there, the extra sounds and environmental clues are just fantastic in Iron Front. The voice overlays are still in progress, but what we heard sounded good. Some of the dialog was a bit stilted when translated, but it works okay to get the cut scene activity across to the player. Personal preference, but hearing German from the German troops and reading English sub-titles works well in Iron Front. As the saying goes, “YMMV”.

Modding

The BI Arma 2 world is ripe with tons of add-ons and user mods. Does Iron Front follow in Arma 2’s footsteps? Yes, Iron Front supports modding, and mods from Arma 2. But what would stop someone from using modern weaponry in Iron Front? The damage system in Iron Front will not allow it. For example, it’s useless to try to hit with an M1 Abrams a T-34 tank because it has a different damage system. A hacker can’t make a cheat of the NVA and UVA. It was not determined at the time of publishing this preview if Battleye would be included in Iron Front as an additional incentive to not try and cheat. With that said, there is the signature system that protects against modifications of game data.

Iron Front - Going into the village

Conclusion

While technically an expansion of the Arma 2 world, Iron Front is much more than just a mod. From what we’ve seen in the Beta, you’re getting a full battlefield, and potentially a great game. It covers air and land battles in single player campaigns and missions, along with multiplayer that can be played in co-op, or force-on-force, but the campaigns are unfortunately not “co-op”. Planes dogfight overhead, planes bomb targets, and AA guns light up the sky. There are armor battles, vehicle transports maneuvering around, and of course, plenty of infantry combat. The huge amount of content and detail is very impressive. You also get the typical Arma 2 style mission editor, so expect plenty of user made content. If you like open area, open mission, WWII combat in a tactical, more realistic environment then you should not be disappointed in Iron Front: Liberation 1944. If Deep Silver and X1 Software get the bugs we found resolved, they have an unabashed winner.

Previewers System Specs

Magnum

  • Desktop Intel i7-2600 processor
  • Asus Republic of Gamers GENE-Z mobo
  • 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 570
  • 750GB 7200 SATA HDD
  • Windows 7 Home / SP1

guod

Desktop

  • Intel i7-920 processor
  • Asus P6T mobo 6GB
  • DDR3 1066 RAM
  • ASUS / ATI 5870 video card
  • Crucial M4 SSD – drives C and D
  • Windows 7 Pro / SP1

Laptop

  • ASUS N-61jq
  • Intel i7-Q720 processor
  • 8GB DDR2 RAM
  • ATI 5770 video
  • 500GB 7200 SATA HDD
  • Windows 7 Home / SP1

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