Home of the Underdogs
About News FAQs Contact HOTU GoogleGroup Music Manuals
Category Applications Action Adventure Education Interactive Fiction Puzzle Role Playing Games Simulation Special Sport Strategy War

Support the EFF
Welcome How you can help
Browse Games
Welcome Random Pick
Welcome By Company
  Welcome By Theme  
Welcome By Alphabet
Welcome By Year
Welcome Title Search
Welcome Company Search
Welcome Designer Search
Welcome Freeware Titles
Welcome Collections
Welcome Discord
Welcome Twitter
Welcome Facebook
Welcome File Format Guide
Welcome Help: Non PC Games
Welcome Help: Win Games
Welcome Help: DOS Games
Welcome Recommended Links
Site History Site History
Legacy Legacy
Link to Us Link to Us
Credits Thanks & Credits
Abandonware Ring

Abandoned Places


Creative Commons License

Game #4107
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  Close Combat    View all Top Dogs in this genre
War   Real-time or real terrain

Rating: 8.87 (139 votes)

Close Combat box cover

Close Combat screenshot
Games Domain's strategy/war editor Tim Chown says it all in his comprehensive review of this excellent start to Atomic Games' real-time squad combat series, set in World War II:

"The game runs best at 800x600 or above, where the strategic map view is also available. The main game screen is divided into an upper battlefield window and beneath that lie information windows; the info windows are very easy to read and scroll. The main battlefield has very good, though not drop-dead gorgeous, graphics representing woods, buildings, trees and hedgerows. Lots of hedgerows. The snag is that your men are very hard to spot on the map, being (on the American side) green on green. Camouflage works wonders, but is a hindrance in the game. However, once your eyes adjust, you begin to cope - things also get easier if you use the option to remove trees above stump-height and remove dead/incapacitated soldiers. Without the latter, you can easily, in the mists of battle, spend time trying to command the dead, which is a frustrating business. The game includes a nice tutorial (the same as in the demo release); this shows some basic tactics and how to move your troops. I soon got used to the keyboard shortcuts - much easier and well-appreciated. The basic Z-to-move, C-to-fire, V-for-smoke are the most commonly used.

Herein lies one of Close Combat's "weaknesses". You, as commander, can see all your men, you know where they are, and command them at will. Morale effects may mean they won't obey, but you have a huge edge over the command ability of a leader in the field. This makes the game more of a Command and Conquer clone, yet the morale effects reduce this enough to give Close Combat its own very unique feel. And a very nice feel.

"Men Who Act Like Real Soldiers": This is the claim made on the box, and it's not far from the truth, or at least as close to it as I've seen in any other game. In game terms, it means that your men are human, they have human reactions to situations, and each and every soldier is accounted for and modelled separately. The basic attributes you see are health (eg. healthy, hurt, incapacitated, dead), mental condition (eg. stable, routed), and physical condition (eg. rested, winded). Underneath that the game tracks many more factors - experience, skill, morale, suppression, fatigue, leadership, observation (eg. shadows on the map are spotted but concealed troops) and more. Stats also track vehicle statuses. Each soldier can perform one of 30 or more actions at any one time. There's an amazing variety of actions. The right-hand window reports events, and you can set a filter on different message types. Clicking on a message takes you to that unit, which is a nice feature. The whole system lets you track the progress of your men, to get favourites, to witness heroic deeds and see them rewarded with medals.

Close Combat is a very enjoyable game, moreso with the 1.0a patch applied (which for one thing speeds up scrolling appreciably). There are, however, some negative points to be made. The first is the lack of variety in units; while there are a number of vehicles included, you're not going to see the variety you see in the likes of Steel Panthers. There is no scenario editor or random battle generator, so you're stuck with the 35 or so scenarios in the game, which is a hindrance on replay value. This fact is emphasised more because many of the maps are similar; yes, there's rivers, roads, villages, etc, but an awful lot of the game is taken up fighting through hedgerows. As a means to educate you in the problems of warfare in Normandy in June/July of 1944 this does a good job, but it does get a little repetitive from a gameplay and fun perspective. I like Close Combat, despite the various shortcomings. Some might call it a thinking man's Command and Conquer; there is enough variety and tension in the gameplay to keep you occupied for many many hours. There is a question mark over replay value, [but if] you have a Pentium running Windows 95 then Close Combat is a good showcase strategy game for your machine." Highly recommended!

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Keith Zabalaoui
Developer: Atomic Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Year: 1996
Software Copyright: Atomic Games
Theme: World Wars
System Requirements: Windows XP
Where to get it:   Possible sources
Related Links:  
If you like this game, try: Close Combat 2: A Bridge Too Far, V for Victory: Market Garden, Steel Panthers

© 1998 - 2024 Home of the Underdogs
Portions are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Please read our privacy policy.