Afghanistan ’11: Royal Marines was officially released on 6 September 2018 on Steam. It was developed by Every Single Soldier and Retro Epic and published by Slitherine Ltd. It is a turn-based strategy game, as a DLC to the base game Afghanistan ’11.
AIR Entertainment obtained a digital copy of the game from Slitherine Ltd for review purposes.
If you are subscribed to AIR Entertainment’s Youtube Channel, you can catch a glimpse of AIR Entertainment’s gameplay videos along with some other game videos.
Before we get to the Royal Marines DLC, let me first introduce you to Afghanistan ’11. It is the sequel to Vietnam ’65 and is a wargame based in Afghanistan, with you leading operations during the 2011 war. You lead the US Army operations in the area, searching and hunting down the Taliban in the area.
Enter Royal Marines. This brings with it the UK campaign and Army, some car bombs, new vehicles and military. From Operation Ptarmigan to Operation Ghartse Dagger, the new campaign adds 10 new unique scenarios. Each campaign is designed to test your skill at resource management, strategy and effective military deployment.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of the older Civilisation games, with tiles that you need to move military units over. Each tile consumes a unit’s moves, with a limited number of moves per turn. Resource management is a key priority in the game, with even items like fuel for vehicles needing some consideration.
There is a tutorial for the game, but it left me still wondering how to do certain things. It is not a very in-depth explanation of how to play the game, or how to develop key strategies. The game almost assumes that you’ve mastered the art of wargame strategy games, and hopes you will succeed.
Many a death has occurred due to lack of fuel. Luckily, there are fuel vehicles that can solve the issue. Military vehicles travel the field quicker than soldier, leaving a reliance on them to transport troops to the required areas.
All in all, the game offers a highly intense strategic gameplay, testing your intellect when it comes to wargames, but removes the fun I’ve had from similar, real-time strategy games I’ve played in the past. Not that war was even fun, but the complexity of the gameplay alone was enough to put me off playing this game too often. I think a Switch version of the game would have been preferable over a PC version.
SOUND AND GRAPHICS
The game presents some of the old tried and tested graphics for wargame turn based games. It may not be top-notch graphics in terms of what is available now, but I do applaud the developer for what they were able to accomplish. There isn’t too much detail in the maps, and sometimes it may feel slightly dull to play through some of them, but no one said war is pretty.
When it comes to sound, there seems to be the same voice for all the soldiers in the game. No attempt is even made to change the accent of the voice actor, and all commands will bring the same voice whenever you issue a command. There are some cool sounds though, especially when bombs explode and helicopters start shooting at enemies, but they are your normal run of the mill sounds.
This is a wargame though, so it’s not that any of this is unusual. It is just that nothing in terms of graphics or sound tends to stand out above other games of this caliber.
Afghanistan ’11: Royal Marines is a wargame to be enjoyed only by the hardcore, turn-based strategy gamers of today. It brings in UK army to help you take our the enemies in the middle-east, but has a heavy focus on resource management and the ability to strategically read a map. Your loyalty is rewarded if you are into these military based games, while others will find it frustrating and tedious.
With mediocre sounds and graphics, and limited replayability due to the gameplay mechanics, the game receives a score of 6/10 from me.
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