Developer: Cornered Rat Software
Publisher: Strategy First
WWIIOnline official page: http://www.wwiionline.com
War. There is, perhaps, no greater writer and philosopher on the subject than Karl von Clausewitz. 'Everything in war looks simple, the knowledge required does not look remarkable, the strategic options are so obvious that by comparison the simplest problem of higher mathematics has an impressive scientific dignity. Yet while everything in war is simple, the simplest thing is difficult.' (a paraphrase from Oxford Illustrated History of Modern War, p. 7)
That, indeed, is the feeling that World War II Online left us with. The concept is awesome and fulfills many a geek-fantasy - to fight a real war with real people, and no harm done to anyone. All the excitement of combat with none of the deadly fear, all the fun of firing a gun without actually killing anyone. What could be better? Before we get to that, let's cover what WW2O actually is.
Pick your side, soldier
A closer view
So what is it?
World War II Online is a massively multiplayer game that focuses on trying to reproduce the events of World War II. At the moment, the current theater of operations is the German blitzkrieg through the Low Countries and north-eastern France during mid 1940. As such, while you'll see the rarely-heard of French tanks like the Char B1 bis, or the British Cruiser Mk IV, you won't see Tigers, Panthers or T-34s.
In addition to tanks, you can have infantry with rifles, submachineguns or satchel charges as their primary weapons. Tank crews would also be well-advised to be on the look-out for various anti-tank guns, including the infamous German 88mm FlaK 36. Trucks are the tools of choice for moving around groups of infantry as well as anti-tank guns.
Conflicts in sight
Da Beast from Da East
The air, meanwhile, is sprinkled with fighters like the Bf-109, Spitfire and Hurricane, as well as light bombers like the Junkers 87B Stuka. The only 'true' bomber is the Heinkel HE-111, which isn't even implemented in the game.
In fact, it seems like half the game is not there - it's always pending a patch or development. Grenades were just added with the latest patch, for example. Gamers are still waiting on machine guns, a centralized server, a usable interface, and a decent gun towing system. The concept may be simple enough, but getting it implemented sure seems to be difficult.