Airborne Assault Review

Strategy doesn't get bigger then this, we take a look at this new take on the humble strategy game.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 30th September 2003

Airborne Assault

  • Developer: Panther Games
  • Publisher: CDV
  • Release Date: 6th December 2002

Real time strategy games based around World War II are nothing new but every once in a while a game comes along that breaks from the traditional point and click Command and Conquer style we have all grown to love. Airborne Assault does this and lets you take command of the battle at an operational level and delivers an interesting alternative to the standard war game format.

Airborne Assault is based on events that took place around the Dutch City of Arnhem. General Bernard Montgomery commander of the British forces in Europe hatched a plan code named Operation Market garden that would of effectively ended the war in Europe by Christmas 1944 if it had succeeded.

The general believed a short focused burst into the German lines would be more successful then a broad attack, so thirty thousand British and American airborne troops were to be flown behind enemy lines to capture eight bridges that spanned the network of canals and rivers on the Dutch/German border. At the same time British tanks and infantry were to push up a narrow road leading from the Allied front line to these key bridges.

Although the bold plan failed it was one of the most aggressive plans by allied forces and provides an excellent basis for a strategy game, after all had the operation had been successful, post war Europe would have been very different.

When playing Airborne Assault you have the option to play in a campaign that comprises of 22 scenarios. You command either the Allied or Axis forces as you assume the role of the general. You issue orders to virtual commanders who will decide the best route and tactics to use based on preferences you give them. For example you can command your commanders to get to locations by the quickest or safest route. There are also a number of other orders you can specify but the beauty of Airborne Assault is that you can leave these fine details to your virtual commanders leaving you to concentrate on your overall strategy.

For those wishing to micro manage you have the option to separate individual units from their commanders allowing you to issue orders to them directly.

Airborne Assault features multiplayer support,l and with the ability to play the game on both Allied and Axis' sides it adds to the games overall replay value. There is also a scenario editor for those players who wish to design their own scenarios to play.

Graphics within Airborne Assault are nothing special, but they don't need to be, this is an operational level war game and the battle interface resembles this and as a result it works very well.

Battles take place on vector maps that have been recreated from Allied maps from the time and therefore players are presented with a wealth of detail. You have the ability to zoom into the map to take a closer look and get a clearer picture of the action if necessary. We found ourselves using the zoom function quite frequently as when you are looking at the overall map your units exact position can be quite unclear.

Overall Airborne Assault delivers a fresh approach to the real-time strategy genre and with its great detail, addictive game play and excellent replay value it is definitely worth a look for any strategy game fan.

Review Score: 6.8/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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