Share This Article

Close Combat, $49.95 a Windows 95 CD-ROM for $44.95 from Microsoft (800-426-9400), is a World War II?era strategy game that focuses on the human element of war amid real-time action and historically accurate situations.

Close Combat puts the user in command of men who act and fight like real soldiers. They are no longer simply pieces on a chessboard, but rather soldiers who are affected both physically and mentally by the battle situations they face. The men fight heroically, cower, break, rally, obey or sometimes disobey, based on the orders you issue. As the unit commander, you can experience the sights and sounds of a “live” battlefield while leading men in combat. The shooting starts the second the men step off at Omaha Beach, and it does not let up until they have taken St. Lô. Continuous real-time action, historically accurate World War II situations, weapons and terrain, head-to-head play with a modem or LAN, and archival film footage and photos all add to the gaming experience.

With its revolutionary real-time engine, great sound effects and vivid graphics, Close Combat takes a quantum step in making wargaming more realistic. The only catch is that users will have to finally break down and put Windows 95 on their PCs to experience it.

Other software releases of interest include Battle of the Ironclads from Grolier (203-797-3530), an accurate, riveting first-person simulation of the Civil War battle between Monitor and Merrimack. Battleground 3: Waterloo from Empire Interactive (410-933-9191) is a historical strategy game that gives the user the chance to turn Napoleon’s ultimate defeat into a glorious victory. Robert E. Lee: Civil War General from Sierra On-Line (800-757-7707) allows the user to fight the Civil War from the Confederate perspective. Steel Panthers II from SSI (800-601-7529) depicts tank warfare from the 1950s to the present day. And Third Reich by Avalon Hill (800-999-3222) is the perfect game to explore the many “what ifs” of WWII.

Jay C. LaBarge