Title           Campaign
Game Type       3D Combat Sim
Company		Empire Software
Author		Jonathan Griffiths
Players         1
Compatibility   All (See Review)
HD installable  Yes
Submission      Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Campaign attempts to combine 3D Tank combat with a Strategy war game. How
well it succeeds in bringing this combination off is largely down to the
taste of the player, but for my money, any attempt to blur the edges of
the well defined genres and produce a broader gaming experience is a valid
approach and should be applauded, atleast in principle.

The game is set in World War 2 which is a good choice given that Tanks
(and the intelligence with which they were used) played a crucial role in
that conflict. Campaign is played from various on-screen 'Maps', and
having selected one, you can see your various formations, with their
names, arranged around the landscape. You can scroll around the map or
zoom in and out, assigning new waypoints to your formations, all with a
click of your mouse. While the main display is not stunningly attractive
its very functional and has a handy help function. Included on disk are
three categories of Map which you can play: Simple, Average and Complex.
The Simple variety begin with a single engagement where the main idea is
to develop your skills in the 3D combat section while leading you very
gently to familiarity with the Map screen. The Average Maps involve
several formations, where the forces involved will not be defeated by the
loss of a single battle, greater use of Air support and more ambitious
objectives are featured. The Complex Maps, based on historical battles,
can involve hundreds of tanks (nearly 3000 in the Kursk scenario) and here
everything is included, with the games taking days to complete.

Initially when playing a game you would be wise to look through your
various formations to find out what sort of vehicles are included. This is
done through a set of easily accessed screens, and again praise should be
given to the user friendly approach and neat, if not hugely attractive,
design. You can access a graphic of every vehicle included, giving you its
speed, firepower and armour statistics as well as a selection of views to
aid your identification skills. A good degree of realism seems to be
involved, because as well as the various armour thicknesses (thicker on
the front of your tanks) being calculated in the 3D battle, even details
like the British 2 pounder gun's inability to fire anything other than
Armour Piercing rounds (not much use against soft targets) is taken into
account. Without wishing to bore you to death with a lot of historical
twaddle the game accurately brings home a lot of historical detail which
could well have educational applications. How did the British allow
themselves to fall so far behind the Germans in Tank development when it
was they who had lead the way in World War 1? What were the Russians doing
with such a devastatingly effective Tank as the T34 so early in the war?

Returning to the Map screen you can unpause the game and increase or
decrease the rate that time elapses. Assuming you are making for your
objectives, you will soon be greeted by a message informing you that an
enemy formation (which now appears on the screen) has been spotted. You
may have the opportunity to shell the enemy before actually confronting
it. Air strikes are also possible, and this is usually a very good idea.
Its far better to reduce a powerful enemy division to tatters than to
engage it at a disadvantage, and let's face it, even if you're at an
advantage it makes no sense, in war, letting a few more of your people die
because it seemed fairer to the enemy. Eventually however, you will be
forced to engage your adversary in close battle, and here you have the
opportunity of dropping a few ranks and getting your hands dirty.

Before battle is joined you can take advantage of several options. Only 16
of your tanks will appear in the fight at any one time, but you can be
reinforced, assuming the reserves exist. You can now split those 16
vehicles into smaller groups, I've been using four groups of four. On the
non-zoomable Battle map, you can arrange your vehicles as you see fit,
although you have more freedom if you're defending. You can even opt to
let the Battle be fought automatically and take no part in the messy
business. Once you're ready and have chosen your options you select a
Tank (you can change to another at any time) move to the 3D screen, and
unpause the game. Sadly the landscape is flat, not ideal for an armoured
warfare simulation, but there are collections of buildings and trees which
add to the possibilities, and thankfully cause the otherwise ruthlessly
efficient enemy a certain amount of confusion. The 3D, which has
configurable complexity, runs fairly well on anything from an 020 upwards,
but is definitely a bit on the slow side for a plain 68000 processor.
Using an 060 (with the caches off for compatibility reasons) is fine
although I'm not quite sure what's happening with the 3D engine because
rather than simply making things smoother, the game speed itself seems to
be accelerated. Its quite amusing to see an Infantry tank like the
Matilda, which you could outrun on foot, go tearing past your position
like a hare. So here we are, with 32 odd Armoured Fighting Vehicles trying
to blow the stuffing out of each other, how does it actually play?
Surprisingly well in fact. Many times I've looked at this game and
abandoned any ideas of a proper campaign in favour of a (not so quick)
blast that has gone on for an hour or more. Initially, I had some problems
with the various control methods, but having settled for my own keyboard
configuration, I can testify that there is a lot of fun to be had here.
You can control the turret independently, but having a huge defficiency in
game playing skill, I tend to leave the turret pointing directly ahead and
just concern myself with driving the tank, pointing it in the right
direction before adjusting the elevation of the gun and firing. This has
the added bonus of presenting your thicker frontal armour to anything that
you engage. You can however opt to either drive the tank or control the
gun turret, leaving the other function to the computer, or indeed a
friend. I've done a bit of research into armoured warfare, and seeing a
squadron of enemy tanks come trundling through your position, blasting
away at anything viable, in Campaign, does look to be pretty realistic.
Its also impressive to see enemy tanks that you chase after, rotate their
turrets and cover their retreat, often to deadly effect.

On occasion you maybe forced into a battle that you don't want, and you
have the option of retreating. This can be effective, if you don't mind
some criticism from your superiors, but it can also be highly costly, and
galling to see many of the tanks that you wished to preserve ending up
captured by your gleeful opponent.

Also included with Campaign is a Map Editor, so if you wish, you can fight
out an imaginary (or historically accurate) battle you have configured
yourself, choosing the vehicles from those that would have been available
at the date you select.

Campaign is an ambitious game, tackling as it does, both 3D combat (with
shoot-em-up elements) and serious strategy (albeit in a straightforward
form) including production of resources. In my view it works rather well,
and could be enjoyed by a broad cross section of games players providing
they invest a little patience. Unfortunately, on my system atleast, the 3D
section occasionally freezes ending all progress. It is also a shame that
like the sprite based Team Yankee (but unlike M1 Tank Platoon) the action
takes place on a flat land where realistic use of terrain is not possible.
Its odd that Jonathan Griffiths' earlier game Conqueror, which like
Campaign is based on David Braben's 3D engine from the game Virus, used a
beautifully undulating terrain that was just right for Tank combat.
Admittedly though, there is a lot more going on in the background in
Campaign with regards to AI, and given the game was written in 1990 it is
understandable that more is not included.

An ambitious game then, that despite some forgivable flaws is still quite

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