As if directly controlling units, finding cover for your infantry, and working toward your objectives aren't enough, Men of War has an additional responsibility in store for you: Limited ammo. In the event that any of your guys run out of bullets, you'll need to search corpses and supply creates for more. Additionally, looting corpses will garner you all sorts of items to augment your troops' effectiveness. Although there is a certain engrossing realism to the fact that your soldiers can equip any dropped gun, helmet, or grenade that they find, micromanaging your squad's inventory, and looting and equipping items, can become overwhelming. Regardless, you will still experience a profound feeling of accomplishment whenever your motley crew of units scavenges enough enemy supplies to barely make it through a mission.
Multiplayer in Men of War supports up to 16 players in both LAN and online matches and there are seven different game types to choose from that consist of variations on four basic themes. Given that there are no enemy bases to destroy, multiplayer matches are decided by points. Depending on the game type, those points can be earned by controlling areas of the map; by towing a randomly placed cargo wagon to your base, or simply by killing as many enemies as possible. Furthermore, you can play through the campaigns cooperatively with a friend, which is definitely a welcome addition. Curiously absent is any kind of skirmish mode for playing against computer opponents, which is unfortunate given that versions of the game from different territories aren't always compatible with each other which can make opponents difficult to find.
For the final three minutes of his life, Private Demidov would be the proud owner of a German machine gun.
Men of War's graphics and audio are nothing special, although the sound effects are good enough that you can distinguish noises as subtle as an enemy soldier crawling through the grass to throw an antitank grenade. The music is repetitive and becomes annoying due to the prolonged nature of the missions. Furthermore, the pathetic English-language voice acting, when combined with awkward character animations, makes for some unintentionally hilarious cutscenes that don't mesh with the game's otherwise gritty mood. One nice thing about the visuals is the inclusion of some greenery, in contrast to the traditional WWII palate of dirt brown and rubble gray. Overall, though, the graphics don't compare too favorably with recent RTS games.
From the direct-control feature to the lovingly replicated historical vehicles, Men of War is full of well-crafted details that should make it especially appealing to history buffs. The steep learning curve alone will be enough to keep some players from enjoying everything that Men of War has to offer, but the reward for perseverance is a WWII campaign experience like no other game on the market.
Editor's Note: The preceding review replaces the Men of War review that was originally posted on GameSpot, which was found to contain a number of factual inaccuracies. We regret the error.