Every once in a while we run into a game that is almost completely devoid of redeeming qualities. When that game happens to be in a crowded genre like a first-person shooter set in World War II, it casts an even darker pall on an already horrible product. World War II Combat: Road to Berlin is just such a game. Road to Berlin is an utter failure from top to bottom, offering ugly, drab graphics and terrible sound that match the low quality of the gameplay and game design.
It's hard to find anything to like in Road to Berlin.
There are 10 missions in Road to Berlin's very brief campaign. In each of the missions, you're given a primary weapon like a submachine gun or sniper rifle, a pistol, and an explosive weapon such as a grenade. You'll explore various locales in the European theater, such as a German air base, a submarine pen, and hardened bunkers, as you kill dozens of Wehrmacht on your way from point A to point B. It sounds like any other WWII shooter, right? Well, on the surface it does, but somehow the game designers couldn't even manage to get a game theme that has been cloned dozens of times to work well. First of all, there are absolutely no health packs that you can pick up--the only thing you can loot is extra ammunition for your weapons. This makes the game harder than it needs to be, as you need to be able to get from the start of a mission to the end without dying. The missions aren't particularly long, and you can absorb a decent number of shots. But any mistake you make means you have to start over at the last checkpoint, which promotes a trial-and-error approach to the missions where you try to memorize the locations of all the enemies.
And speaking of checkpoints, the save system in the game is flawed, as well. Each level is broken up by a few checkpoints that you can start from if you die. But if you happen to reach a late checkpoint with only a smidgen of health left, you may find it impossible to finish the level at that point. The game saves only your last checkpoint, and there's no manual saving, so that means you could find yourself forced to start the entire level over again if you accidentally trigger the last checkpoint with too little health. Further adding to the frustration is the inability to pick up or change weapons. You'll start some levels with a sniper rifle, which is so poorly implemented that it takes you out of zoomed view each time you fire, and it takes far too long to load in the next bullet. When you get into close-quarters situations on these levels, there's no way to pick up a different weapon, and so you're stuck with trying to shoot at close range with the sniper rifle or just using a pistol.