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Men of War II out now on Steam with Native Linux support

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Men of War II is officially here from Best Way and Fulqrum Publishing, and serves as a great intro into historical real-time strategies games for newbies and veterans alike. Note: key provided by Evolve.

I should note, I haven't actually played any of the previous games, so my views on it are not tainted by nostalgia for older entries. Just taking the game exactly for what it is: a competent and quite exciting RTS, that's full of content to play through that will keep you entertained for many hours. Here you get three different story campaigns (Germany, USA, USSR), but then you also have the larger-scale historical campaigns to play through and multiple special one-off bonus missions not related to the campaigns.

On top of that (and this is still single-player) there's the big Conquest game mode to play any time, which sees you battle for territory across a wider map with multiple regions. It's like playing tug-of-war, as you and the AI take turns attacking and defending regions. And then there's the Raid mode which gives you a dynamic campaign across 16 battles with a technology tree to go through. That's before even getting to the multiplayer, of which there's multiple modes there too!

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What you get is a pretty-great looking game, one that's often quite brutal in the challenge. It only takes one little wrong move to get properly annihilated. So, like any good strategy game then, except the time period makes it all that much more brutal when you have people running through trenches getting smashed to pieces. It firmly reminds me of Company of Heroes, with a similar cover system and all.

There's some real nice attention to the finer details too, especially when it comes to all the vehicles. You need to think about their armour, getting them into the right position not to expose their rear or sides if you can. Some vehicles can have their turret moved fully without adjusting the angle of the vehicle and so on. All the little details you would hope to have are there. And honestly, I love watching some armoured vehicles tear through a whole bunch of infantry from afar, the effects are pretty great. It does make me wish you could zoom out further though, as the zoom level is a bit limited.

You know what my absolute favourite feature is though? Direct unit control, allowing you at any time at the tap of a button to just assume control of a particular vehicle or person and basically become them from a top-down perspective. It takes a little getting used to, but when you get to grips with it there's so much fun to be had there, especially when you're direct-controlling a really big tank.

Direct control is useful in so many situations, from sniper fire to getting a vehicle to a pin-point position in cover, it's such joy to mess around with. Men of War II is just this big open battleground of fire, explosions and people running for cover that you want to pick up to play more again and again.

The Battalion system is real interesting too, which acts sort-of like a card system, you pick your unit types to bring into a battle and you can edit them to your liking. These are split across different specialisations like infantry, tanks, artillery and so on giving you so many options to play it differently each time.

The UI for it all takes a bit of learning, but it's worth sticking to set everything up how you want,

One thing that did bug me was the tutorial, it's slow and nonreactive to what you're doing. So instead of progressing across the next thing to teach you when you've done something, it just sits waiting at times. Like just zooming the camera, you do it and then sit and wait until it decides to tell you the next step. Annoying. Real minor, but still dumb. Another is the voice-over dialogue in the campaigns, it's…not especially great, and made me cringe multiple times.

The stupidest decision taken here though was launching it with forced online connections. They've repeatedly said this makes it so "no-one can cheat in multi-player matches" (debatable) but they are working on a proper offline mode which will "take some time to implement". The result is that a large portion of loading time is server-related. Quite a nuisance. Worse so when actually trying to play online, and you get stuck with a waiting for server loading screen again, which can at times take multiple minutes of waiting.

Overall, I've really enjoyed my time with it, and the Linux version has been running beautifully on max settings on Kubuntu 24.04 with my AMD Ryzen 5800X and Radeon RX 6800 XT. Aside from some bugs and initial stuttering that goes away very quickly, which the developer is working on (with a first post-launch patch already out), there's no Linux-specific issues I can think of to note. It works well and if you like strategy games (and especially full Linux support) it's an easy recommendation to go and buy.

Available to buy from:

Fanatical

Humble Store

Steam

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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13 comments
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redneckdrow May 20
An always online DRM that apparently kicks people from single-player for being away from their keyboard. Yikes!
Viesta2015 May 20
Quoting: redneckdrowAn always online DRM that apparently kicks people from single-player for being away from their keyboard. Yikes!
That's uh... very dumb...
Guess you TRULY do not own your game with this one... can't even afk on singleplayer FFS
O_Stogden May 20
Quoting: Viesta2015
Quoting: redneckdrowAn always online DRM that apparently kicks people from single-player for being away from their keyboard. Yikes!
That's uh... very dumb...
Guess you TRULY do not own your game with this one... can't even afk on singleplayer FFS
You also cannot pause the game properly in some single-player modes either, due to the game running on a server and not locally.


Last edited by O_Stogden on 20 May 2024 at 8:08 pm UTC
ToddL May 21
I was going to ask about if it was worth it to get the first Men of War but after reading these comments about Men of War 2, I'm going to avoid it.


Last edited by ToddL on 21 May 2024 at 12:00 am UTC
TheRiddick May 21
Always online hey..

I'll wait for a cracked and patched version without that feature, either from the developer or whoever.
Quoting: redneckdrowAn always online DRM that apparently kicks people from single-player for being away from their keyboard. Yikes!
Its like these companies dont want me to buy their games...... And im very happily not buying them......
Trias May 21
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Quoting: ToddLI was going to ask about if it was worth it to get the first Men of War but after reading these comments about Men of War 2, I'm going to avoid it.

I don't know how well they aged, but first Men of War (and the actual first two games in the series - Soldiers: Heroes of World War II and Faces of War where quite good in their time.


Last edited by Trias on 21 May 2024 at 7:24 am UTC
cutterjohn May 21
no worries some of the last few menof war games have been shitshows where they were chasing the latest shiny...

Im halfway surprised that they haven't inserted AI speak into this game somehow, but Ill guess that they;ve learnt their lessons while managing to stay afloat...
This one instantly went on my perma-ignore list.

Not just always online, but limited server slots even for singleplayer so they kick you for being AFK in singleplayer mode.

They forced always online, but they don't have enough server space to let singleplayer players idle.

They should be beyond ashamed to have shipped this. They should exit the game industry in shame and never return, horrifying. How can everything aside from 1 to 3 man indies be this horrible.
TheRiddick May 22
To be fair the Developer have mentioned their working on offline modes. BUT its something they 100% should have done before release. Now they get to join all the other developers who released games with BAD features and loose good-will launch money! Congratulations, you gone f'ed up!
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