Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scourge of War: Chancellorsville Gameplay Review

I'm playing Scourge of War: Chancellorsville, a real-time historical tactical strategy game by NorbSoftDev, Matrix Games, and Slitherine.

This is a standalone expansion to Gettysburg and includes twenty scenarios covering the battles, each averaging an hour in length. All of the skirmishes have historical orders of battle and take place on one of three huge (25 square miles), detailed maps. The new battlefields have been supposedly optimized to improve performance, although I did not observe any noticeable improvement. Scourge of War: Chancellorsville also includes six multiplayer scenarios and a sandbox battle mode for essentially infinite replay value. The very enjoyable tactical combat remains, and the intriguing courier message order system and near-commander camera restriction (both optional) offer a level of unparalleled realism. Still, Scourge of War: Chancellorsville lacks some needed improvements: feedback for the courier system remains murky, and the AI still exhibits questionable and erratic pathfinding. The admittedly robust new roster of battles definitely offers significant value, and the package as a whole is recommended to newcomers to the series, but the $30 price tag may be tough to stomach as an expansion to previous Scourge of War products.