History: Legends Of War PS3 review – Tense turn-based tactics aren’t quite worth Patton pending

I cannot utter a lie… well, apart from that time I claimed to be James McAvoy’s shorter, more ginger brother. When I first clapped corneas on this turn-based WWII strategy, I thought, to put it in precise critical terminology, ‘tis total bobbins. With its History Channel affiliations, cheap and miserable presentation (there ain’t much cheer to be had in war) and shonky camera, Legends Of War made my ticker sink.

History: Legends Of War PS3 review

What naughty tykes first impressions can be. Y’see, though this budget strategy title is rougher than shaving with sandpaper, beneath the fugly surface lies an involving, tactical treat. The best compliment I can pay Enigma’s title is it makes me regret overlooking last year’s excellent Xcom: Enemy Unknown. The conflict on show obviously isn’t as polished or layered as the alien invasion-repelling sim. Yet Legends somehow manages to eek genuine tension from tiny soldiers moving ponderously about badly textured French fields.

Taking control of General Patton during the closing stages of the war, you control Old Blood and Guts’ Third US Army troops. Think of the game as a gun-toting version of chess. You move your pieces individually, turn by turn, with different units (be they snipers, paratroopers, medics or even tanks and aircraft) being able to travel varying distances across the battlefield.

Missions are broken up into offensive, defensive and infiltration objectives. And it’s the last type that proves the stealthy, snatch & grab highlight. Given a minuscule squad, it’s your job to evade enemies while trying to bag intel. Your goose-stepping foes sport Metal Gear-style vision cones and outmanoeuvring their sights makes for a constantly nervy, surprisingly engaging slice of sneakery.

It feels like the game has been put together for about 17 quid, of course. Voice acting is so bad I can only assume the cast suffered cranial traumas inside the recording booth. Couple this with a low-hanging camera that’s a dastard to steer around environmental objects, and you’ve hardly got the most pleasurable sensory experience. If you can overlook the presentation problems, there’s a clever game of strategy here that just about makes this a war worth enlisting for.

Our Score

Score: 6