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Civil War - A Nation Divided


Civil War - A Nation Divided, by the History Channel, lets you play as the north or the south. This first person shooter tries to immerse you in the gritty brother-on-brother fighting.

For people used to the fast paced guns and assaults of the various World War II games, Civil War can be a lesson in patience. When you take a shot with certain weapons, there's a long reloading sequence before you can take a second shot. For those who complain this is too long, it's actually a shortened version from how reloading worked back then. There are cannons to fire, covered wagons to hide behind, and explosives to set.

Civil War is an odd mix when it comes to graphics. On one hand, the fire graphics are pretty realistic, and the rippling streams beneath the bridges add a nice ambiance. On the other hand, there are clipping errors all over the place, with bodies mixing into each other and into nearby scenery.

The missions are standard wargame fare - kill off certain soldiers, blow up certain obstacles, get to certain destinations. The game, however, makes this challenging in ways which are not historically accurate. Somehow, people are able to shoot you from completely blocked vantage points. On the other hand, if you crouch behind a barricade, half the time they can still shoot you, because you absently seem to leave body parts (like your head) poking up over the top.

AI can be really awful. We've thrown a grenade at an enemy and he has completely ignored it (even though it literally bounced off of him) - he just kept reloading his rifle until the grenade exploded.

Buildings are indestructable - even with cannons - and are not properly proportioned. When you walk over to them, they're sized like hobbit houses. Odd ...

The sound is nice on the menus, but in-game it's just a lot of screaming and repetitive gunshots. It would have been nice to have some period music playing in the background.

Repetitive is really a common theme in this game. The maps are very linear. The comments made by friend and foe are repetitive. The animations are so simple and overused that you get the sense that you're fighting an army of clones.

There's no multiplayer at all, and even many months after the game was released, the downloadable content menu area does not provide access to anything.

If they'd spent a few more months on this game, it might have really been a lot of fun. However, the way it is now, you get the sense that you're playing a beta release.

Rating: 2/5

Buy Civil War from Amazon.com
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Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Shea. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Shea. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Shea for details.

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