Unity of Command 2 Review12 Nov 2019 0
Unity of Command 2 Review
Released 12 Nov 2019
Unity of Command 2 is a turn-based strategy/war game set during WW2, covering the final defeat of Axis forces in North Africa in 1943, through to the invasion of Italy and then the campaigns in Normandy and beyond up to the end of the war in Europe in 1945.
It is the sequel to 2012's Unity of Command, which was set on the Eastern Front. UoC2 sports a new visual aesthetic, deeper mechanics in terms of logistics and how the concept of 'Headquarters' can impact a unit's operational abilities and improved AI.
This is a game that skirts the line between strategy game and war game, with the new and improved design elements pushing it more firmly into the 'wargame' camp. Still, Unity of Command 1 was considered one of the best gateway computer war games for those looking to broaden their gaming horizons into this area, and the sequel can also serve a similar role. The first game could quite often be derived as more of a puzzle-type experience - it was less about tactical manoeuvres, and more about looking at any given set-piece and figuring out what order in which to do a limited set of actions.
There are some traces of that philosophy still present in Unity of Command 2, but the scenario design is much better thanks to the AI being much more capable of handling player actions. Some scenarios present a set-piece/stalemate start that you need to try and break-through, but once you get past that a scenario can still end up playing out quite differently depending on what you do, and how the AI chooses to react in that moment. Other scenarios involve you conducting sea and aerial invasions which can be very open-ended.
Some of the newer mechanics such as the supply system and the HQ units are less newcomer friendly, but there are tutorial scenarios that go through these elements in a satisfactory way to help teach them to newer players. Once the basics have been mastered, the potential for tactical play in Unity of Command 2 really opens up. Some criticism can be levied about there not being enough information to reference with-in a match. For example potential gaps in your zone of control, or other information related to enemy capabilities is absent, meaning you can get surprised and punished quite severely if you're not careful. A few extra tool-tips to remind you how some of the subtler systems work also wouldn't go amiss.
Generally though, this is an excellent turn-based strategy game. The basic controls are simple that this still serves as an excellent gateway experience to more complex wargames, but it also contains within it deep mechanics that require mastering and that can transform the game into a more complex experience. If you were a fan of the first game, you'll definitely like this one.
Our full Unity of Command 2 review can be read on our sister website, Wargamer.com. Since we use scores here on Strategy Gamer, I've listed what reviewer Jack would have given it if he were using a score.