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First Impressions (CM:BN Full Release)


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I think that "fine" and "big enough" are very subjective terms.

I'm with you, Clark. My monitor is 24" @ 1920x1200 and I have to lean into the screen to read the UI. And, while playing the game on my TV? Forget it! I've got to walk over to the TV to read it.

There really needs to be some way to enlarge the text size.

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A 24" at 1920x1200 has a perfectly normal DPI of 100. That isn't any different from "normal" desktop monitor and better than the highres notebooks.

Are you guys sure you have proper cables there? If you use a VGA cable at that resolution the image sharpness goes to hell and then yes, you have to learn in.

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It took me a few days to get the hang of the camera and commands. But once I did get the hang of it, this game is beautiful. The same thrill I got back in 2000 when I discovered CMBO and the Valley of Trouble demo. The graphics are just stunning, and the game play feels fluid and coherent.

A cool thing I thought I noticed as I was sending the crew of a burning Sherman down a country lane, the commander who was wounded lagged behind the other three crew members, and was actually limping. Did I really see that? I think I did.

I found I was setting my commands for each turn, then replaying it multiple times as I locked view on each unit and zoomed in to watch them.

Thanks Battlefront, absolutely awesome job! The wait has been worth it.

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All in all a great job and a wonderful game.

I've been playing since CMBO and still play CMBB and AK. But finally great looking infantry that does the job. Great looking vehicles.

I'm a bit impatient with the selectng forces part of "QB" (all the clicking, deleting necessary to get to something I'm aiming for) but generally in the end I'm pleased there as well.

Looking forward to the continuation of this series and will be playing this for a long time.

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Nice Game, but not yet mature. The tanks shoot in go and do hit exactly on 500 metres? Absolutely impossibly. If one knows CMBB, CMBN is quite unrealistic by tanks.

What about MP-Modus for more than 2 players? In real-time no chance to manage all units with all then possibilities, how fire area and so on. Turn based very nice, but not playable multyplayer...via email ok, sending 50mb turns should be a little strenuous

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Nice Game, but not yet mature. The tanks shoot in go and do hit exactly on 500 metres? Absolutely impossibly. If one knows CMBB, CMBN is quite unrealistic by tanks.

What about MP-Modus for more than 2 players? In real-time no chance to manage all units with all then possibilities, how fire area and so on. Turn based very nice, but not playable multyplayer...via email ok, sending 50mb turns should be a little strenuous

Turns in my present game are about 6-7mb uncompressed, easily manageable with dropbox. As to not mature, maybe not. I know Charles, Steve and the bunch are working on a couple items, but overall, best game on my pc by far. Personally I think they have done a truly outstanding job and as they work through the issues and add items based on suggestions it will only get better.

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I'm loving playing this game. The feel and flavor of the good ol' CMBO is there, but with better graphics and a more refined interface.

My only real complaint so far is the messed up installation method. Games have been around for years (Civilization IV, for example) that install just fine to \Program Files and keep the user's files (mods, saves, settings,etc.) in their My Docs. I really did not appreciate having to add myself as a local admin (Win7-64) just so I could install this game 'correctly' (To C:\Games instead of My Docs) and play it as myself instead of having to give admin credentials every time I wanted to play. Yes, I removed the admin rights immediately after the install was done...

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I've been playing the CM games since the very first one and I think this might be the best one yet, even though I've loved every one of the CM games including Shock Force, which so many people seem to dislike for some reason. There are a few minor issues that I have with the game of course, but overall it is absolutely spectacular. Almost every issue that I have with the game is not really with the game itself, but with a few badly designed scenarios in my opinion, like with some scenarios not giving me enough time to finish... I HATE time limits in video games and I find them so frustrating. Nothing is more annoying than having some God-like entity swoop down right at the climactic moment of the battle and tell me that I've lost just because I didn't quite make it to the objective in 40 minutes. It's just so annoying. I mean come on, in real life it could take an entire company of men several hours just to clear out a single apartment building, yet in this game you are expected to assault and clear out whole towns in less than an hour. It makes no sense in a game that claims to be realistic, and it forces the player to treat every scenario like a race, and to use suicidal kamikaze tactics just to make it to the objective in time (this of course depends on the scenario... some scenarios give me more than enough time to move slowly and carefully and still finish).

Other than that I've been really enjoying the game so far. Everything about it seems improved from the previous installments. Battles seem to be a lot more unpredictable than in any other CM game. Units will fall back more often, make more intelligent use of cover, and I've seen some really crazy Audie Murphy type stuff happen on occasion, like when a 3-man German forward observer HQ team (one of them with a pistol) wiped out almost half of my entire platoon and forced the rest to surrender or scatter. They waited till just the right moment, after my 2-man scout team walked right past them, then opened fire on the rest of my advancing squad at point blank range, taking down 6 men including the sergeant and forcing the rest to take cover and hide. I tried assaulting the position with the rest of my platoon under covering fire, but right when my assault team made it there and shot one of the Germans, a friendly rifle grenade landed right in the middle of my assault team and killed ANOTHER 6 men. At this point the remaining 2 Germans, including the guy with the pistol, got up and started shooting more of my men at close range as they lay there cowering in the dirt. Then the rest of the platoon either surrendered or scattered while those 2 Germans slipped away into the woods unhurt. Stuff like this really makes the game shine in my opinion, where it shows the chaos and unpredictability of battle.

I've seen the AI make some bad decisions every now and then, but I don't really have a problem with that, since real humans make stupid decisions all the time as well. And this is WW2 after all, where you have loads of poorly-trained 17-18 year old draftees all over the place... not exactly professional soldiers. One thing I did find odd though is that the enemy AI used bailed-out tank crews as front-line assault troops on one scenario. They sent the tank crews way out ahead of their main force, firing their pistols all the way at everything that moved. I thought that was a little strange...

Overall though, first impressions are very very good. 10 years ago I never would have imagined that I would be playing a game like this, and I can't wait to see all the mods and expansions that come out later.

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I noticed playing on the map "Small Village w/Water" that after I destroyed 4 armored vehicles on the bridge and at the entrance to the bridge that my Stug was able to cross the bridge without difficulty. Some vihicles were still on fire.

Is that to represent: 1) that the Stug might have been able to bulldoz the wrecks off ? Or 2) possibly that it represents that the actual size of the bridge as displayed was not the visible size.

Seems to me that while that might have been possible with one enemy destroyed on bridge with 4 it would've consumed lots of time - more that the less than 15 or 20 seconds it took.

Anyway I thought it odd I crossed so easily.

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My thanks to everyone at Battlefront for a wonderfully fun and immersive wargame.

Having purchased, CMBO, CMBB, CMAK and now CMBN I can honestly say each

has gotten progressively better and I've not ever felt like my purchase was

a bad investment, unlike a number of other games I've purchased over the

years from other publishers.

Well done and thanks again!

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Epic game and one of the most immersive and enjoyable WW2 games,i've played in a long long time.A few niggles perhaps but nothing game breaking.Total addiction for me.Grand job BF and look forward to future modules-Market Garden,Bulge,Russia or whatever they may be.Outstanding

stuff so far,heres to the future ;)

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Not exactly a first impression but I don't know where to put it better:

I'm greatly satisfied how stable the game runs! It has never crashed on me. I usually never close it and so it has ran several days while being put in the background, switches to other users, switching it forth and back to read the manual, while in 3D or not (Mac version).

Its nowadays very seldom that you get such a rock steady program with version 1.00! Very well done!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Amazing! I love it. If I had to find fault I would say artillery is a little too effective. Sometimes it seems I'm losing more men to enemy spotting rounds than I am to gunfire, lol. Maybe terrain should make a bigger difference. Shells detonating on mud or plowed crops certainly would be less effective.

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Thank you for the game! I began with Beyond Overlord hotseat matches back in the days, and I still play CMBB from time to time. Although I played British Forces quite much, I was not a huge fan of CMSF - yet in Battle for Normandy all those things I hated are gone, and all good features are now even better. I just hope for bigger add-ons than in the case of CMSF's expansions. Thanks again!

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THis is a very nicely developed product. Graphics are amazing. I love playing it as I did all your earlier CM's and a few other products from you.

I would like to suggest that village maps should have their buildings mostly wall to wall down the main street which often has a church. There might be narrow alleyways but in European villages - mostly - those stone building of 2 or 3 or even more stories are side by side. The map views of villages do not look right. Generally I think the city maps are better. There might be some small issues with the farm buildings but its not bad.

Any European guys out there agree? I've lived in Germany, France, Austria and Portugal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In CMv1, I cheered for squads: When one of my teams stood their ground or pulled off a successful charge, I rejoiced in their success. In CM:BN, I cheer for individual squad members. For instance, at the end of the demo game "The Road to Berlin", the BAR gunner from my 1st squad went "Rambo" on me, with spectacular results.

"Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more!"

Screenshot2011-07-31at101119AM.png

The BAR gunner sets up on the other side of the lane and starts to lay down covering fire...

Screenshot2011-07-31at101142AM.png

... with devastating results.

Screenshot2011-07-31at101207AM.png

But despite the withering fire headed their way, there's still some fight left in Jerry.

Screenshot2011-07-31at101221AM.png

CM:BN takes everything I loved about CMv1 and turns it up to 11. Well done, Battlefront, well done.

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They say football (soccer) is the beautiful game. It has competition as the Battle for Normandy (CMBN) is also the beautiful game. I showed the game to my friend who has been depressed for some time. With his precise military knowledge of WW2 I took a chance and played CMBN with him and now he is in love with the game. You can now see the twinkle of joy back in his eyes. Thank you BF. Well done!

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I was a pretty keen player of CMBO all those years ago (I still know those 3 demo maps stupidly well) but I hadn't played any CM for about 5 years.

CMBN has really rekindled my passion. The gfx are great, the new artillery system is really very impressive and I am loving the 1:1 stuff. Seeing my sherman in the demo accidently blowing up tree trunks and then the bridge (that my platoon were crossing) had me very happy for some reason. Contrary to expectations I am completely addicted to RT now (insert plea for replay in single player RT and pausible RT multiplayer), the higher speed of play whilst chaotic feels absolutely right.

Thank you.

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This is my first Combat Mission game. I previously played the original Theater of War. Frankly, this is a nice step up from ToW. The troops seem to act more intelligently with less individual attention. The graphics are about on par and the sound is superb. The interface is very good. The only downside is scrolling around the map. For some reason it just doesn't come naturally. ToW had its issues in this regard also.

The best line from the manual so far is, "Sometimes, heavy explosives, applied lovingly, really do solve problems."

Thanks for the great game. Looking forward to updates and expansions.

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  • 2 months later...

I bought the game figuring I owe BF extra for all the fun I got from CMBO. I've had the game since the release. But I was a little afraid to install it, knowing the likely consequence. Yup, I am sucked in.

The game really is lovely to look at. (I never bought any of the modern CMx2 games -- who cares about Iraq or Syria or whatever? WWII is the momma-bear war.) Of course, while I appreciate glitz I don't really care if a game is pretty or not. What matters is the gameplay, not the look.

But man oh man, the graphics are stunning. And the gameplay is fine in the canned battles, at least when I am attacking.

Compared to CMBO, there's little cover, so it makes playing a rather different feel. In CMBO, you could sit a squad in a building or woods and feel secure from anything except medium to large HE. Even scattered trees made a huge difference in survivability. Not true in CMBN. It makes for paranoia. But I think it is realistic, so it's an improvement.

I love the hedgerows. Love 'em -- they seem to cause the exact problems and solutions I have read about in WWII sources. (The CMBO hedgerows were just awful.)

Also compared to CMBO, I find it harder to control everything. This is in part because there is more to control -- actually useful subsquads. And partly it relates to the lack of cover -- without cover, movement pathing and scouting are both more necessary to get right. I do wish the TacAI could be smarter about choosing move paths in some cases, but that is hard. It will happily run out into the sights of the enemy if that is the fastest path somewhere.

Now, I am content to give multiple waypoints to get the path I want. But it would be easier if the TacAI could do this for me, and (more importantly), if it could do it for me, it should also be able to do it for the AI -- which would be a significant help to it, I think.

I would also like if waypoints could be moved ala CMBO. I don't understand why BF took this out -- it makes it easier to control groups. (Give a sequence for a whole platoon, then go back to tweak most of the paths.) I do understand that command delays are gone -- although I am not sure this is a real improvement in sim, it's a vast improvement in gameplay at least. Personally I would prefer to have some sort of small command delays, not under the control of the player at all. I.e., any new move gets a variable amount of delay from 0-15s, which the player does not know. This would prevent undue coordination without drastically reducing the control the player has.

So far, I have found several things that mar the experience.

Of these, the worst is the weakness of the AI. (I have played no humans yet.) Now, AI is always hard, no doubt. And it is not like CMBO had good AI either. However, because of the aforementioned lack of cover, the AI has been hosed relative to CMBO, because it must spend so much time in the open. This is a shame -- I am not sure quickbattles will hold interest in the long run.

The siting for initial defender forces seems off in the QB attacks I have played. Admittedly not many, but still. This may be another fallout from the general lack of cover. Does the AI know about hedgerows?

I find the quickbattle force selection to be a step back. In CMBO, via the point limits you could reliably give your AI opponent a well-rounded combined arms force. I have not yet managed to do that in CMBN. I have chosen "mixed" three times now only to be faced by a nearly all tank force (2x on defense, once on attack). This is not fun, even though it is easy enough to cause some casualties with the few 'fausts I have, then run away, getting a small force hiding on the objective to deny it to the enemy.

Also, I find the game has an inherently smaller focus than CMBO, and yet you cannot purchase a single company of infantry, much less platoon. (I know, purchase an entire battalion and cut it down.)

One more complaint I have is the mouse control system. I played CMBO; I liked its controls. I never got used to CMBB-style control, and I still don't like it. IMO, splitting the functions of the screen edges is just a no-no; the whole point of control via screen edges is that you can "throw" the mouse there without knowing or having to care exactly where it starts or ends. The rotate/pan mouse paradigm used in CMBN breaks that. I would love it if I could remap this.

I am not wild about the keyboard controls either (whose idea was it to overload various keys?), but those I can remap. This is good. Generally, the keyboard control system as a whole is an improvement, since it allows the many more controls one can need.

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"you cannot purchase a single company of infantry, much less platoon"

I haven't had the nerve to look int the editor yet, but I found that statement to be astonishing. Everywhere I read that CM2 is designed to be for smaller unit combat, and not for the larger battalion-level battles that were normal in CM1. So, why would the editor be set up for battalions only and then you have to cut em down?

Re waypoints I recall that in CM1 one could set a waypoint far away and the next turn all the waypoints that the AI figured out would be automatically done for you. You could see exactly the route the AI would "recommend."

If you didn't like it it was easy to move the existing waypoints around a bit to get a better route, or simply cancel and set your own waypoints. Units in CM1 pretty much went where you expected. Not so in CMBN. It's tremendously frustrating to control CMBN units - esp in urban environments. They tend to run places for no apparent reason and get slaughtered. My house rule if this happens is to replay that turn (and I have gotten used to saving every turn - why isn't there an "autosave" function?).

I can still win ok, but all the above makes the CMBN turns take a lot longer than CM1 and they are mentally exhausting.

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"you cannot purchase a single company of infantry, much less platoon"

I haven't had the nerve to look int the editor yet, but I found that statement to be astonishing. Everywhere I read that CM2 is designed to be for smaller unit combat, and not for the larger battalion-level battles that were normal in CM1. So, why would the editor be set up for battalions only and then you have to cut em down?

That was actually explained in detail awhile back by Steve. I am probably butchering his explanation, but the gist of it was in order to get the ToE right this was the only simple way to accomplish it for force selection. Going the opposite way was more difficult and prone to problematic issues. That being said I believe the last word was they continue to look for alternatives that don't simply create other issues. Having played around in the editor, while it might not be a single click to chose a Company it is I think still pretty easy to have only a Company if you so desire. The system is also pretty slick about cross attaching units to build task forces etc so all in all, I think the plus column is far weightier than the minus.

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