Timelines: Assault on America Review (PC)
key review info
- Game: Timelines: Assault on America
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: No
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
Timelines: Assault on America could have been a good game, but unfortunately, it fails to adhere to even the most basic ideas of video game development and creates a real-time strategy experience that does not attract the player and fails to impress when it comes to its mechanics.
In the summer of 1942, the OSS, the first incarnation of commandoes in the United States, manages to assassinate Hitler and the game explains how this leads to a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union and then a joint Nazi and Imperial Japanese invasion of the mainland of the United States.
I love alternative fiction, something easily proved by the fact that I have played probably around 100 hours of Hearts of Iron III, but Timelines has a deficient premise and fails to develop it in an interesting manner.
In 1942, Germany had already been fighting Russia for about a full year and so much carnage took place that the Communist regime would have never signed a separate peace under any conditions.
The Germans did not have the ships or planes to invade Great Britain, which is just a stone’s throw away from mainland Europe.
All the story elements could be ignored as long as Timelines: Assault on America delivered solid gameplay and interesting strategic choices, but in a world that has seen the launch of Company of Heroes and Sudden Strike, the game offers nothing new or interesting.
Base building is clunky and unresponsive and it’s harder than it should be to set a simple rally point.
Unit movement is weird but still allows infantry and tanks to move at roughly the same pace across the map.
There’s no commitment to realism and almost all matches revolve around concentrating the biggest number of tanks in the same region at the same time and defeating the enemy piecemeal.
Group selection using double clicks or the shift key is impossible, which makes it harder than it should be to direct large number of varied units towards a target and, to add insult to injury, there’s no way of re-assigning controls.
Timelines: Assault on America also fails to understand that its overall pace is too fast to allow gamers to think up complex plans and execute them because brute force will eventually win the day.
There’s a variety of units included, but they are basically the same for all the countries represented, which include United States of America, Nazi Germany, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Russia, Imperial Japan, Hungary, Romania and Czechoslovakia.
Gamers can add some personality for their forces by wisely spending upgrade points linked to radio towers, but this is basically the only element of Timelines that feels truly interesting and original.
Graphically, the experience is solid if not impressive, with some details that allow the various units to be easily identified on the battlefield and some well put together terrain design.
The sound department is equally mediocre, with no elements able to redeem the low quality of the gameplay.
Timelines: Assault on America is not a game that a strategy loving player should buy, given the alternatives offered on the market.
Company of Heroes 2 is a much better experience, despite its own flaws, and those looking for a more complex and rewarding experience should put time and money into Hearts of Iron III and its expansions.