Strategy fans are in for a treat this year with Classified: France ‘44 – the latest tactical game from Absolutely Games and Team17. The World War II-themed game aims to provide an immersive war experience with a combination of deep storyline and unique gameplay. But can it be considered the next big strategy game? Or is it just more wasted potential? In my Classified: France ’44 Preview, I’ll take a look at what it currently has to offer.
Before I get started, I would like to preface that the version I played is a Developer preview. There are a lot of changes coming into the final release that aim to greatly improve the game.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
Classified: France ‘44 starts off with a narration about World War II and how a group of allied special forces called Jedburghs cut through behind the enemy lines. The mission of this group is to punish German forces at unexpected places while empowering different resistance groups in Northern France.
The game’s storyline depends on your choices as you choose and improve different factions leading up to D-Day and the battle of Normandy.
I love how the game does not follow a linear storyline. It gives more depth and reduces the predictability of the story.
Classified: France ‘44 Gameplay
Classified: France ‘44 is an interesting turn-based strategy game since it involves elements of a tactical shooter game. You do not just move forward and shoot but, you also need to check your position. This includes using the surroundings for cover to prevent damage.
Like tactical shooting games, the environment can be your friend or enemy. There are missions where you can break windows, open doors, and even enter houses for cover. It is an added layer that might work to your advantage.
In addition to the regular gunfights, your characters possess special skills and abilities that you can unlock through the skill tree. Here you can decide the playstyle that you want.
You may also join missions that focus on stealth. Crawl to your enemies and execute them for an easy kill. Just make sure that you are out of the enemy’s sight after the kill or you are dead after. Moves are limited in the game. Your AP determines which move you can do. It is up to you to decide and prioritize which move to do. Will you run to a cover? Or go for the kill?
In addition, the developers introduced a fatigue and morale system. Heroes’ morale decreases when they get hit or when they are close to a gunfight. A decrease in morale indicates that your hero is hesitant to make a move. You need to bring their morale back up before they can pick up their weapon and fight again.
On the other hand, enemies that lose morale are easier to kill. Take advantage of their low morale and go for the killing blow.
The game also includes a dynamic camera movement. You may move in any direction while observing the environment and planning your next move.
As mentioned earlier, the game only gives you a few points to make a move. These points do not only involve attacks but, it also involves movement, firing, reloading, and swapping weapons. It is not a shoot-everything affair.
There are several ways to tailor your gaming experience to yourself. Players have the option to customize each character. This includes their clothing, weapon, and skills. The skill tree has a lot to choose from. However, you need to unlock other skills before unlocking another one.
Players can also modify the character load-outs. You may change the hero’s clothes, primary weapons, secondary weapons, and grenades. Different factions also offer varying customizability.
It might seem useless, but being able to customize the game is a nice touch. This means not every gameplay encounter will be similar. My experience might be great but not for you.
Visuals and Audio
Gameplay and storyline are the strong points of Classified: France ‘44. Visuals and audio are acceptable but, I wouldn’t consider it mindblowing. I played this game in max settings at 1440p resolution on my PC. It looks great with some hiccups such as character clipping. Some of the textures look unbalanced too.
To be fair, the environment design looks great. It captures the WWII situation well with war debris scattered all around. I love how there are different locations such as warehouses and train stations.
Moving on to the audio, the voice actors did a great job giving these heroes their personalities. The background music sounds great and it adds to the immersive gaming experience. As someone who is a bit accustomed to French, I think the voicework is convincing and accurately portrayed.
Classified: France ‘44 Preview Final Thoughts
Classified: France ‘44 is an interesting game that takes the XCom games to a new level. The developers added elements such as fatigue, morale, and environmental interaction that give the game more depth. Customization is a nice touch too.
The storyline provides an excellent method for introducing people to the lesser-known heroes of World War II, as the Jedburghs receive limited discussion. Even I have not heard of them until this game arrived.
However, the game’s numerous elements might overwhelm beginner tactical strategy game players. There is a learning curve to it but, it is worth it once you pick up the pace.
Overall, the game is fun, exciting, and has an excellent story to follow. I am excited to see what features the final build will include.
Classified: France ‘44 is coming out soon on Steam, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and Series S.
How did you like our Classified: France ’44 Preview? Are you planning to add this game to your Steam collection? Let us know in the comments section.
These first impressions are based on the PC Version of Classified: France ’44 Preview. The key was provided by Team17.