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Close Combat: Invasion Normandy is the fifth release in the Close Combat series of WWII strategy games developed by Atomic Games. Originally subtitled "Utah to Cherbourg," the action focuses on the Allied push to establish strategic ground across the Cotentin Peninsula during the massive D-day strike.
Building on the strategic interfaces familiar in previous Close Combat titles, enhancements include easier tracking of units from battle to battle as they gain experience, and improved control of multiple Battle Groups across the map. Features include realistic effects of combat on morale (16 possible states), historically accurate weather conditions, and weapons, equipment, and vehicle models based on real-life components.
Players may choose to direct the invading Allies or the defending Germans. For the most part, the action in Close Combat: Invasion Normandy is carried out in real time, with line-of-sight and line-of-fire combat elements playing a part. The weather can be adjusted to match actual historical conditions, and the wind and rain affect the behavior of naval units and air support.
A couple of features added since the previous Close Combat installments are the ability to conduct naval bombardments, with Allied ships shelling German stronghold positions from off the coast, and starting positions of airborne units behind enemy lines, with an initial five days worth of supplies. Another enhancement is the inclusion of units in the scenario builder that were not involved in the D-day incursion, thus allowing the creation of imaginative, alternate scenarios.
The interactive environments allow units to dig trenches for cover, and mortars leave deep, permanent craters upon impact. The game provides five online tutorials ("Boot Camp") that range in subject matter from basic fundamentals to tactical control. The control interface supports both mouse and keyboard (hotkey) input and the top-down perspective gives a detailed view of squadron combat as units advance to engage the enemy.
Close Combat: Invasion Normandy supports two-player competition via the Internet, LAN, direct modem, or serial cable. The scenario editor allows for the design of maps with 15 possible starting configurations in terms of combatant control and positioning. Contiguous campaigns, timelines, weather conditions, weaponry, ammunition, and supplies are some of the elements available for customization in player-designed scenarios.
Now you, too, can participate in the invasion force that changed the history of the world in June 1944, as the allied war machine of the United States, Britain, Canada, and France came togther to attack and breach Adolph Hitler's infamous Atlantic Wall. Are you up to the challenge? Find out in Close Combat: Invasion Normandy! ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide