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Seeking to take the Combat Mission series out of the World War II era for the first time, publisher Battlefront.com and developer Big Time Software started from scratch to create a game engine more conducive to tactical modern warfare. The result is Shock Force, a game set in hypothetical near-future scenario where the Syrian government has been victimized by a fundamentalist coup d'état. The new government has refused to squelch terrorist operations within its midst, thus players take control of an American task force as part of a NATO effort to restore order to the country and stabilize the region. The US Stryker Brigade Combat Teams' missions involve traditional battles and small-scale operations against Syrian Army infantry, and mechanized and armored units, as well as unconventional threat forces like terrorists, spies, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices.
Gamers can play Combat Mission: Shock Force in either "RealTime" (pausable) or "WeGo" (turn-based) modes, with RealTime also available for multiplayer over a LAN or Internet connection, and WeGo available for play by E-mail. Map sizes vary from a few hundred meters to 16 square kilometers, and fighting takes place in over one hundred different types of terrain like empty desert landscapes or gritty urban areas. Players can also hop in U.S. and Syrian vehicles like the M1A2 Abrams or M2A3 Bradley and bombard the deformable terrain into nonexistence. The game also features a scenario and map editor that allows players to create new battlefields or edit existing maps. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide