WarStory – Europe in Flames offers a new take on the browser based strategy genre. The game runs using Microsoft Silverlight and is able to provide better visuals than most strategy games. WarStory is a WW2 themed game where players chose to play as either the Americans or Soviets. Their task is to reach Berlin, and liberate Europe from the AI-controlled Germans. There’s no direct PvP, instead it is a race to see which faction can liberate the most cities and reach Berlin first. Gameplay involves using small squads of units to capture and hold strategy points. Flank and surround enemy troops to deal bonus damage.
WarStory Featured Video
WarStory Full Review
By, Jaime Skelton
War is an emotional word, conveying a host of meanings, images, and reactions. Depending on a person’s or even a country’s recent war experience, war can evoke many different feelings: anger, betrayal, bitterness, triumph, even relief. It’s no surprise that we often try to relive history through gaming, looking into the wars of our past to be a part of that deep emotion and sensation running in our veins from days past.
Enter WarStory: Europe in Flames, a browser-based strategy game from BigPoint focused on the late era of World War II. Pitting players against an AI-controlled Germany (which will never be a playable faction), WarStory lets players race to victory inside the walls of Berlin, ending the war by their own efforts, in an interesting mode of gameplay that isn’t easily compared to any other strategy game currently on the free-to-play market.
Back in the US(SR)
You begin WarStory by choosing your commander from a few limited portraits, choosing your side of the war (the US on the western front, or the USSR/Russia on the eastern front), and then choosing your starting point (called a drop or landing zone). A key factor to note here is that the Americans and Soviets are allies – they cannot directly attack each other. Instead, both factions race on their individual fronts toward Germany, their mutual enemy. These factions passively race each other through four war phases in an attempt to capture Berlin for their own, before claiming it and ending the war session to begin anew. In short, WarStory is a progression race.
From this starting zone, you’ll move on from city to city, completing missions along the way. There are three kinds of missions: scout’s reports, which are offered every two hours and are relatively simple to complete; High Command, which cost Favor (earned by completing previous missions) but significantly upgrade your convoy of troops; and War Targets, which are missions active for the war phase in an attempt to liberate a city from German control.
Building is for Carpenters, Not Strategists
Most browser-based strategy games follow a typical formula: build a town, recruit heroes, amass an army, and go out and conquer. WarStory circumvents this notion by eliminating any concept of individual ownership of land at all. Instead, you manage a convoy of military units, and your sole responsibility is completing missions to further the war effort against Germany.
That isn’t to say there isn’t strategy: in fact, War Story is full of a complex unit strategy that requires apt knowledge of unit strengths and weaknesses, item bonuses and benefits, general abilities, and use of cover, movement, and attacks on the maps themselves. While the game encourages you to first auto-assign units, a new player will quickly struggle if they do not learn the benefits of each unit’s use, and what units to send in each battle.
Time is Money
Losing these struggles, unfortunately, comes at a heavy cost. While you never truly “lose” any units when they are defeated, you must wait for them to be replenished and/or repaired – a lengthy process that takes hours. For a new player who only has four or five units, and loses three or four in battle, a loss means a full seize on their playtime for possibly a fourth of a day or longer. Travel time, too, takes a significant amount of time; for example, a new player’s movement to their first mission – only one town away – consumes two hours.
As the game lacks true PvP, this time investment is Bigpoint’s biggest item shop strategy – lure the impatient, or those rushing to attack a declared war target, to spend coin to make haste. Almost any purchase is designed to make the game play go faster. Given the scope of the game’s maps, and the heavy time penalty for a loss, the temptation is strong. The key difference between this and other strategy game cash shops, however, is that the competitive nature against other players is reduced in War Story, making it less necessary to speed up personal improvements.
Final Verdict: Good
While it can be a struggle to first learn and adapt to WarStory’s systems and pacing, there’s a lot of good to be said about the game. To begin with, the game requires a modicum of strategy against the AI units, meaning that a player simply can’t grab the best units or, alternatively, auto-assign units, and push forward from mission to mission without fear of defeat. It also strips away much of the bulk of browser-based strategies by dropping the pretense of managing a town, and focusing fully on a well-designed war effort. A little odd in its own right, WarStory is, nonetheless, a game that offers a unique experience in the free-to-play strategy game world.
WarStory Europe in Flames Gameplay Footage
WarStory Europe in Flames Official Trailer