My first impressions of ‘Frontline: Road to Moscow’ were that it was a strategy game, refined in terms of uniqueness and simplicity which unfortunately fell short of a top strategy game. Road to Moscow is an easy game to grasp the concepts of but is tricky to master, especially those new to the genre of strategy. Slitherine hit the nail on the head for beginners who are looking for a casual strategy game to play but unfortunately veterans of strategy games will find it easy to pass many of the missions throughout the game.
The design is simple but stylish, the art style fits the game perfectly and highlights what needs to be done, without over-complicating the graphical overlay – and that is what the graphics help Road to Moscow do best, not over complicating anything. Many newly released strategy games have over-complicated designs which can easily confuse new players. The strategy game market seems to be gearing towards the more veteran strategy gamers rather than the new players which only make up a small percentage of this particular market. However, Road to Moscow is a good match for new players and offers an easy bridge between being a beginner and journeying into the more complicated strategy games that are around.
The story of Road to Moscow puts you in the position of the German Army during the Second World War as you look to pushing into Russia in around 30 Battle Scenarios – each one largely based on true events, Road to Moscow really does allow you to relive some of the greatest military battles in the war. This gives the game some education value too as well as being fun to play, something which is lacking in many ‘historical’ strategy games. There is a good, varied range of tactics which you can employ during the scenarios and customization is key to beating the levels – deciding on which units to send, when to call in reinforcements or what routes to take. Road to Moscow adopts a hex-based movement system, similar to that of Civilization or other strategy games – different units can move different distances and so forth.
The one annoying gimmick of Road to Moscow is that it is a port of a mobile game of the same title – this brings the downside of it playing very similarly to a mobile game, something which has angered some players of the game – mobile ports can sometimes come across as a bit too simple and dumbed down – for example take the Civilization Revolution game for iOS devices. Slitherine could’ve done better to slightly enhance the game before releasing it to PC – maybe up the complexity of a few features to please the veteran gamers out there.
The main saving grace, for me, of Road to Moscow is the music – the inspiring, epic soundtrack (although largely on a loop) is very fitting for the games strategic and wargame feel. Very comparable to a movie soundtrack rather than the soundtrack for a game but nevertheless I felt that it was very fitting to the genre, style and themes. I’d definitely say that the music of the game is the stand-out point and if I were to recommend the game to anybody, it would be on the basis of the soundtrack above any of the other main features.
To conclude, Road to Moscow comes across as a good strategy game for new players of the genre however it goes a certain way to displease veteran strategy game experts – coming across as a cheap, mobile port that some might argue is not worth the price. It has a very detailed campaign mode, taking lots of information from true historical events throughout the Second World War and is gripping as well as educational. The art style suits the games simplistic gameplay and although this is a match of style and design, it really falls short of in-depth detail inside the gameplay itself. The music is epic, motivational and very fitting, and as I previously mentioned is probably the stand-out point of the game. I’d definitely recommend Road to Moscow to those who are new to the genre but experts may be disappointed by it.
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