In 2003 Matrix Games along with Eric Young released Eric Young's Squad
Assault: Westfront. This was quite literally Close Combat in 3D. Eric
Young was one of the original developers with Atomic. Squad Assault was
the second and more successful attempt at putting Close Combat into 3D.
GI Combat was the first and did not work very well, Eric Young also
worked on that one. It recieved bad reviews and the forums turned into
flames and have since dissapeared. From the images I attached you can
plainly see the influence of Close Combat into Squad Assault. When I
say its literally Close Combat in 3D, thats not an exaggeration, all
the same options are there along with copied maps. There are some new
options which I will touch briefly on, there are also things taken out
like right clicking for map properties. The 3D camera view at first is
hard to get used to, however after a couple minutes its simple. Once
you find a good camera angle its likely you will stick with it,
changing only to check map elevations and LOS. During my St. Mere
Eglise battle I did notice troops popping smoke automatically to block
incoming LOS, nice touch.
Click Read More for screenshots, the demo and more details.
||This screenshot if from
the Squad Assault demo in the battle options screen. You can see many of
the exact same options as we do in regular Close Combat. From looking
at these options you may see some thing you'd like to see in the next
Close Combat. Support timings, pause for orders (for the older folks),
and combat lethality.
||Heres your mission
briefing screen. There's also multiple maps to remind you that you're
France. The coloured dots on map are other maps you can fight on in the
full version. The briefing is great for single player to get you more
immersed into the game. For this mission, it must have been a
German translating it to english.
||Here's a close of view of
your troops awaiting orders and the information bar. On the information
bar there is a nice reminder of the weather, this could help you in
Close Combat by letting you know if the ground was firm or muddy. You
also have the start button, map, mission briefing and surrender buttons
right about the support icons. On the left is your teams bar, on the
right is the teams individual characteristics. The info box is useful
but you cannot click on the messages to see what team is saying them.
On the bottom right of the minimap, the star icon indicates the enemy's
||The battle has started.
You can see the timer counting backwards to what we are used to. The
blue bar is my defend bar. I am assuming the range you set your defend
bar at is when your troops will engage, awesome! On the team details
you can my men are KIA, panic, hundered and healthy. By the church you
can see a lone American soldier. On the minimap in the upper right you
can see all units my men have spotted. The red triangle is where my
camera is. The German flag in the upper left is a victory location.
Does this map remind you of Invasion Normandy's St. Mere Eglise? Its
almost a complete duplicate!
||St. Mere Eglise is very
flat. On other maps you will be able to see the elevations. As troops
occupy houses the roof will dissapear. It looks like they are always on
the ground floor though. There is no right clicking the map to check
elevation, or indications on roofs to see how many stories they are.
||10 years ago the review
scores were not bad. Here's the Gamespot
Review from January 28th, 2004. Download the Squad Assault Demo from CCS and check it out yourself.
So the Bloody First has some lessons to learn from its predecessor. I do believe though that a 3D
version of Close Combat will attract a different crowd than the 2D versions did. The
3D graphics of Squad Assault were nowhere near top of line for 2003.
Mainly its the terrain that lacks all the detail. The soldier modelling
is not bad, there is also different animations for death,
climbing and crawling. Maybe when this game was released it seemed like
a great conversion of Close Combat into 3D, looking at it after 10
years have passed makes me think it was a very basic and crude