Prepare for our war with an evil mist that makes everything disappear.
Strategy games are my bread and butter, so when I learned about Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, I was intrigued. While this game takes the basic concept of a World War II game, you versus the Nazis, it raises the utter madness to a much higher degree. The Nazis have, for some reason, the power to summon Lovecraftian creatures to their side. These monsters need to be shot to bits, or you will find yourself with a major problem on your hands.
During the presentation, I got to play around with a singular mission. The basics are pretty straightforward. Let's start with moving our guys around the field. Every character can move a certain distance, and it is important to make optimal usage of your options. Finding a position that is safe is crucial. This means finding a place with proper cover, but also having enough room to fight your way out when needed. This is where the facing mechanic comes into play, which forces the player to choose the way his or her character looks at the field. By facing a certain direction, it removes the dark shroud blocking the area from your sight. When you move, the opponent could potentially attack you, but the direction they are facing determines if the hit will be a success. By using the Overwatch move, you can be doing the same thing after your turn comes to an end.
After you find the spot you want to be, it is time to strike your enemies with hard hitting bullets. By choosing the shoot button, you instantly go into a menu where everything about your weapon is made clear. You will know how high the chance is for a hit, the damage it will do and the likelihood of a critical strike. Your accuracy depends on a bunch of factors. If your target is shrouded by the veil or is too far away, your chance to hit massively decreases. Mind you, there is still a chance you will miss regardless, but doing everything you can to raise your accuracy is key.
I keep mentioning the shroud, but it is far more important than you might think. It is the only way you can see your opponents’ positions and guess at their next move. More importantly, you will be able to see their HP bars and know how much fire power is needed to take them down. The enemy doesn't usually like to leave the comfort of the shroud, so if you come close and expose them, you will actually push them back. This is a great way to single them out and turn the tide in your favor. However, the opposite is also true. If you come closer to them, a more advanced and powerful unit might be waiting to get the drop on you.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics asks you to take some leaps of faith, but it can also drive the momentum in your favor. A quick look at the field quickly shows what your best options are, and what can lead you to victory. Another important element of the game is Momentum Points. By killing your opponents, you can spend these points to take more actions in a given turn. Everything you do costs momentum, so spreading these points out wisely is an absolute must for survival. Using them poorly is likely to bring your team down, making your chance of success slimmer by the moment.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics seems like a fun strategy game to sink your teeth into. While the game is planned for 2018 release, I wouldn't be surprised to see it slip into next year. The team is clearly putting a lot of care into the product, and every element in the gameplay systems really makes a difference. All of these need to be balanced to absolute shine, and it makes me a bit wary about the title's release window. Either way, the game plays really well, and I can't wait to have it on my Nintendo Switch.