|System: PS3, X360, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Cauldron Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision / Blizzard||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 04, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Enemy A.I., for the most part, is laughable. Troops will stay stationed behind cover and rarely advance on your position. If they do, they'll flail their arms around attempting a miserable melee attack. They also completely ignore grenades. Tossing an explosive in their direction doesn't net an intelligible response, so instead of troops scrambling, they simply wait for the inevitable eruption. Since grenades are so plentiful and effective, you can finish a lot of sections using nothing but them.
Animation is not the game's strong suit. If you throw a grenade beneath someone's feet, they'll launch 30 feet into the air. Instead of landing on the ground, they'll disappear in the middle of the air. Likewise, hit detection doesn't correlate to believable animations. Shooting an enemy in the face may make them buckle over their knees or grab their arm. Combat aside, it's impossible for soldiers to stay still. During cutscenes it seems like they have constant jitters, dancing back and forth to an inaudible music selection. All these animation oddities are paired with clipping issues that cause fellow soldiers to get stuck in objects.
To insert some variety, the developers toss in the occasional vehicle mission that may have you firing a Gatling gun from a train or manning a cannon in an ironclad battleship, but these are really attempts at artificial diversity, as all you're doing is shooting as many objects as possible with a different weapon. Depending on your skill simply the amount of people you kill you'll get skill points that you can use before the start of a mission. You can use these to give your character a perk, like 50 percent more ammo or 50 percent faster health regeneration, but the game is ridiculously easy, making these bonuses unnecessary.
History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions treats what should be a rich historical palate as a first-person shooter backdrop and nothing more. Both parties history buffs and shooter fans will be disappointed. This is essentially Battle for the Pacific re-skinned and repackaged.
CCC Freelance Writer