History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PS2
History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions box art
System: PS2, X360, PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Cauldron Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Activision 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 4, 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

The graphics here are serviceable but little more. Character models offer little detail or variety, and cutscenes will often consist of conversations between soldiers who are made up of duplicates of each other. The backgrounds and environmental elements seem to match up with the theme of the experience, but textures are rough around the edges and there’s plenty of screen tearing. However, the least welcome element of the game’s visuals is slowdown that occurs all too often and seriously impedes your ability to engage the enemy.

History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions screenshot

On the plus side, the soldiers move naturally, using motion-capture technology that’s fitting with the gritty setting of the Civil War. Additionally, the game displays some surprisingly dynamic rag-doll physics. Toss a grenade into a group of soldiers and watch ‘em fly when the shrapnel bursts.

Secret Missions’ audio is also a mixed bag. The background music and sound effects sit nicely behind the gameplay, and both elements lend mood and immersion during missions. However, allies ramble the same few lines, and their dialogue is usually horribly out of sync. Five minutes into a skirmish, you’ll often hear one of your buddies yell out, “I don’t think we’re alone.”

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HISTORY Civil War: Secret Missions takes inspiration from almost every World War II-shooter cliché and slaps a Civil War coat of paint on it. It’s not a terrible game, but it is an entirely linear and limited experience. You’re corralled along very straight-forward levels, using uninteresting firearms in almost pedestrian skirmishes. Additionally, though the Civil War lasted about four years, Secret Missions will be over in just a little over four hours. There are bonuses, pictures, and letters that will perhaps appeal to the very niche audience this game is aimed at, but at $40, it’s an anemic package, regardless of who’s in the market for such an experience.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.9
Graphics
Character models lack detail, as do the game’s backgrounds and environmental objects. Slowdown plagues much of the gameplay, but there are some worthwhile rag-doll physics to enjoy.
3.0
Control
Bare-bones, uninteresting, and a bit clumsy – not completely unfitting for the time period this game covers. Hit detection is often an issue, and ultimately, shooting takes a backseat to grenade tossing.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and sound effects sit well as a backdrop to the action. However, the voice work offers little variety, and it’s often way out of sync with the context of gameplay.
3.0
Play Value
Secret Missions may offer mild entertainment for Civil War buffs, but the lack of multiplayer and short campaign make for a skimpy package. It’s not a very polished package, either.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play as a soldier from the Union or Confederacy in secret missions of the Civil War. Take action in covert operations behind enemy lines that disrupted the armies of both the North and the South. All events are inspired by the actions of famous partisans, scouts, and rangers.
  • Go on 11 Secret Missions! Be a part of a secret sniper mission at the Battle of Gettysburg, conduct a covert train raid on the B&O Railroad, sabotage artillery outposts during the Lewisburg Deception, and many more!
  • Fight as a member of a famous fighting unit, including Mosby’s Rangers, Sheridan’s Scouts, and Grant’s Secret Service.


  • Screenshots / Images

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