Steel Panthers: World at War 8.0
Matrix Games have given strategy gamers everywhere a great holiday gift — a new version of their great free World War 2 wargame, Steel Panthers: World at War. Version 8.0 tightens up the code substantially, resulting in a much more stable-playing game on modern versions of Windows (2000 & XP), and it includes more than twice as many scenarios as the previous version did, so there’s a whole lot of free gaming goodness to be had. If you’re at all interested in strategy gaming, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. It’s a large download (435MB!) but it’s worth every byte.
In conjunction with the release of 8.0, Matrix has released a new add-on Mega Campaign for SP:WAW as well. Mega Campaigns are the way Matrix makes money off the game — they are long, intricate campaigns that tie together many interconnected battles, challenging you not just to be a good battlefield commander but also a wise logistics manager as well. They’re reasonably priced ($25) and add a lot of play value to the game. The newest Mega Campaign is Screaming Eagles ’44-’45, and it covers the battles of the American 101st Airborne Division as it fought its way across Fortress Europe from D-Day to the final collapse of Nazi Germany. (Easy Company, made famous in the book and HBO movie Band of Brothers, was a part of the 101st.) Given that it covers some of the most hard-fought battles of the war, this one is looking like a must-buy for any Steel Panthers fan.