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Company of Heroes 3 meets XCOM in realistic new WWI strategy game

The small-scale, big-stakes drama of Company of Heroes 3 and XCOM 2 blends seamlessly with a brutal WWI setting in a new Steam strategy sim.

All Quiet In The Trenches Steam strategy game: A soldier with his head in his hands in Steam strategy game All Quiet In The Trenches

Between Battlefield, Call of Duty, Hell Let Loose, War Thunder, and myriad others, there are dozens of war games. But it’s not often that they make you feel the impact and ardor of combat. The reason I love Company of Heroes 3 and XCOM 2 is that they impress a huge sense of danger and consequences around even the slightest actions. You’re not commanding a huge, faceless army, as it conquers swathes of opposition territory. You’re responsible for just a few people, and even the decision to push forward a few yards rather than stay put can mark the difference between their lives and their deaths. A new strategy sim, available now on Steam, takes these mechanics and this atmosphere to greater heights. Set during the darkest hours of WWI, you’re not just safeguarding your troops during missions. You’re making vital, painful decisions that affect their lives in between.

Welcome to All Quiet in the Trenches. Developed by independent studio Totally Not Aliens, this is a strategy game combined with an RPG, and it casts you as a low-ranking officer in the German Army in 1915. Locked in the attritional hell of the frontlines, you’re responsible for a small, scattered unit of beleaguered young soldiers.

Combat is deliberate and tense – selecting soldiers individually, all of whom have names, faces, and distinct personalities, you can order them to provide suppressing fire, return to cover, or apply aid to their wounded comrades. There’s no drag and click, no ‘attack’ or ‘defend’ generalities. You’re ordering a specific person to perform a specific task in a specific part of the battlefield. That gives each decision a tremendous dramatic and moral weight.

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The real fight however begins when combat is over. Returning to the trenches, you’re now faced with tending to the injured, managing the increasingly dire supply situation, and trying to rescue the morale of your troops. The upper echelons of high command are constantly on your back – they want everybody healed, rearmed, and ready for another mission as quickly as possible. Your soldiers on the other hand are exhausted and facing psychological collapse.

Your job is to balance the demands of your superiors with the needs of your troops. Do you give your soldiers time to take a drink, have a meal, and start to process what they’ve just seen, knowing it will frustrate command, or do you push them ever forwards, earning military victory, but destroying their spirits?

Mature, uncompromising, and compelling, if you want to try All Quiet in the Trenches, it’s available at an introductory 10% discount right now. Though it’s still in early access, based on initial user reviews, it’s already scored a coveted ‘very positive’ Steam rating.

Alternatively, you might want to play some of the other best war games, or maybe the greatest RTS games on PC.

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