The game picks up where the first game left off, with the world in a relative state of peace. Funny how that never lasts, though, as the many empires of the world (6 to be exact) soon find themselves choosing sides in a new war. Making up these 6 different empires are the Western Frontier, Tundran Territories, Xylvania, Solar Empire, Anglo Isles and the nation that almost conquered the world, the Iron Legion.
Each of the territories differ in look, but basically offer up the same types of units. The sheer variety of available units, however, is more than you might expect. Each force has a plethora of units for land, sea and air combat. Your basic infantry is made up of rifleman, flamethrower soldiers, bazooka units, assault units, anti-air soldiers and mortar units. As you can imagine, each of these units is best used to handle another type, such as the bazooka soldiers against vehicles on the land. Land vehicles include tanks and roving battlestations, with air units such as fighter planes and transports keeping things in check above the battlefield. Naval vehicles range from frigates to submarines. This only touches on the available vehicles in the title.
So, as you can see, the game demands you utilize strategy in your match-ups between units.
Controlling the action is handled through a combined use of the Wiimote and nunchuk, as you would imagine. Pointing your Wiimote at your TV will present an aiming reticle and pointing it at your enemy, while simultaneously pressing the Z button will allow you to lock-on. Hitting the B trigger fires your weapon. Using the Wiimote's d-pad will allow you to switch between the types of units you want to highlight. The only problem we had with this control scheme was the incredible difficulty we had in effectively using the camera. Especially when there are air units to be taken care of.
Using the A button, you can give basic combat orders to your squad. You can lock on to an enemy and hit A to make them focus their fire on that unit. You can point to a location and hit A to make them scout ahead. You can even use the d-pad to issue orders to specific unit types. For example, if you have some infantry giving you trouble, along with a helicopter, you can tell your flamethrower infantry to attack the ground troups and order your anti-air men to take on the helicopter. It's simple, but very effective.
As for motion-based controls, they're fairly limited. You can twist the nunchuk to do combat rolls when on foot, you can pop the Wiimote up to make your character jump and you can use the Wiimote to control altitude and flight maneuvers for your air units.
The title's online mode allows for both competitive and co-operative play. In the co-operative play, you can (with a friend) play six different missions. Within these missions, you control a squad, while your buddy controls another, tackling objectives set forth in the game. Communication is limited, however, allowing you to only call for help and accept a plea for help, with the 1 and 2 buttons, respectively. In Assault, one team must defend a hardened structure, while the other must successfully destroy it in a certain amount of time. Finally, there is Skirmish, which is just all-out war, with the victor being the one left standing.
We've said, this is one of the best Wii games available. It may not have Metroid Prime 3
's flashy graphics or WarioWare: Smooth Move
's accessibility, but it does have a fun single-player campaign and a passable online game mode. The replay value is there and this is certainly, as we said, one of the best Wii titles available.Final Score: 9/10