Review of Classified: France ’44 – a worthy representative of the genre of tactical games

The World War II-themed game is designed to deliver an immersive experience of tactical maneuvers through a combination of a deep story and unique gameplay. But can it be considered the next significant strategy game? Or will we end up with a product that failed to realize its ambitions?

The events of the game, as you have already guessed from the title, take place in France in 1944. Nazi Germany and the Axis countries as a whole are defeated on all fronts, and the outcome of World War II can be considered a foregone conclusion. But the enemy still has strength, especially since the whole of Western Europe is under their military and political influence and the Third Reich is not going to give it up.

Under your command is the Jedburghi Special Forces Group, a historical unit that included members of the American, British and French armies. The saboteurs worked behind enemy lines, and their mission was to conduct reconnaissance and subversion operations in the most unexpected places for the enemy, while reinforcing La Résistance in France.

And it was all part of a global mission known in history as Operation Overlord, or D-Day.
The action of Classified: France ’44 takes place several months before the Allied landings on the shores of Normandy. Through various missions, you create a special task force, recruit soldiers, make friends with them and help liberate different regions of France.

Classified: France ’44 is a fairly thoughtful turn-based strategy game that incorporates elements of a tactical shooter. You don’t just move forward and shoot, you also need to control your position and what’s going on around you. This includes using the environment as cover to prevent damage, choosing a sector to attack, silent kills, and all that sort of stuff.

As in tactical shooters, the environment can be your friend or foe. There are missions where you can break windows, open doors, and enter houses to seek shelter. It’s an extra layer that can work to your advantage. Overall, the game itself pushes you to use stealth tactics rather than run-and-gun gameplay.
Each soldier or French resistance fighter you meet has their own personality and skills, allowing you to customize your own team depending on your play style. It’s a challenge when you embark on a mission, as events play out on isometric dioramas where every decision must be carefully executed.

In addition to the usual combat talents, your characters have special skills and abilities that you can unlock.

And as a unique feature and differentiator from the genre, the developers of Classified: France ’44 introduced a system of fatigue and morale (morale) into the game. When you get wounded, you don’t really want to fight anymore, and your morale drops, which affects your combat performance. It may come to the point where a unit simply refuses to perform any action during its turn.

The same is true for Wehrmacht soldiers. Suppress the enemy with lead rain, and if you can’t kill him, chances are he’ll panic and skip his turn. Which in turn will allow you to successfully change position without worrying about return fire.

Such a system allows you to take more care of your fighters and make tactical decisions more carefully. Especially considering that action points are always limited and spending them mindlessly is guaranteed to send yourself to the loading screen.

Classified: France ’44 doesn’t offer any feast for the eyes, but this is generally a common trend for games of this genre. The picture is fairly well detailed, but close-ups show a rather average level of graphics. That said, the visuals are not annoying in any way, you can even take cinematic screenshots if you’re a fan of that sort of thing.

Sound and music also can’t boast something outstanding. But at the same time, the voice acting adds immersion into the happening, making the game more realistic, and the characters – more individual. And, of course, the charming French language.

The background soundtracks are not annoying and do not cause the desire to turn off the music (which in my case is a great rarity!). Weapons sound familiar, most likely, the assets were bought in the appropriate bases – it is unlikely that the developers recorded it on their own. In general, the soundtrack, as they call it, “on a solid four”.

Classified: France ’44 is a superb turn-based strategy that tests your tactical prowess while giving you plenty of tools to succeed. Missions are varied in their objectives and give you other smaller tasks to complete, and even when you think you’ve got a handle on the situation, new threats can appear in the clutch. While the visuals up-close aren’t as crisp and smooth as I’d have liked, the general detail of both the isometric dioramas are great, and the story leading up to D-Day has been carefully written to balance realism, enjoyment, and authenticity.