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SNEG is bringing the classic entries in Close Combat at Warlords series to Steam

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SNEG has announced that they’re bringing the classic games from the Close Combat and Warlords series to Steam. They were (mostly) available already on GOG, but now they’re joining their other SNEG-revived brethren. Also, they’ve made the move today. 

Close Combat is a series of real-time strategy games that started off in 1996 and were created by Atomic Games. This was about the time that the RTS genre really started taking hold with 1995’s Command & Conquer and Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness. However, the Close Combat games differentiate themselves through their more realistic gameplay.

The five getting re-released all take place during World War 2. It’s all land-based squad tactics with both armor and infantry. What really made the games unique for the time period was the psychological simulation which has your soldiers responding to the horrors of war. Squads could become fatigued and worn out and soldiers incapacitated by trauma.

The five games are Close Combat, Close Combat 2: A Bridge Too Far, Close Combat 3: The Russian Front, Close Combat 4: The Battle of the Bulge, Close Combat 5: Invasion: Normandy – Utah Beach to Cherbourg. The series has continued right up to 2019

As I mentioned, most of these are already available on GOG, but the original Close Combat seems to be an exception for some reason. Looking at the executable, it looks like a special wrapper may have been needed for the first game. They were all Windows titles, rather than DOS, with some of them even published by Microsoft. As such, they tend to be more difficult to get running on modern operating systems, though SNEG says they “made every effort to eliminate technical issues, with changes based on fan and community feedback.”

The other three games are Warlords I + II and the separately available Warlords III: Darklords Rising. As a departure from Close Combat, these are turn-based games set in Medieval fantasy worlds. In this way, they aren’t too dissimilar from the later Heroes of Might and Magic series.

The Warlords games are also currently available on GOG, but are making their debut on Steam. Since they are DOS games rather than Windows, they run with a DOSbox wrapper.

I have no personal attachment to any of these games, but I’m always a fan of preservation. The early days of home computers, in particular, are at risk of being forgotten as they become harder to run on modern hardware. It’s great to have companies like SNEG working to make them available wherever possible.

All of the above are available on Steam today.


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