Men Of War 2 Featured Image
Image: Best Way

Men of War 2 review – Overkill is bliss

That's a Men at Work reference, by the way.

As a fan of the classic Age of Empires, the idea of reviewing a modern war RTS was enticing to say the least. After all, how different of an experience can it really be, right? Well, in the case of Men of War 2 – and the Men of War franchise – it is substantially different, which ended up being an experience I found mildly perplexing yet somehow still incredibly fascinating. Let’s take a look at what Men of War 2 has to offer.

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Forget what you know about the genre

Let’s start by saying that if your experience in RTS games is based on what Age of Empires has to offer – which was partly my case – then you are in for a wild ride. Men of War 2 is one of those games you want to play with a manual on your hands, all while replaying the tutorial missions to make sure I understood everything the first time.

The game is massive, but not precisely due to the amount of content it offers, but in how different and complex the gameplay feels. From the get-go, I’ll say that this is the ultimate real-time strategy game, with a great emphasis on strategy. Every single decision you make in a match will matter and will determine the outcome of every conflict.

Men Of War 2 Snipers
Image: Best Way

With the map being divided into two territories – yours and the enemy’s – you will get to invade and be invaded quickly while trying to select the best units in your reserves through a Command Points system, which will limit your unit choices and not let you spam your units and create gigantic armies to overwhelm the enemy like you would in any other game. Even a small group of well-positioned units can destroy battalions that do not care about taking advantage of the environment.

Walk the talk, embody the war

In the case of soldiers, you will be able to select your unit formation and how your soldiers interact with surrounding enemies – which are genre staples – and manually select each of your units’ weapons and even ammo type. You can build fortifications, dig trenches, change your stance, occupy enemy vehicles, and anything you can imagine. If you’re not careful, your soldiers can die in an instant – one shot can and will kill your troops – making this a game of important and fast choices.

Men Of War 2 Trenches Featured Image
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Vehicles are also extremely helpful when trying to combat the enemy, but they can also take damage from incoming fire. Let’s say you are driving your tank to enemy territory in a reckless manner. The enemy could potentially target your tank tracks and damage them, making your tank unable to move. Of course, one of the crew members inside your tank – because of course you can issue orders to each of them and they can get killed by the incoming fire – can use one of your repair kits to fix it, but it will take a while and you will be left defenseless against enemy forces.

Men Of War 2 Tanks And Planes
Image: Best Way

These are just a few of the many aspects of combat you can micromanage, making your wins and losses completely fair based on your performance. Even if you issue orders for your units, you can bypass the AI and use direct control to control a soldier or a vehicle freely as you would in a shooter game and attempt to wipe out the enemy solo – which will not work, of course, but it can be useful when you need precision.

The art of war, and its horrors

Graphics-wise, the game looks great. While it does not break any boundaries (why would you expect an RTS to do so?), it feels detailed enough for you to step back and enjoy watching your soldiers move around like little toy soldiers on one of those detailed playsets you see in action figure commercials. That immersion was kinda lost whenever I used direct control since the camera angles and the sniping system lacked the depth and detail that was not as noticeable when you saw the game from above.

Men Of War 2 Tank
Screenshot: PC Invasion

The UI has some issues. The default text that appears whenever there’s an objective to complete, the action buttons on the bottom part of the screen, and even the tank and vehicle blueprints all feel a bit small and not nearly as descriptive as they need to be so I can make quick-twitch decisions in the heat of battle.

Men Of War 2 Hull Parts
Screenshot: PC Invasion

A war can’t be fought alone. Except you can.

With that said, what I enjoyed playing (when the game allowed me to. I’ll get to that later) is its hefy amount of single-player content. I’m a sucker for history-based war games, so the three different campaigns were particularly exciting.

Men Of War 2 Army
Image: Best Way

You get to control the Russian, US, and German forces while they try to hold back the incoming Nazi invasion, take back Paris, and retreat from defeat, respectively. To not have the game instruct you about specific actions or orders you can issue and instead rely on your criteria was refreshing and realistic, which felt extremely rewarding once. While I would have enjoyed some cinematics instead of a block of text for the instructions, I understand that this is the type of game that wants to focus on what is happening on the map.

You also have Historical, Conquest, and Raid modes to enjoy. The first one will have you play through real-life operations like the Battle of Normandy or the attack of Byuelorussia by the Red Army. Conquest features turn-based combat where you strive to control the territories on a dynamic map. Raid is similar to a roguelike mode in which you tackle several missions that are always different every time you start the mode.

The good and the straight-up ugly online

Multiplayer, on the other hand, was also a very fun and chaotic experience that features different modes for all of you who want to play with and destroy your friends in the field. Battalions is a 4v4 or 5v5 mode in which you can either choose to face human players or a team of AI where you can fully customize your Regiments – that is, what unit type you bring to the match. Your Regiments will be divided into Echelons, which will unlock after a specific amount of time elapses, making sure you don’t spam your units and forcing you to be more strategic.

Classic mode will see you battle in 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 matches with set Regiments but with no Echelon system, meaning that you use all of your Command Points and summon any units you might need during your confrontation. Finally, Combined Arms will have you select a Faction and Regiments and play a match with higher Command Points – therefore – more soldiers, but will make use of the Echelon system.

Men Of War 2 Pvp Multiplayer
Screenshot: PC Invasion

This all seemed great and all, but there is a big elephant in the room and that is the fact that, at launch, the game is always online. If your internet connection fails, you can’t play the game. I experienced severe issues that, while letting me enter the game’s main menu, wouldn’t allow me to play the actual game. Now, you might expect that I would be talking about the multiplayer mode. No! The multiplayer mode worked just fine! I couldn’t play any of the single-player content for a while because it required me to wait for a “Local Server” request, which ended up failing time after time. It was eventually fixed, but it’s worth mentioning in case you encounter the same issue.

Men Of War 2 Local Server Requested
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Why would you force players to connect to a server if they are playing a solo Campaign mission? It’s a wild choice that puts a sizeable dent in a game that has a lot of things going for it. It ends up feeling greedy to even think that this was a great idea. While an offline mode is in development as I write this review, the last thing you want is to alienate your players when at release.


I found Men of War 2 to be quite an enjoyable game that had me sweating bullets and lamenting each of my bad strategic decisions. The always-online part of it certainly dampened some of the goodwill the game itself instilled, but hopefully, these are issues that will be smoothed out over time.

Tech issues aside, Men of War 2 is a solid game that will keep you engaged with its myriad complexities and leave you amazed at what modern RTS games can accomplish. It has many areas that need some polish, but I believe (or, rather, hope) that the folks at Best Way can improve on what they have delivered.

Men of War 2
A brutal RTS game that will not let you catch a breath, Men of War 2 is a great gameplay experience that needs its other aspects to be on par with how complex and thought out its core is designed.

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Image of Alejandro Josan
Alejandro Josan
A musician with a heart of a gamer, Alejandro's life has always been accompanied by adventures on Nintendo platformers, countless hours of fantasy RPGs and several third-party FPSs. Currently, he is studying Game Design and Development and Creative Writing, preparing for a long career in the video game industry.