Over 900 different units appear throughout the campaign, each extensively researched and based on their real-life counterparts. Even individuals within vehicles are accurately modeled - for example, in certain missions the makeshift Russian army must be defeated. And whilst the volume of troops makes the mission daunting, at that stage in the campaign the bulk of the army comprised enlisted farmers - strong, yet ultimately unskilled in the art of war.
Vehicles react as they did in real-life and players will need to employ strategies devised at the heart of World War 2. For example, the Panther tank is a powerful tank with heavy-duty armour. But the engineers who designed it anticipated attack from the front - leaving it susceptible to a sneaky strike from the rear. Virtual commanders will need to emulate the heroes of World War 2 if they are to successfully defeat the enemy threat.
The interface has been improved to offer a comprehensive set of options with which to formulate a plan. The clever use of a hybrid turn-based/real-time combat system allows players to adopt a vast range of strategies - essential for staying ahead of the enemy. And when players consider that gloriously-realised weather effects can hinder or help each tactician, this strategic freedom will prove invaluable.
Combat Mission's immense online community is catered for admirably. The strength of the game is the ease with which players can create their own maps and modifications - and the improved mission and scenario editor make this easier than ever. Players across the world can effortlessly share their own missions, making Combat Mission 2 infinitely replayable.
So whether players are Combat Mission virgins or seasoned-campaigners, Combat Mission 2: Barbarossa to Berlin offers an involved yet accessible blast, recreating the four turbulent years of the last World War.