Sherman M 4 logo

LORICIELS £19.99 * Joystick and Mouse

The American Sherman tank and all its variants did sterling service for the allies during World War II, so for all those of you who have dreamt of getting to grips with one of the ugle brutes, here is your chance.

It is a one-player game containing three scenarios based on actual battles and campaigns in which Shermans played an important part. The first is The Normandy Landings, in which the Sherman is in an aggressive role: five single scenarios can be played individually in any order or all five can be played one after the other to form a sort of campaign game. The other scenarios are The Ardennes, where Hitler launched a massive tank offensive, so your role is far more defensive; and North Africa, where things are much more strategic.

Once you have decided which to play, you can alter the game's parameters to suit; that is, alter the enemy's difficulty levels and so on. Do all that and you then get your instructions from the Sarge before setting off.

Playing the game involves managing four tanks and achieveing the specified objective. The first Normany mission requires you to knock out a couple of enemy bunkers and then take control of an enemy camp. A map of the location is provided - giving orders to the tanks is simplicity itself. Simply select the destination and the tank goes trundling towards it - once all four are away you can jump into the command seat of any of them simply by pressing a key. Then you can take control if you wish and fight the enemy yourself or just sit and watch. The autopilot can be switched back on just as easily.

Remember when playing the campaign game that you only have four tanks with which to complete the game and once one tank is out of action, it is out of action for good. That is not a problem if you play the scenarios one after another however, because you are given four at the start of each regardless of how well you did in the last scenario.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND

The graphics really are very good - very fast filled 3D with options for other views as well as the usual driver's eye view. The sound is not too hot, but it is adequate. Fast and well animated - a good looker.

LASTING INTEREST

With fifteen missions and the ability to 'limit set' yourself by bumping up the enemy's difficulty ratings, prepare yourself for some long playing sessions. You do not have to play for hours on end, though, because some of the scenarios can be played quickly.

JUDGEMENT

It is not going to have seasoned strategists running out to the shops because it is too limited in the strategy department and is a bit too close to a 3D Battlezone. Arcade fans who like to think occasionally will be pleased with it. Good fun.