Close Combat revamped by Black Hand Studios and Matrix Games / Slitherine

For the ASL fans, Close Combat series has always been the closest-to-ASL computer experience. The title has had a long history since its first release in 1996. Initially developed by Atomic Games and published by SSI for both Mac and PC. Then it went through Microsoft Games on Windows platforms only. But in 2005, the rights were licensed to Matrix Games, which hired in turn a number of developers to boost the game for new generation computers

Full history on Wikipedia:


Original logo + new visual ID

But today, with a new growing and exciting partnership between the 2 companies, Matrix Games (recently merged with Slitherine) has chosen to revamp the game with Black Hand Studios. The official release announcement is dated June 2011, and it says:

“These new releases mark a fantastic overall improvement to the gameplay of the Close Combat games and show the astonishing distance the series has come since its original form many years ago.”

  • Major improvements were made to the way vehicles and soldiers travel to way points and reach the end destination of both simple and highly complex, unhindered paths with a very high degree of success.
  • Soldier pathfinding was improved so that when soldiers fall behind (heavy weapon or momentarily lost) they plot their own path to successfully rejoin their team.
  • Vehicle driver and soldier decision making was improved to help them deal with unexpected obstacles (vehicle moving into their way , or wreck that was knocked out in the course of battle to block a path that was already determined), and get out of dead-end locations.
  • AI improvements were designed in concert with the re-designed pathfinder.
  • The “Bee Dance” of CC2 that was related to conflicts between the AI for the vehicle driver and the AI that tried to keep the team moving along the team’s path that would result in a conflict about which portion of the AI to follow or “which way to go” is resolved.
  • Many other minor improvements were made and reported bugs were fixed

 Tactical gameplay in The Longest Day

The series has now 4 opus, and titles remind us of the original Squad Leader edition 😉

Video links:
 Home screen in Cross Of Iron

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