Codex Gamicus

Gameplay screenshot

Men of War (Russian: В тылу врага 2: Лис пустыни (Behind Enemy Lines 2: Desert Fox)) is a real-time tactics video game and the sequel to the 2006 game Faces of War, developed in partnership with Best Way by Digitalmindsoft and published by 1C Company, 505 Games and Aspyr Media.

The single player campaign takes place during World War II and features battles set in Europe, the Soviet Union, Greece, and North Africa, across three different campaigns for the Allies, Germans and Soviets. Men of War features Japan as a new multiplayer faction.

Men of War was rated 15 by the BBFC.[1]


Men of War plays similarly to Faces of War and Soldiers: Heroes of World War II, with a few major differences. In Soldiers, the player controlled a small group of soldiers fighting the enemy. In Faces of War, the player controlled a few men while fighting in large battles alongside many allies. In Men of War, both of those scenarios do take place, but sometimes the player is given complete control over dozens of units. It is not uncommon for a player to have simultaneous control over many lines of defense. To make micromanagement simpler, the player is able to organize his troops into squads. The player is also able to call in reinforcements in the form of units, artillery barrages (from guns or offshore ships), and air support. Naval units, such as torpedo boats and submarines, are controllable for the first time.

The game includes the soldiers and arsenals of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, and various resistance movements (particularly the Russian and the French). The expansion, Red Tide, adds the Romanian and Italian armies.


Men of War features 19 single player missions spread across three different campaigns. The game features a Soviet, German, and Allied campaign.

The Soviet campaign spans the early battles of the Eastern front, through to the start of the Soviet counter-offensive. The campaign begins with the Battle of Rostov and ends after the Battle of Seelow Heights, with a epilogue showing Berlin days after its capture.

The German and Allied campaigns take place in the North Africa theatre. The German Afrika korps follows a young, ambitious commander who, with each battle, slowly becomes disillusioned with Nazi Germany as he fights in Greece (Battle of Crete), Libya (Tobruk) and Tunisia. The Allied campaign follows an elite American squad during Operation Torch as they fight alongside the British "Desert Rats" of the British 7th Armoured Division, other American soldiers, and Henri d'Astier's French Resistance.

There are also a number of bonus missions, which involve both defending and attacking objectives.

The single player campaigns can be played through cooperatively over a local TCP/IP network, or over the internet.


In multiplayer, there are 5 different factions to choose from; The United States, Great Britain, Germany, Soviet Union and Japan.

There are a variety of game modes including Combat, Battle Zone, Frontline and Cooperative, all of which were featured in Soldiers, and two new modes - Victory flag and Valuable Cargo.

Men of War will introduce a ranking system based on the ratio of a player's wins to losses with the various multiplayer factions.

The game has the "Direct Control" feature characteristic of the series which allows the player to take over control of a unit's movements and actions with the keyboard and mouse, adding a tactical 3rd person shooter element to the game.

Modifications are still officially supported, and will still have their own Tab in Options. Games using modifications will also go under the name "Modded Game".

Currently the US and English versions of Men of War multiplayer are unsupported by Bestway and 1C Publishing. Steam has not updated the game since 1.11.3, and US users must manually modify their installations to patch their game for the latest multiplayer versions.


Microsoft Windows[2]

  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3000+
  • 1GB for XP/2GB for Vista
  • Nvidia GeForce 5900 or ATI Radeon 9600
  • DirectX 9.0c
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • 7.5GB free HDD space
  • DVD drive


Men of War has received generally favorable reviews, garnering a Metacritic score of 80 out of 100. GamingShogun[3] called the game a very 'in-depth, tactical game of combat' and stresses its mixed bag of highs and lows while also pointing out the game's budget-minded pricing. IGN agreed with the mixed sentiments, conceding that the game was "tedious and hard as hell" but also that it "offers a view of combat that's every bit as thrilling as the more accessible strategy games that dominate the sales charts".[4] IT Reviews was more positive, claiming that it "puts the emphasis firmly back on strategy, using your meagre troops cunningly to out-think and out-gun the enemy even when they have vastly superior numbers."[5]


There are a number of different versions made by different companies, with different patches for each version due to them having different copy protection systems.

Expansion Packs[]

Men of War: Red Tide[]

Four months after the release of Men of War, a stand-alone expansion pack called Men of War: Red Tide was announced.[6] The expansion adds 20 new single player missions, where the player take the control over the Soviet Marine forces in the Black Sea campaigns in World War 2, fighting against Italian, Romanian and German forces.

The story is based on the writings of Alexander Zorich.[7]

Men of War: Assault Squad[]

Assault Squad is a stand-alone expansion pack from the co-op developers Digitalmindsoft.[8][9]

This will focus more on the infantry part of the game. It will add 15 new missions. There was also a temporary name, where A4 defines the build name (Men of War is A3).[10]

Men of War: Vietnam[]

Vietnam will be the third stand-alone expansion pack and is being developed by 1C in-house as Digitalmindsoft is focused on Assault Squad.[11]


  1. Men of War rated 15 by the BBFC. British Board of Film Classification (2009-08-07). Retrieved on 2009-08-08
  2. Steam: Men of War. Valve Corporation (2009-05-06).
  3. Paxton, Jerry (2009-03-25). Men of War Review. GamingShogun.
  4. IGN
  5. IT Reviews
  6. Men of War: Red Tide Announced. 1C Company (2009-25-6).
  7. Alexander Zorich.
  8. New title: GamesCom - Digitalmindsoft (2009-07-08).
  9. World Exclusive: Men of War A4 - Spillverket (2009-08-19).
  10. Outfront Series. Digitalmindsoft Community Wiki (2009-08-19).
  11. Chris Faylor (8 June 2010). Men of War: Vietnam Details Emerge. Shacknews. Retrieved on 26 June 2010

External links[]