It’s time to storm some portable beaches and find your favorite victory cigar. Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign is out to teach those Nazis a lesson that would do even Lt. Aldo Raine proud.

Despite its popularity on PC’s the world over, the turn-based strategy genre has never been kind to the PSP. Heck, it’s been nearly 5 years since the good-but-not-great 'Field Commander' graced Sony’s portable. Spanish developer Enigma Software Productions is out to right this wrong.

The dearth of turn-based titles, however, was not without reason. Simply put: the PSP’s interface is a massive pain in the ass for anything requiring precision. Thankfully cries for a second analog stick and/or touch screen are finally being remedied via the upcoming NGP (Next Generation Portable).

With homage to Monty Python, Legend’s of War: Patton’s Campaign (Patton) farts in the general direction of such criticisms, offering current PSP’s a surprisingly playable strategy title in Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign (Patton).

In all fairness, there’s something uncannily familiar about this game, in specific its striking resemblance to 'Pathway to Glory' for the legacy N-Gage platform. I suppose imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so I’ll leave it at that.

As far as imitations go, Patton is one fairly well done. Production values are high for a budget ($20) PSP title, with nice introductory videos, in-game voice-overs and sound effects. Backgrounds and maps – while nothing earth shattering – are varied enough to offer solid substance. Historical references are well researched and presented.

Moreover – and as referenced above – Patton tackles the PSP’s input limitations in admirable fashion. The combination of D-pad and 4 input buttons do an incredible job of executing an array of commands/functions in what can be a complicated at times, battle environment. Similar kudos to the game’s unit selection, upgrade and mission assignment menus, robust functions…but easily executed via a few button presses.

Still, the interface is not without its flaws. D-Pad mapping mean enemies have split-second advantages in counter-fire (Patton jumps into semi-real time when engaging enemy troops) due to a finicky aiming cursor not wanting to lock onto anything. This hiccup becomes glaring when environmental components work overtime in stifling aiming and/or movement through questionable obstruction.

These issues aside, Patton is a rare, turn-based strategy offering capable of jumping right into. Within 5 minutes’ time, I was triangulating on enemies, using ‘fog of war’ dynamics to my advantage, and using ‘prestige’ (upgrade) points with surprising precision. Sure, I shot at rocks versus Nazis on more than one instance, but an accessible strategy title is worth its weight in gold. Especially when they show up only once every half decade.

Nearly three hours in to Patton, however, something went horribly awry. The very accessible devolved into the overly frustrating, as troop upgrade decisions were punitive to a point where I could no longer progress in campaign mode. To explain, prestige points are few and far between, vital currency in replacing killed units and/or purchasing newer, more powerful ones. Insufficient prestige points equates to an inability to purchase needed capabilities to complete specific missions. The only way to correct this problem is to retrace steps within the campaign, requiring re-completing every battle up to the current point.

This becomes an endless path to doom, as the only way to recreate poor prestige point spending and/or recover lost points is to literally start the entire campaign area from scratch. Hope and pray one of your units doesn’t die along campaign repeat, or you’re left in the same dilemma necessitating the replay. Rinse, wash, repeat. How about a little room for trial and error, folks?

Exacerbating this dilemma are ridiculously unpredictable enemies that fight like demons even on easier difficulty levels. By "unpredictable," I mean haphazard while sporting an uncanny ability to possess firing range abilities always superior to your own. Playing the same level for the fifth time (see: prestige points) in reverse becomes forehead vein inspiring after streams of cheap deaths. For chrissakes; it’s hard to invoke any real semblance of strategy with an opposition fighting like hopped up superhumans. Ones that typically out number you at least 3-to-1.

While it doesn’t break new ground, Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign is a welcome addition to a genre and console sorely lacking quality turn-based strategy titles. The game’s progression flaws, however, impact overall experience…and in significant fashion. Still, fans of the genre will find a fair amount to like in a title sporting strong production values, a decent interface, and solid WWII atmosphere.

  • A new turn-based strategy title on the PSP!
  • Jump right in dynamics
  • Good WWII atmosphere
  • Flawed campaign progression dynamic
  • Buggy enemies
  • Eerily familiar to titles past
Quote: "While it doesn’t break new ground, Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign is a welcome addition to a genre and console sorely lacking quality turn-based strategy titles."
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 02.09.11

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Legends of War
Patton's Campaign

Enigma Software
Enigma Software


US Released
January 2011



Players 1