You are currently viewing an archival version of GF!

Click here to return to the current GamesFirst! website.


GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes)star06.gif (4104 bytes)


by Interactive Magic

The M1A2 Abrams is the latest model of the world’s best main battle tank. After Desert Storm, the outstanding record of this tank has made it the most sought-after tank in the world, with models now serving in the armies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Desert Storm clearly showed the M1’s superiority over the Soviet designed T-72. Of the 1,955 M1A2 models engaged, four were disabled, four were damaged but repairable, and no crewmen were killed by enemy fire. Meanwhile, entire Brigades and Divisions of Iraqi T-72 tanks were destroyed. Many analysts believe the M1A2 is also superior to the T-80 and T-90, although the margin of superiority is smaller.

Now you can test all of this for yourself in Interactive Magic’s M1A2 simulation. In fact, you can even test the Abrams against Russia’s next-generation tank, the T-95!

The Review:
M1A2 Abrams is basically the updated version of the old M1A1 Tank Commander game that was out about four years ago. Although M1A2 has many of the same features as the old version, you will find many new surprises, as well as updated sound and graphics.

In this simulation, you command the tank from any of the key crew positions. In addition, you are the leader of four such tanks (a platoon), and you can move inside any of these four, taking over for computer-controlled positions whenever you wish. Finally, you command an entire Company Team, including your Platoon and a variety of other Platoons and Sections, across a battlefield more than ten by ten kilometers.

Interactive Magic did a good job of simulating not only the Abrams tank, but the entire ground based war machine. You can shoot enemy units from the gunner's position, drive, and scan from the other positions, or you can view a tactical map and direct your forces from afar. You can jump around to any tank in your Platoon, or check the status of your support units. From top to bottom, M1A2 Abrams lets you taste all aspects of ground armor combat. Also, although I have never experienced it first hand myself, I think it simulates actual tank and vehicle combat on a battlefield very well. Also, M1A2 has a multi-player function which I did not get a chance to try, but I bet would be very fun.

The first thing I noticed about M1A2 Abrams was the thousand and one controls that are needed to command a whole ground force. The whole combat experience Interactive Magic was shooting for came at the cost of controls. Although you do get used to them after a while, I think a little more thought into the controls would have resulted in the same versatility and made it less of a chore to control everything. The next major item I noticed was lack of a theme or story. I realize that this is a simulator, but I think adding a story to it could have sucked you into this game more. Perhaps a World War III theme, and with you, the player, in control of American ground forces fighting for your homeland against hostile invaders. Something more is needed to hold your interest in this game.

--Brent Hegarty