The pigs have flown: Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 is coming to Steam this month04 Aug 2020 2
Whether or not Battlefront would ever release any of their Combat Mission games to Steam has been a matter of hot debate amongst their fans for as long as I’ve been Editor here. They’ve never seemed that bothered, but plenty of their fans have grown weary of their approach to things like DRM and Patching and you'll always see threads pop up every now-and-then asking "why not?".
Steam isn’t the be-all and end-all of digital publishing, but it certainly has its uses; but from my POV I've never thought this was actually about Steam. As an observer, Battlefront has alwayed seemed like a bit of a home-brew operation. A bunch of passionate grogs making wargames they want to and probably can’t be bothered to change - especially because you can’t get away with Battlefront’s more cavalier attitude towards development as much on proper digital channels. They would make & sell their games the way they wanted until the end of time...
… so imagine my surprise then when I get an email about Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 coming to Steam.
It’s being published by Matrix Games, no less! I’m not 100% sure on how much Matrix & Battlefront have cooperated over the years. The Strategic Command franchise used to be published by Battlefront before they decided to focus on their own games and I imagine the two must have done some kind of partnership in days gone by - there aren't many ‘names’ in digital wargames and they all seem to have worked together at one point or another.
Being one of those highly niche war/sim games, you may not be aware of what Shock Force 2 actually is. Here’s their official blurb summarizing it:
Shock Force 2 allows players to take command of a NATO force in a hypothetical modern-day Syrian conflict. The game’s 3D graphics engine takes advantage of Battlefront’s vast experience in 3D wargames, giving an unprecedented level of realism and detail – so much that the game is used in several professional military environments for training and analysis purposes. Players can assign orders to their units, either in real time or with the innovative turn-based WeGo system. Shock Force 2 focuses on tactical platoon-level action, and features both a single-player campaign and multiplayer (Hotseat or PBEM).
If you know the Graviteam games, you're in the right area. You can read our Shock Force 2 review here, which was published not long after if originally launched.
As a final piece of commentary, one thing I’d forgotten to take into account is that Battlefront has been working with Matrix recently to put Shock Force 2 in front of the latter’s professional defence industry contacts alongside Command. I suspect this new highly lucrative, won’t-take-half-measures clientele has forced Battlefront to step up their game some-what, which would include enabling easy access to their game via Steam.
This being Matrix, there’s no price information but I’d be surprised if it's much different to what Battlefront charge on their own store. Depends if they want to try and mitigate the Steam cut or not.
Are you interested in getting Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 on Steam? Let us know in the comments!