About me :
I'am not the best MoW player, not that this is necessary to make a good review, but I have the luck to play with the best RTS players and persons I know in the PC gaming world, and I have long experience in this series and with other RTS. I started playing RTS before learning to write and read.
Lot of time passed in game as well as lot of time dedicated outside the game, organizing Events, helping and supporting modders, reading forums (official an un-official ones), creating forums for the MoW Italian community, creating steam groups, youtube videos, suggestions, promoting, guides, reading miltary history books etc.
I waited more than one year before reviewing this game, as a sign of respect for its developers and to try write a complete and honest review. Now I think I gave them enough time to fix their game and to prove they care about their costumers, and I'am sorry but they failed...
What to say ? AS2 and its developers for me in 3 words ? .. A BIG DELUSION !
On AS1 I had lot of hours of fun, even if to be sincere 95% of my hours on AS1 were spent with the German Soldiers Mod, a realism mod, so I give credits to DMS for making the basic game but if was not for Blubork's GSM and all the MoW modders, I'am not sure about how many hours I could have on AS1.
So in general from MOW to AS1 for me nothing big changed (not that other MOW titles brought bigger changes) if not improved graphic and other little details, main improvements arrived thanks to the evolving of the German Soldiers Mod and new models by MoW modders, but all in all I was happy with the AS1 platform, they even released free updates with new models, and from time to time I could have fun with the vanilla game too, even if nothing serious.
Main problems of AS1 vanilla for me were the artificial weapon datas and in general the lack of realism, not that MOW had more realism, for example regarding ranges AS1 was a step forward, but with AS1 in my opinion the gameplay went even more fast paced and more COH oriented, I always disagreed with the payback mechanic, I find helping a player losing its units totally unfit for Real-Time-STRATEGY.
So when AS2 was announced I went on AS2 forum and asked personally to devs if AS2 was going to be a more realism oriented game, not a sim, just more realistic, and they put there the fact that they were going to implement realistic weapon datas, I also asked them if they were planning to implement a territory mode like I suggested in the past and again they answered me that something was coming to satisfy this thing too.
So as I'am a positive person and I like to help who deserve it, I was super happy and I decided to help in the funding of their future CTA title too, even if I was not really interested in a post WWII era MoW.
Then the big day to try AS2 arrived...
...and this sadly was my first reaction after trying it (was obviously in italian but I'll try to translate it : ) )
"What the ♥♥♥♥ ?? are you kidding me"
Yes, it can sound rude but this sincerely was my reaction when trying AS2 for the first time.
Performances were terrible (but it was beta so at that time I still had hope here), improvements compared to AS1 ? little to nothing , but what's worst....
Ranges were reduced and the gameplay was damn fast paced, maps had a terrible artificial arena look and were damn small, nothing like my suggested territory mode, instead an extreme battle zone mode that had nothing to do with what I suggested, even the realistic weapon datas were not that realistic as the Tiger tank could "360 non scope" in one second with its famously and historically known SLOW turret traverse.
So for the vanilla game was a total delusion, however the full steam implementation was a nice thing and my thought was that performances could improve as promised and once GSM was released then I could just play that so the COH like gameplay was not an huge problem, even if having to always rely on mods to enjoy a game to be sincere is quite annoying.
No less I even created an AS2 thread on the most famous Italian tech forum, I was still supporting the devs despite the problems and failed expectations.
After months of waiting I realized I passed more time on the AS2 hub than in game as the game performances were terrible and the vanilla game gameplay a total rush and grenade spam that I was unable to enjoy.
Again, I tried to stay positive and give my best to stay present on the AS2 hub and give suggestions, I invested my precious time there but what I discovered was just that, even with their community the Devs were doing a terrible job, threads locked, people banned, not a sign of listening to player suggestions, even Devs replying to suggestion in a quite arrogant way or over-defending their product and vision of the game at all costs, making you feel like a ♥♥♥♥ and totally impotent toward the series future.
I was speechless and deluded, I was no more able to recognize the devs I used to like and I helped by funding CTA just few months before.
At same time of this delusion on the other hand I had Arma 3 devs with their feedback tracker and a forum that is more like an office, where players and devs collaborate to make a better game.
And Arma 3 followed the realism way so one can say they sell less compared to the more arcade AS2 that tried to follow the mainstream arcade way, but no, this is an outdated way of thinking IMO, now in 2015 you sell more if you make a quality product and you HELP and LISTEN to PEOPLE, that's what matter to make an healthy game and business, we are no more in the 20th century, I like to think that people evolved and started punishing the soulless greedy business. look at the paid mod for Skyrim, people must be heard or they revolt.
Back to AS2, last but not least delusion, that ultimately made me quit with the game in December 2014, was that basically if the AS2 vanilla game already had problems in MP, Big mods then were totally unplayable, just crashes, desync and horrible performances, mods that were able to run fine on MOW now on AS2 years later were unplayable.
Basically the only thing that right now work in AS2 is the SP or MP 1v1 if both players have a great PC,
But if you want to play SP then what's the point of getting AS2 ? yes thanks to workshop you find mods easily but for SP AS1/MOW are good enough and still have mods, just right now I can't find any good big reason to suggest you AS2, specially with this dev behaviour toward their customers.
Positive things yes, the auto resupply, veterancy and like I said workshop, but is it enough ? I let you judge on this.
Luckily the MOW series is not dead, now we have Battle of Empires that is very promising and where Devs really listen to their community as well as the future Best Way game "outfront" on the new engine GEM 3.0, in the hope they will not commit same DMS mistakes, like developing two games at the same time as an indie company with low budget ?! I would say maybe better to concentrate your effort to one game per time and listening to your community, or not ?
This MoW series has an huge potential to become the best RTS ever and an awesome sandbox platform, for now to be sincere all MoW developers failed to unleash its full potential and make it a really successful game that, like Arma III in the Tactical-FPS genre, can become a milestone of its genre and make PC gamers proud.
Let's see what the future will reserve to us MoW players. I know some things are going behind the scene that may surprise us in the future of this series, but I'am not going to talk about them right now, but I'am positive :)
PS: my 400+ hours are mostly beta testing GSM, all time wasted as GSM is a MP mod and it wont work on AS2 : ) (even if according to Devs and workshop there is mod support)
So I even went "light" on this review, I could write worst, but unlike DMS I'am a gentleman.