Cheap Game of the Week – History Channel Civil War: A Nation Divided

Overview: A rare first person shooter set in the American Civil War

Pricing: About $20 new or used.

Rip-Off Warning: Can occassionally be found for $30 new.

Platform: Playstation 2, Windows, XBox 360 (Reviewed)

Is it worth it? There aren’t many first person shooters set in the American Civil War. While there have definitely been some liberties taken with historical accuracy and weapon reloading has been tweaked somewhat, the game stands in rare company. A lever action rifle feels like an assault rifle in this game and learning melee combat is a must.

The game does have some issues. The level design is full of invisible walls and is practically on rails, there are only 6 missions per each side, and the graphics are just barely servicable. Yet I found myself enjoying this game and the unique challenges it often presented the player. The game is not particularly hard, but the play style is different from standard run and gun.

Some quibbles with the game. Iron sights were worthless since you were better off just looking at the cross hair and waiting for it to turn red. Also, taking cover didn’t seem to work very well. Not that the game had a cover system, but enemies standing close to a solid object seemed to become bullet proof while I could hide behind a wall and still take damage.

Final Judgement: I just don’t have much to say about this one. It’s an enjoyable if somewhat short play experience that will definitely give you something different. It was a solid PURCHASE for me and highly recommended if you’re looking for a budget title.


  1. One of my favorite things from Resident Evil 4 was the reloading animations. I always wondered what this game would do with reloading a musket loader would look like.

    Not very exciting, I’m guessing.

  2. Well, when I said reloading had been tweaked somewhat all that means is that reloading a musket is much faster than reality. I will still seem like an eternity compared to modern shooters.

    The animations are actually pretty smooth and a lot of care seems to have gone through them. However, they all look like they’re being run triple-time and that can make some of them seem quite silly.

  3. It probably would have been worth noting in the review that there is NO BLOOD in the game. It’s very toned down.

    The cannons actually have no reload animation and are somewhat disappointing, as are the gatling guns.

    Close combat is a necessity, but the hit detection is somewhat off. Forgivable pre-Halo days, but ever since Bungie figured out how to make a rifle butt smack someone exactly where I thought it should be everyone else seems to have it down as well.

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