History Civil War: Secret Missions
Xbox 360 cover art
|Engine||CloakNT3 with Havok Physics|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Genre(s)||First-person shooter, Stealth|
History Civil War: Secret Missions is a historical first-person shooter video game developed by Cauldron Ltd, and released on 4 November 2008 by Activision Value and the History Channel for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is a sequel to The History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided.
In History Civil War: Secret Missions, the player assumes the role of both Union and Confederate soldiers fighting behind enemy lines in legendary battles that took place during the American Civil War.
The player's goal is to disrupt the armies of both the North and South by any means necessary, including stopping enemy supply lines, stealing ironclad ships and sabotaging enemy strongholds. Engaging in some of the Civil War's most famous battles, such as The Great Train Raid of 1861 and The Fall of Vicksburg in utilizing classic weapons of the era, including the pepperbox revolver and the coffee mill gun.
All missions are based on the actions of famous partisans, scouts and rangers – fighting as a member of Mosby's Rangers, Sheridan's Scouts and Grant's Secret Service and receiving mission commands from famous generals like Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, and Ulysses Grant.
This game takes the player through secret missions that took place on both sides of the war. The player has to battle enemy forces and protect his fellow soldiers. Melee is a large part of the game, as it was in the prequel. Reload times vary from weapon to weapon, with muskets taking a long time to reload, and repeating rifles taking a relatively short time.
Missions include being a part of a secret sniper mission at the Battle of Gettysburg, conducting a covert train raid on the B&O Railroad, sabotage artillery outposts during the Lewisburg Deception, etc. Using the weaponry and military advancements of the Civil War like the automatic guns of the era and the usage of repeating rifles, grenades, sabers, exploding artillery, and shotguns.
The game features intense, tactical combat. It is based on authentic Civil War combat methods, artillery barrages, urban assaults, sniping, and stealth. Set charges, place explosives, sabotage enemy strongholds, and destroy enemy buildings to complete objectives.
Each level begins with a short History Chanel documentary video, which describes the historical events depicted and their significance in the Civil War. Players encounter bonus objectives from mission to mission such as saving P.O.W.s and destroying crates. Players can ignore or accept these bonus objectives.
The player is able to use a wide range of weaponry in each mission, all of which are historically accurate and were used by combatants during the Civil War.
A full list of firearms and melee weapons is shown below:
- Colt Army Model 1860
- Remington Model 1858
- Allen & Thurber Pepper-box Revolver
- Sharps rifle
- Colt Model 1855 Sidehammer Pocket Revolver
- Spencer 1860 Carbine
- Henry repeating rifle
- Whitworth rifle
- Double-barreled shotgun
- Gatling Gun
- Agar Gun (Coffee Mill Gun)
- Bowie Knife
History Civil War: Secret Missions features many collectibles and hidden items found throughout the various levels. These range from letters and journal pages written by both Union and Confederate soldiers, to photographs of historic locations and individuals.
The game received mediocre ratings from critics. IGN praised the graphics but panned the length of the game. GameRankings criticizes the small glitches, but praised the game in portraying "something to skip WWII shooters".
However, many critics have also noted the game to be one of the best of its genre. GameFaqs described it as currently the best first person Civil War shooter in its "Top 10 American Civil War Games". What Culture listed it as #10 in its 10 Best Historical First-Person Shooter Video Games, stating, "While Civil War: Secret Missions was a low-budget game that garnered only mediocre ratings, it was the first to show the gaming industry that there is a place for shooters beyond the invention of tanks and portable machine guns. Civil War action games such as Bound in Blood and War of Rights would take and improve the same steps years later."
- "Aggregate score". GameRankings.
- "Aggregate score". Metacritic.
- "Xbox review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2011-05-01. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Overall Review". GameTrailers. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Review". Games Rankings. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- "Xbox 360 review". IGN.
- Top 10 American Civil War Games
- Bulaong, Louis (October 9, 2017). "10 Best Historical First-Person Shooter Video Games". What Culture. Retrieved October 27, 2017.