Soldiers: Heroes of World War II is the first in a series of real-time tactics video games set in World War II, developed by or under the supervision of Ukrainian company Best Way.
While the most widely distributed edition by Codemasters bears the name Soldiers: Heroes of World War II, its original English language title is Outfront.
The player can take control of American, British, Soviet or German forces to play out battles that are set in World War II. The game is primarily a strategy game, but the player can take control of his forces and direct them with the keyboard and mouse for additional depth of control.
Game scenario writers include Alexander Zorich.
In the single player missions, players are generally allotted a very small number of soldiers, and losing just one soldier can be a huge loss. Thus, the game revolves around the player conserving soldiers and keeping them safe most of the time. The game simulates close combat military tactics, allowing the player to place soldiers behind cover and move them around all at once, yet also allowing the player to take control of the soldiers directly, enabling individual soldiers to accomplish much more advanced tasks, such as performing complex manoeuvres or sneaking through heavily fortified areas.
There are many types of vehicles, ranging from tanks to anti-aircraft vehicles to simple Jeeps. Any soldier can drive or man any position in a gun, which, while unrealistic, allows for many interesting gameplay implications.
Further, soldiers have inventories, which allow for the implementation of an ammunition system, as well as for soldiers to loot new or better weapons and grenades from dead enemies, as well as dead friendlies. Even vehicles have ammunition, which players can scavenge from disabled (but not destroyed) vehicles.
Another interesting side effect to using vehicles under direct control is that this allows the user to aim at specific points on enemy vehicles. A player can aim for an enemy tanks treads for example, which would prevent it from moving, but still allow it to fire. By doing this, a player can stop a tank from advancing, while creating a "dead zone" that soldiers cannot move in without getting attacked.
Aside from realistic locational damage on vehicles, the game offers a virtually completely destructible environment. This is especially taken advantage of when using a vehicle in direct control, in which a player can aim the turret and literally blow buildings apart.
Originally, the only way a player could play this game multiplayer was to play a cooperative game mode which took up to four players through any mission from the single player mode. The soldiers in each map were divided between the players, but otherwise this mode was exactly the same as single player. However, there was no server browser, and players were forced to directly connect by IP address to play.
In a more recent patch, players are able to play different multiplayer modes, including escort missions and king of the hill type scenarios. No in-game server browser was created, but a player could use GameSpy Arcade as a server browser.