Turn-based strategic titles are a mixed bag for me, but they can be exceptional if they are done well! I’ve had fantastic times with titles such as XCOM and even the more recent Marvel Midnight Suns which was underrated. The few World War 1 & 2-orientated turn-based games I have played have either missed the mark or been ported to consoles very poorly. Classified: France ’44 is one of those indies that has seemingly come from nowhere and as soon as I saw the era and how the game played I fancied getting hands-on with it. Developed by Absolutely Games and published by the excellent Team 17, I felt we would be onto a winner after spotting the publisher. How does it handle on Xbox though and is it worth your time and hard-earned cash? March forward and read our Complete Xbox review.

The Road To D-Day

Classified: France ’44 is set in the months before the Allied invasion of France in June 1944. What I liked about the experience is that each character has their unique personality and backstory. It presents the game with the atmosphere and feelings from around D-Day whereas most games would have a robotic feel to character design. You can tinker with their buffs and abilities in between missions and it’s a nice break from the gameplay loop absorbing your crew and you start to feel personally attached to them. As you commence the game you’ll get some pointers on how to navigate each area, how to attack, flank and negotiate the abilities your characters possess.

Throughout the game, you’ll be given some primary objectives to tick off to achieve mission success. If you’re an absolute completionist though, you can indulge in some side quests. What I loved about finishing a level was being able to choose your path on the map to the next one. The operational missions will be detailed to you and it is up to the player how they want to proceed, presenting a layer of flexibility and versatility to how you play. Assisting other troops along the way will raise their respect for you and you will reap rewards for doing so.

Surprisingly Deep Strategy But Easy To Understand

Missions never really ever felt repetitive and you’ll be expected to do a variety of tasks such as attempting to locate sensitive intel, killing off German officers or destroying enemy equipment. Understandably as you dive further into the campaign, the experience gradually becomes more difficult and at times may take a few cracks before you are successful. Combat is pretty realistic in terms of how you suppress enemy fire, conserve ammunition and engage during an enemy firefight. For example, you may run out of ammo for your primary weapon and have to switch over to a pistol. You may become overpowered and decide to retreat to a safer spot or gather close to your crew. Strategy becomes quite deep throughout but never complex enough to confuse you.

Visuals & Audio

Visually Classified: France ’44 is well illustrated and the art style captures the era as well as it can. The different areas where missions occur are crafted with several paths of cover and exploration to flank enemies. The HUD and grid system are simplistic and straightforward and I found the game easy to understand compared to other turn-based strategy games I have played. Plenty seem to make elements appear complex and complicated but I didn’t find that here. Menus are also beautifully done with detailed maps of France between missions. Cutscenes are incredible with hand-drawn sketchbooks detailing any storylines between missions. The audio design is as you’d expect and wraps well around the atmosphere and timeframe once again.

Final Thoughts

Classified: France ’44 is one of the best in the genre and sits beside games like XCOM2 in terms of its quality and deep progressive gameplay loop. It handles brilliantly with a controller and plays buttery smooth on the Xbox Series X. The overall experience captures the era and timescale and sets the tone and mood with the atmosphere. There are areas of the game where it may not come across as pretty as perhaps it would do on Windows PC but I would highly recommend giving this one a shot especially if you’re a lover of turn-based strategy and have an avid interest in the historical element of War.

  • 85%
    CX Score - 85%



  • Plays well with a controller
  • Loads of missions and objectives to play through
  • Captures the atmosphere of the era magnificently
  • Morale management system is great



  • A few visual hiccups here and there

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