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Classified: France ‘44 review

Classified: France ‘44 is a new turn-based strategy game, set in World War II during the desperate months leading up to the Allied invasion of France in June 1944. We’ve gone hands on with the game. Check out our Classified France ’44 review below!

Classified France 44 screenshot

Special ops in World War II

Take charge of a special-ops team of Allied commandos and French resistance fighters. Recruit elite operatives to build your squad, then engage in a sweeping campaign of sabotage and destruction. Deal with competing factions to build the resistance network and strike at German targets deep in occupied territory. However, the more chaos you cause, the more you’ll draw the merciless attention of the Gestapo secret police.

Classified: France ‘44 can be seen as a more realistic counterpart to the XCOM series. You proceed through levels in a turn-based fashion and you will have to keep your soldiers alive as your missions and enemies become harder and harder. If you succeed, your characters gain XP and can spec into specific class-based bonuses. There’s quite a few things I already liked when I first heard about the game. But let’s dive into the story a bit more first.

Behind enemy lines

As you land behind enemy lines in the lead up to D-Day, you are tasked with building up the resistance to the German war machine. The premise is fairly simple but there are definitely more mechanics at play that will be introduced at a later time. You need to complete missions that affect the Germans’ control over the region or collect important information for the upcoming invasion. All these (and other) actions cause the resistance to get a better hold on the region, providing for a smoother landing for the allied forces when they arrive. However, with your successes, the enemy starts to notice your actions and will put more pressure on your team to make your missions harder as the campaign goes on.

Your team and their classes are randomly generated and this means that your campaigns will be slightly different each time. That means that you may need different strategies when replaying the game. There are also quite a few interactions between members of your team depending on their specific backgrounds and experiences in the war.

Classified France 44 screenshot

Familiar gameplay

When you start the game, the first few missions basically allow you to start forming your team and learn the mechanics. Each character has a certain amount of AP (Action Points) that they can use to perform specific actions on the battlefield. As mentioned, there are different classes, so the abilities may differ between your team members. This also means that some characters are outfitted with different weapons, such as a shotgun for close-range carnage. Your options usually consist of hip fire, explosives such as grenades, melee or overwatch. Stealth kills are instant critical hits and outright kill enemies without alarming the rest of their team if you do it quietly. 

An interesting mechanic to mention early on in the review is the morale system. Other than just hit points, characters have Morale, which will be lowered when attacked. Depending on the type of attack that is sustained, this may leave the character suppressed or even have his morale broken. Sometimes, it may be more important to ensure that a character’s morale is broken (thus, skipping his next turn) if you can’t outright kill him. This creates some interesting dynamics and gameplay decisions. You can be in a position where you could easily be shot at, but if that specific enemy is too busy fearing for his life to react, you can stick around for a turn longer. I enjoyed the systems that were in place quite well. The action points combined with morale and stealth were an interesting way to go about the turn-based economy and keep it interesting. 

Classified France 44 screenshot


Did you just mention stealth? I did! And it’s done reasonably well for this game except for one major caveat. The game has an excellent stealth system where you can go around the map and attempt to remain out of sight for as long as possible, quietly taking out enemies as you go. This part is almost reminiscent of the old Commandos games, albeit turn-based. The first weird thing I noticed is that enemies just disappear as soon as you’ve killed them so you don’t need to dispose of the bodies whatsoever. I’ve found this to be a slight disappointment as it does seem to be a more realistic game in other ways. But I understand that it would pose some other risks and perhaps tediousness to clean up the bodies all the time if you wanted to remain stealthy. However, my personal issue that I have with the stealth system: the ambush mechanic!

After you’ve killed a certain amount of enemies without raising an alarm, an Ambush is called out and your team is granted a refresh of their AP in order to damage a large group at once. However, this is not optional, and stealth will no longer be an option after this. I’ve started off a mission with some excellent movement and had it all be negated because I needed to kill someone that brought me over the limit. I would have been completely safe had this ambush mechanic not be forced upon me. I understand that this may have something to do with the balancing on specific maps and them forcing you to have to go loud at a certain point. But perhaps I would have liked to try to do the whole campaign as stealthy as possible. Perhaps that would make an eventual replay of the campaign more interesting. Because currently, there is hardly any reason to restart the campaign after it has finished.

Classified France 44 screenshot

More of the same

As mentioned before, you restart the campaign with different characters and there will definitely be some interactions that you will not have seen before. However, the rest of the campaign will be exactly the same as your first attempt. The same enemies will be moving the same routes and you can get through it with the exact same tactics. I have tried it for a few levels and noticed that things were pretty much not going to be different so I couldn’t bother with a replay personally. That makes it all the more important that the first playthrough is interesting enough to warrant the price tag. And I have to say that it definitely succeeded on that front. I liked the combat, I loved the morale system even more. I quite enjoyed the little updates that the game provided as you proceeded through the days, explaining what was happening in preparation for D-Day. However, I must address a few issues that I have with the game as a whole.

Early on in the campaign, I’ve noticed some bad decisions from the AI that basically allowed me to ease through the first few levels. It almost felt like the game was giving you a pass just to advance easily. Later on in the campaign, all the enemies start stacking HP and Armor, which makes it more and more difficult to properly make it through levels as your team only consists of a small amount of people and you have to make your way through large (12 to 15) amounts of enemies that all get more and more tanky and also have reinforcements on the way. They become bullet sponges that start limiting your options more and more because you only have a few people with a limited amount of action points. As soon as things start going wrong at this stage of the game, you will quickly start to spiral due to the way the game works.

Classified France 44 screenshot

Stuck in a spiral

If enough enemies start firing at someone, he will be broken and forced to skip a turn, which can make those characters sitting ducks. Not to mention that, similar to XCOM games, the 90% hit chance curse can be real and you will occasionally miss shots that make you want to restart the entire level. To add to this, there were a few moments where the game would feel sluggish and indecisive during the phase where the enemies were making their moves. I’ve also seen enemies straight skip a turn when they weren’t sure on what to do at that point. I believe this can be fixed in the future, but it is still worth noting.

The game looks alright. Not impressive by any means and it seems like a standard turn-based strategy game that could have come out ten years ago. The audio is decent enough, although I did not care for most of the voices during combat as things that were said almost felt out of place for that moment specifically and were just random sayings that would be thrown about during specific intervals and events. The rest of the presentation and interface mostly serves its purpose well as it was quite clear how I could navigate the battlefield properly and have my characters do what needed to be done. There are vision cones that show you where the enemies are looking and what the spray of your weapon will do and specific object overlays to show you mission objectives or where people would be walking towards next. The only thing that I noticed was that there are very few (if any) tooltips that would present more information if you hovered over them. Overall I would say that the UI is quite good, whereas the actual looks of the game could be quite a bit better. 

Classified France 44 screenshot


I did enjoy my time with Classified: France ‘44. The story-telling is good, I like the WW2 setting and I’ve already mentioned the other things I enjoyed about the game earlier in the review. I would recommend it if you can get it on sale somewhere and if this becomes a series in some form, I can definitely see it going places. I hope to see more of this in the future.


  • Good storytelling through cutscenes and character interactions.
  • Fun gameplay loop.
  • Character upgrades
  • Morale system


  • Could definitely look better
  • Bugs
  • Ambush system should be optional

Grade: 7

That was it for our Classified: France ‘44 review. Classified: France ‘44 is available through GeForce Now. You can follow our X / Twitter account to stay up to date with the latest changes.