Combat Mission: Shock Force is a computer video game in the Combat Mission series of games that covers a fictional United States invasion of a Middle Eastern country, focusing on US Stryker brigades. It was released on July 27, 2007, marking the debut of the CMX2 game engine, the second generation of Combat Mission games.
Shock Force depicts fictional battles in the year 2008 between the Syrian Army and US Stryker Brigades. This is the original incarnation of Battlefront.com's Combat Mission series using the new CMX2 game engine. Shock Force features improved graphics and 3D modelling. Modelling of infantry features a 1:1 representation, where every single soldier is depicted in the 3D world by its own animated graphic. The new engine also features real world lighting conditions, and models sun and star positions in the sky. The engine allows the game to be played in real time in addition to the established 60-second incremental format.
Each scenario in the game contains forces drawn from either the US or Syrian Regular Army units utilizing Soviet-bloc equipment such as AK-47 assault rifles and T-72 tanks, with "blue vs. blue" and "red vs. red" scenarios also possible. "Insurgent" units are available as a sub-selection, representing guerrilla forces drawn from the Syrian population.
The game shipped in a jewel case with a DVD-ROM and a printed manual. "Special Edition" versions shipped with a printed full-color poster of Syria with unit dispositions of the fictional invasion from the "Task Force Thunder" campaign marked on it, as well as a custom printed mouse pad.
Game content included a campaign of several linked scenarios, pre-made scenarios ("battles"), and maps for the "Quick Battle" system which permitted random play in one or two player mode. The game shipped with a fully operational map and scenario editor as well as a campaign creation tool.
Mainstream review sites and reviewers were generally critical, including PC Gamer and Tom Chick, who rated the game at less than 50%. Gamespot's review of 4.5 (out of 10) started with the tag line "Combat Mission says good-bye to WWII, but hello to an inept interface, broken AI, and hideous visuals."  IGN reviewed Shock Force and noted that "the poor interface design and lack of a flexible or responsive AI makes it difficult to appreciate." A review of the expansion module noted that even after ten patches, the game "still manages to present some substantial obstacles to enjoyment, even for the most ardent Combat Mission fans."
GamingShogun reviewed a later version of the game after several patches and stated it was "one of the most fun battle simulations" they have ever played, rating it an 8.4/10. The critic score at Gamespot in July 2010 was a 6.7, averaged from 13 other reviewers.
An expansion, called Combat Mission: Shock Force - Marines was released on 26 September 2008 and marketed by direct sale through Battlefront's website, requiring Combat Mission: Shock Force to play. The module was sold by direct download, physical disc, or both, and included the latest patch for the Shock Force base game, which was also made available via free download to all non-Marines customers and works without the module for owners of the base game. Content of Marines include an increased number of units, 15 standalone scenarios, a 14-mission campaign, and 25 new Quick Battle maps. New units represent United States Marine Corps and Syrian Airborne troops, as well as regular Syrian units such as the T-90 tank.
IGN rated Marines a 6.5 out of 10 and declared it "slightly improved."
A second expansion module was released in August 2009, bringing the British Armed Forces to the Syrian battlefield. This new module introduces units, vehicles and weapons currently in service with the British military, such as the Challenger 2 tank and Warrior IFV, and also includes the US IBCT. There is a new campaign from the British perspective, and new standalone scenarios. There are minor changes to the Syrian side, and the expansion patches the base game to version 1.20.
- ↑ gamespot review.
- ↑ IGN Review of Combat Mission: Shock Force - Marines 10 November 2008 by Steve Butts
- ↑ Paxton, Jerry (2008-06-03). Combat Mission Shock Force Review // PC /// GamingShogun. GamingShogun.
- ↑ gamespot review.
- ↑ Combat Mission: Shock Force - Marines overview in the online Battlefront shop.
- ↑ IGN article "The Few, The Proud, The Slightly Improved"
- ↑ Combat Mission: Shock Force - British Forces overview in the online Battlefront shop.
- ↑ Combat Mission: Shock Force - NATO announced on Battlefront.
- ↑ Combat Mission: Shock Force - NATO overview.