Battlefront’s leading modern-era wargame Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 has been released on Steam (despite telling us it’d be released tomorrow – thanks guys). For those who enjoy hardcore, WEGO experiences that try to simulate authentic combat conditions, Shock Force 2 is one of the leading examples, challenged only by the likes of Graviteam (although they don’t often touch on modern conflicts).
Anyone who’s been supporting Battlefront a long time however will of course be aware that launching on Steam has been something people have been asking for for a long time. Not everyone, but there’s a solid core of pro-steam users who’ve finally had their prayers answered. But if you’ve been supporting Battlefront all this time, what options are available to you now? Do you need to buy Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 all over again?
Thankfully, the answer is a confident ‘No’.
Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 was brought to Steam by a company we all know and love (to hate) – Matrix Games/Slitherine. They have a lot of experience not only publishing niche wargames on Steam, but also maintaining separate versions of their games. There are plenty of hardcore games from their catalogue that still aren’t on Steam, and more games that get a Steam release after they’ve been available for a while (like Armored Brigade).
So they’re no strangers to needing a system that can handle the verification and distribution of steam keys using non-steam serials. If you’re an existing Battlefront customer who has the Battlefront version of CMSF2, here’s what you need to do in order to get a free steam key:
- Sign-up to either the Matrix or the Slitherine. They’re basically the same thing and one account will work for both web-portals.
- Make sure you have your Battlefront Serial to hand, and then follow the same set of instructions you can find here:
- Go to ‘My Page’
- Click ‘Register Serial’ on the right hand menu, and use your Battlefront key
- Find CMSF2 in the ‘My Games’ area in the middle and click ‘Get Steam Key’
If you’ve also been supporting Matrix/Slitherine for a while, this process shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you. It seems they’ve taken a master list of valid serials from Battlefront and integrated it into their own back-end, so you can use the Battlefront serials as if they’d been issued by Slitherine/Matrix themselves. Some additional caveats:
Bundles from Battlefront tend to have one single serial for every ‘part’ of the bundle. On the Slitherine side, you’ll need to use that same serial for each individual part you’re trying to get a Steam key for, as Slitherine tends to issue separate serials for each individual item regardless if bought in a bundle or not. If you do happen to buy CMSF2 and any DLC via the Matrix store, you’ll be given a unique serial for each part.
Matrix/Slitherine technically have their own ‘version’ of CMSF2 now, which has been integrated with the Matrix installer as well as Steam itself. Multiplayer is compatible across all versions, but they ARE different versions of the game. Some installation file placements etc. might be different. Both Battlefront & Matrix customers are entitled to a free Steam key.
Steam-specific issues need to be reported to Matrix, as they are handling that build. Other issues can generally be reported in either place, but order-related issues can only be reported via the store you’re ordering from.
All this (and a few more bits of information) can be found here.
Are you excited for Battlefront’s Steam debut? Hopefully this will be the start of more games making the leap. We asked Bruce to come back to give us an updated view on Combat Mission: Shock Force 2, so come back tomorrow!