With an acclaimed codeveloper like Nival Interactive and an intriguing premise set during the dawn of the Cold War in the 1940s, you wouldn't think that Novik & Co.'s Hammer & Sickle could lose. Nival certainly knows this territory, with the excellent squad-based WWII sim Silent Storm on its list of recent credits. And who could resist such an interesting, unexplored setting? It's easy to see why so many squad-combat fans were eagerly awaiting this game's arrival in stores. Unfortunately, it has proven to be a bit of a miscalculation. Somewhere between conception and execution Hammer & Sickle went offtrack. Way offtrack. All of the great promise inspired by both Nival's involvement and this innovative setting has been wasted in a game that is inept on every level. Story, interface, difficulty, graphics, voice acting, music, and just about everything else, seem to have been slapped together at the last minute and rushed out with no attention to quality control.