A small step at a time
Blitzkrieg 3 is an awkward awakening after tens and dozens of hours spent on theSteel Division battlefields. Compared with the RTS developed by Eugen System, the work of Nivel – a historic software house behind all the chapters of Blitzkrieg – presents a much more “arcade” approach to strategy, an approach that emerges from the very beginning in the tutorial, facultative with one of the three available factions: the Axis, the Allies and the Soviet Union. In this long initial mission – different for each army – basic movements and little else are introduced, leaving the player the burden of learning the peculiarities of individual troops.
Unfortunately in Blitzkrieg 3 there is not much space for clinging or fast-paced maneuvers, but almost all missions always follow the same canvas, with the infantry used as slaughterhouse but necessary to locate the enemy troops: once they are located, there is nothing else covering them with the heavy fire of wagons or from afar, the heavy throws of the Howitzer. Blitzkrieg 3– at least in the classic campaign missions – does not shine for his AI, and often the enemy units are likely to be targeting the barrage fire, or wait quietly inside a house, even though there is a panzer T out of the window cannon pointing towards them.
Not that the army in its own hands shines then with acumen and it is not uncommon for instances where, either an infantry platoon or a vehicle on a wheel, instead of fire on an enemy, it comes close to it without hitting herself, ending thus to be submerged with bullets. Each unit is also extremely precious because there are no bases to build and recruit new ones: the few resources are accumulated only by completing the various goals, a somewhat weird way to say the real thing is not very good and the reinforcements that are added to the battle through a card system never exceed three or four units. Losing a Sherman for a false step in artificial intelligence can seriously compromise the whole mission, as well as pull a few curses against the screen.
Beyond the semi-dilapidated houses and outposts to be occupied, there is no real hedging system like the one seen in theCompany of Heroes or Dawn of War II , while the bush or high grass can be exploited to keep your scouts or snipers hidden, although it is never 100% clear the effectiveness of these shells.
What we like
The result of the aforementioned defects is the transformation of the games into a slow and wretched hide-and-seek, with the troops advancing centimeters after centimeter along the map to find out the next concentration of enemies, perhaps by knocking out the various types of support, such as bombing aircraft or paratroopers’ intervention. The resemblance to what proposed by Relic Entertainment in the Company of Heroes is, however, rather lively, because support variants are very limited in Blitzkrieg 3 and are almost identical to all factions, even advancing during the single campaign.
The parallelo with Company of Heroes is uncomfortable even if you look at the dynamism of the match: in Blitzkrieg 3there are no heavy machine guns to be recovered, the single platoons of soldiers can not be united, there is no internal progression system for the single mission, and the only strategic keys are the fixed positions of mortars or anti-cannon guns scattered at the neuralgic points of the maps .
Fortunately, among the many false steps, there is still some positive outlook, such as the good variety of troops available to each army, especially with respect to the historically-recreated tanks, each with its own armor, from the different thickness for the sides and for the back and front. The morphological conformation of the ground also guarantees a minimum of duckage strategy, thanks to the dunes of the Libyan desert or the dense forests of Poland,
The true limits of Blitzkrieg 3 do not only emerge during the battles – they are still pleasant though “read” – but the overall scaffolding of the game crunches and sounds confusing .