A landing complicated
I am proud of the Steel Division , and I have already said this, but the truth is that for the first 4 or 5 hours I deeply hated the work of Eugen System, simply because I was not ready to such a degree of complexity and realism. I spent tens and dozens of hours on the battlefields of the two Company of Heroes , but Steel Division brings the strategy, tactics and setting of World War II to another level.
The quality standard is first and foremost perceptible in game maps, faithfully reconstructed using the photographic material collected by Royal Air France: the environments are a complex and huge chessboard made by endless lines of hedges and rows, precisely those that slowed down the Epsom Operation in the summer of ’44, of long main roads, from which a dense network of secondary paths, occasionally interrupted by some villages made by semi-destroyed houses and farms, is paved.
The gaming scenario is one of the leading players in Steel Divisionand knowing to read natural and artificial elements in their favor is the only key to victory: moving units is slow and calculated, even for the quickest reconnaissance troops; the spaces to be covered are very extensive in a map full of details and strategic variables, on which are perfect spots to strike the ambushes and hide the M1917 HMG machine guns; open plains where to place the long M5s to slow down the advancement of opposing chariots or even small enclosed fields, ideal places to hide the dead with which to knock down the resistance of enemy armored vehicles.
The visual fields of the units play a key role in these narrow and jagged spaces and pressing the “C” key displays the individual shooting lines, indispensable clues for proper placement. A long straight is the ideal place for anti-wagon artillery, but it is also a trap without roofing and therefore defended with stationary machine guns, in turn accompanied by a general who can maintain the balance and avoid this a hasty retreat:Steel Division is a real orgasm for mouse and keyboard generations, made of continuous moves and contorts.
The class touch is, however, the alternative use of the classic warmade, which replaces a dynamic and continuous movement line: the blue and red colors work perfectly and make it easy to understand what control you have on the map and especially to what area the enemy is focusing on, but without revealing in detail how the troops involved in the attack, perhaps a single infantry unit forwarded to occupy a home, or a whole Panzer division.
Here comes the player’s ability to be good at exploiting the reconnaissance troops in order to transform the situations to the outward appearance to establish a counter-offensive to start, for example by cutting out the enemy front by going around it to prevent the supply of ammunition transported from support trucks.
The map of the game conveys a deep sense of self-identification, and there are not many satisfactions when a plan with great care goes well, because there is no tactical pause, everything happens in real time, so there is never the time to sit down and reason calmly on which point to attack or which troops to use to contain the advancement of the opposite face.
A long and continuous tutorial
Steel Division has a very steep curve of learning, knowing it is tremendously punitive and a veteran can have the best on a novice in minutes .
The tutorial is therefore the mandatory starting point and, divided into eight short mini-missions, explains the basic movements of the troops, how to exploit the peculiarities of the scenarios, the shells, but above all how to compose their “Battlegroup” before the game and the division of the latter into the three stages of play.