In Sudden Strike 4 you take command of German, Soviet or Allied forces as you fight your way through historical battles in World War 2. The game is a top down classic style real time strategy game where you capture bases to generate resources to call in troops.
You either win by completing objectives in the campaign mode or you capture enough bases so your opponent cannot generate any new troops. Each faction can choose between one of three real life generals.
The general you choose focuses there abilities on either infantry, armored units or support units. Aside from the campaign you can challenge other players in multiplayer skirmishes or you can face the AI.
The basics are done well in Sudden Strike. You can separate your units by squad and you can hotkey them to different number buttons on your keyboard.
This allows you to make custom squadrons for your needs. Some of the small attentions to detail are nice as well; I enjoy that the different faction units speak different languages. Even the general’s skills and passives add somewhat to the realism of commanding real armies.
You don’t have abilities that boost your resource production rate or skills that increase the speed of your tanks to unreasonable levels. This is a “plan and think” kind of RTS.
You won’t win by simply rushing infantry soldiers into your enemies constantly. The Campaign mode is well built, the narration is simple and gets you into the action right away. It even gives you historical context behind the battles and victories.
Strong Points: It’s a strong tactical RTS; you’ll be able to learn clever positioning and timing to beat your opponent. The single player campaign is well built, you’ll get a lot of gameplay hours out of it.
Weak Points: The multiplayer maps are small, without the ability to place your own bases, you lose out on some tactical aspects of modern RTS games.
Moral Warnings: War never changes folks, it’s a war game with historical accuracy in the campaign. The violence is tame but noticeable in a war where you’re sending hundreds off to die for you in a mad push to capture a base.
When you get to more advanced design the gameplay decisions are questionable to say the least. The maps you can choose for the skirmish mode are extremely small. Even with the slow movement speed, it might be possible in some instances to rush down opponents.
You can’t build spawning stations or other bases anywhere; you’re restricted to what the maps already have placed which cuts some of the strategic value from a typical RTS.
This can further amplify the issue of rushing. All it will take is one smart cookie to figure out the optimal common path for units to take to capture a base faster than their opponent. If you don’t want to play against other human players the skirmish A.I is a competent opponent at varying difficulties.
While it’s true that each army has one of three different generals to choose from, they are still all the same. Nothing separates the tanks gameplay wise, only in visual design.
All the vehicles move the same speed and shoot the same distance. There is no major gameplay difference between the units to help you decide which faction you want to play. If you’re playing a support doctrine general vs another support doctrine general you’re in a mirror match even if one’s German and one is Soviet.
If your opponent is infantry focused and you’re still that support general, sure his infantry might get ten percent more health but there’s not that much difference between you two to say you’re vastly different from each other.
Graphics and sound are average for this game. The environments are nice and you can destroy particular paths to set up ambushes or to have your units directly charge in at opponents. The music is nice yet it’s nothing memorable or worth a special note. The campaign maps are usually just bombed out fields and destroyed buildings.
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)
Game Score – 76%
Gameplay – 14/20
Graphics – 7/10
Sound – 7/10
Stability – 5/5
Controls – 5/5
Morality Score – 90%
Violence – 7/10
Language – 10/10
Sexual Content – 10/10
Occult/Supernatural – 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 8/10
On morality, since you don’t even follow particular soldiers or see into the deeper aspect of war you don’t have anything psychologically to deal with or any bad or poor language.
Violence is there but it’s tame; the tanks blow up when they lose their health, and when infantry die they fall down and stop moving. You don’t have extreme dismemberment even if a human takes a tank shell to the face. As for mild sexual themes, there is some dialogue about flirting with a girl back home but nothing perverted.
As with most soldiers expect some cuss words and rough language in the dialogue as well.
At the end of the day Sudden Strike 4 is worth it; it’s a decently designed introductory RTS game with a solid campaign mode. The multiplayer may not be strong but the campaign has a reasonable amount of content. Be an armchair general with Sudden Strike 4.
A quick side note for long time gamers who focus on RTS games. I am very well aware of the controversy surrounding Sudden Strike 4 yet I don’t feel it’s relevant or big enough to affect my review. Take this review as an experience from a person new to a series with a semi-competitive knowledge on RTS games only.