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See WWII from all sides and experience this mighty and awesome, but horrific and deadly, era for yourselves.

This is a real-time strategy wargame. Players get to choose which side they control and then take up the Missions given to them using the troop units available. 

Most of the time you simply have to drag a box around a unit and then click where you want it to go. However you have to make sure you have let go of the box before you click anywhere else otherwise the troops will turn around and head to the latest click.

Sometimes the controls seem not to work at all. For example, early on in the game I had to capture a Field Gun and turn it round so I could use it against its owners. No matter how I tried to click, drag, spin the mouse the darned gun would not move, only the soldiers I had used to capture it would move and of course I didn't want them to. In the end I exited the game, waited a few minutes (made a cup of coffee and did some strategic thinking - also checked on the internet what I was supposed to be doing and how to do it, but that only told and showed me what I already knew I had to do; I was doing it right it just wasn't responding), and then started the game again. This time the Gun swung round as if there was never a problem.

Sending Scouts ahead - selecting one or two troopers to move ahead of the group - will often find you an ambush set up by your opponents but it will also generally lose you those units. Splitting your force into two or even three and having two flanking units and one traveling down the road also flushes out the enemy and gives you a much better chance at survival; the units usually have the sense to shoot back when they are shot at without you having to order them.

I haven't played the first three SUDDEN STRIKE games in this series so all my thoughts and opinions are on this particular game.

I find it to be quite like Command & Conquer and that type of wargame but with the ability to do more. This is probably a very good game for someone with an understanding of wartime strategies and/or with tabletop games of war experience. It also isn't a bad game for inexperienced wargamers to use as a training exercise for harder strategy and tactical games in the future.

SUDDEN STRIKE 4 is not a hard game to play but it is a game that requires players to think about what they are doing. It is not a bull in a china shop style of game, although overwhelming force does occasionally get the job done quicker and efficient. You can replay Missions if you fail or you can stop midway through and start again if you feel that you have done something wrong or you can see a better option.

Missions are often split into smaller tasks and these are noted on the top right of the screen, changing to new orders when you successfully complete one. Often you are told what you need to do (as in Build a Bridge or Defend a Building) but you are not always told or shown where to build the bridge or which building; (you may be given a name or an idea but it's up to you to determine if you have the right location). This being in charge lark isn't always as easy as it looks like it should be.

Sudden Strike 4 is available on Steam but is uniquely the first in the series to also be available for a couple of major consoles. The horrific conflict known as World War II is now openly subjected to games and usually they are impact battles with the players on the side of the Allies. In SUDDEN STRIKE 4 you get to choose between the German, Soviet, or Allied forces in three separate campaigns and you also get to choose one of three Commanders from each  army for each campaign.

Some of the most famous battles can be replicated; as the Allies you can implement Operation Market Garden or Operation Overlord, as Germany there is the much lauded Operation Barbarossa, and the Siege of Leningrad or the Battle of Moscow as the Soviets. Each of the Commanders have their own set of beneficial skills providing bonuses (like "buffs" in an MMO game) to your boots on the ground. Don't just pick the first Commander you come across. Read as much as you can about the scenario, then similarly study the Commander's skills, and finally make a knowledgeable selection to lead your nation into battle.  

Visually everything is as spot-on as if you were watching real-time video. The detail all over, terrain, armour, soldiers, uniforms etc is as accurate as possible, at least to my knowledge, which I admit is pretty limited, but I don't think you'll get too many tabletop commanders picking holes in the overall visuals.

Yes there are a few hiccups, such as the enemy A.I. not always being on point and the voice acting not being the best to grace an electronic/video/PC game, but minor things like these only slightly detract from the game, they don't really affect how you play or the possibilities available to you.

I can't promise that you will find a whole lot of new in SUDDEN STRIKE 4, some differences perhaps from Sudden Strike 1, 2 and 3 (from what I have read online), apparently some being better and some not as good, but if you like real-time games where you take command and have to make real decisions in the face of opposing fire then SUDDEN STRIKE 4 has a lot to offer you.

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015