Sudden Strike 4 by Kalypso Media is a strategy game that takes place during World War II. Using units, the player is given for each mission, players will complete multiple task to complete the mission, securing positions, taking out AA gunners, bunkers, etc. After completing all the objectives, the mission is cleared and the player is given a star score of one to three. Achieving rank three on a mission unlocks challenge modes for that mission. There are two difficulty modes available for each mission; easy and normal.
Multiplayer and skirmish options are available for those who want more than the standard campaign. This is a nice feature for those who want to show their skill and take on a challenge not found in the single player campaign.
Things I liked:
Players get to select which general they would like to use for the mission. Each general has different benefits and are real generals of the time in which the game takes place.
There are three different campaigns to play through; Allies, German, and Russians. All including crucial battles fought at the time, from the Russian Front to Omaha Beach.
Things I didn’t like:
While I will have to admit some bias here, as I am not particularly fond of strategy games, I found the gameplay lacking in general. Nothing really stuck out. I’d select units to move and send them to the objective. Once there they would fight units guarding the objective. Rinse and repeat that the game can get dull after a while.
I give a Gameplay score of 5/10. While there was nothing glaringly wrong with the gameplay, nothing really stuck out either.
I believe the control system killed Sudden Strike 4 for the PS4. I can see what the control system was trying to be; a quick effective circle menu/directional pad combination, but no matter how many times I told certain units to do something, I could not get them to without great effort on my part. After about 30 minutes of play I needed to take breaks because of my frustration with the controls. One of the main issues with the controls was selecting units. To do this, you needed to hold down the X button over your units and push the left stick to grow the circle that appeared to reach the units I wanted. This method for selecting units was slow and inaccurate. Should you click X anywhere else on the map, you can no longer give commands to your units because you do not have them selected anymore. Despite the D pad having some unite changing options, It seems un-customizable. The system was confusing and slow; which took away from the gameplay and overall experience.
Something to add:
It would have been great to have a control that x2 the speed of the game for when you were moving units from point A to B. This would just cut out some of the time it takes to do the mundane task of the game.
Something else would be an option to select all your units on the map at once to avoid backtracking.
I give a Control score of 4/10. The controls felt unresponsive and took away from the gameplay.
The story revolves around individual soldiers who document their combat experiences for the battles in the campaign. The story follows the significant tank/infantry battles that take place throughout World War II. Experiencing the history of World War II is interesting, but is not something that hasn’t been done before. I think that if there were some cinematics prepared before each mission, it would make the game more immersive.
I give a Story score of 6/10. The story isn’t bad, but it could have been told in different ways to make it much more interesting.
Graphics and Music:
The graphics in the game are decent and the music fits with the subject matter. I appreciated little things like units casting shadows and foot prints being left in the snow. There were some surprising details such as these that suggest some heart was put into the graphic design of the game.
The music was of the general military fanfare expected in this kind of game and added to the immersion. While this games music might not be able to boast as much as other titles, it does a well enough job of setting the mood.
Something to add:
I couldn’t help but want to zoom in or out on the map. Either to get a closer look at a tiger tank or get a better view of the combat zone. This feature would be great for tactical and aesthetic uses.
I give a Graphics and Music score of 6/10. While games can always strive to do better in these areas, this game did more than I would have expected.
Overall, I give the game a 5/10. It’s a solid game for those who might not play many strategy type games. However, I would heavily recommend the game for players who enjoy strategy games, history, or players who are military buffs. For those players, this game has a lot to offer as they will come across a variety of military equipment within accurate representations of famous military battles. Though for all players I would caution them to be prepared for a learning curve when it comes to the controls. That being said, this game would be best experienced on PC. Selecting troops and other units could be a simple click and drag. Different key bindings could allow you to assign and rotate through units. Moving all the tanks ahead of the ground troops with ease would increase the games emersion tenfold and could make for more creative tactics in the field.
Here is the Sudden Strike 4 Release Trailer:
Sudden Strike 4 is available now worldwide on Steam, as well as via retail and the PlayStation Store in UK and European export territories. The North American retail and PlayStation Store releases will follow on August 15, 2017.