+Ease of access to player based units
+Offers Soviet, German, and Allied campaigns
+Multiplayer is enjoyable thanks to its accompanied learning curve
-Difficulties are extremely easy or extremely hard
-Controls on PC were glitching at times, making gameplay with a controller a bit harder (not present on PS4 version)
-Unit selection as well as use of abilities was a bit hard to navigate and confusing during first initial few hours of gameplay
-Confusing and hard to use control schemes
Console and PC based RTS’ can be a hard line to walk. On one hand, you need the gameplay to transition well and offer an experience that both platforms can enjoy. On the other hand, you want to the game to be an unforgettable experience to fans whom get their hands on your game. You want the challenges of a mouse-control based game to be perfect. This is a struggle that developers have had before with games such as Halo Wars and even Tropico 4.
All developers know that you can either create a rather polished and well experience game or you can even find yourself falling short of an exemplary experience. This is where Sudden Strike 4 comes in. It’s a franchise that has never-before seen a release on consoles, and has finally managed to do so with its most recent release.
Set in World War II, you get a chance to choose which front you would want to be on. The game offers campaigns from the view points of the Germans, the Soviets or the Allied Forces. This approach lets players see the war from multiple views and even the struggles that each faction faced when fighting against opposing forces. In the game, you get a chance to replicate the events of battles such as Operation Overlord as the allies, while Germans and Russian’s duke it out during the Battle of Moscow.
Each campaign also saw itself slated with three available commanders for players to choose from upon choosing their faction and operation to undertake. Each of these commanders come with their own skills for players to choose from. The abilities all offering a different feature for players to use and find benefits being given to their forces on the ground. In your campaign, selecting the right leader, the right abilities, and even the right approach to each mission will be key to success.
whether you are one to want authenticity within the game, you may find yourself cringing a bit outside of the games core gameplay. Each of the commanders is voiced by those with American accents. If you are one that finds this a bit of a nuisance, you may want to find a way to turn off the voice acting or you may just find a man who sounds like he’s from the deep south saying “Herr Commandant”. If there was even a hint at being German or even British or Russian? It would be quite alright. It may also come out with the idea that it just may not have been in the games budget. Luckily, those limitations do not wreck havoc upon the entire game itself.
To really look at the game, you need to know the game looks, sounds, and even has its moments where it plays great. If you are capable of using a mouse and keyboard, the game is a bit easier to get acquainted with. Using a controller does present some of the largest problems that Sudden Strike 4 has. Individual units are quite easy to select with a simple press of the X or A buttons depending on your controller of choice. While holding X or A, you can bring up a large circle, one that can be narrowed to your own preferred size by using the right stick. This will allow, as stated, multiple units to be selected. One selected, you can even assign a group a number. This number allows you to quickly select what units you would like to use. This unit selection will allow for precise strikes depending on what you want them for.
Tanks can be categorized into each group, foot soldiers in another, engineers on their own, and your combat medics into their own groupings. You can even select a composition where engineers and tanks are grouped together and even do the same for your ground troops and combat medics. This allowance to create your own battalion does add some ease of access to the game, but still doesn’t overcome the limitations of controllers when trying to move quickly across the map. The biggest nuisance out of this, is the fact that when using this creative setup, is the most annoying. When selecting units using your quick swap setup on the D-Pad, your screen will not automatically hone in on the units you have.
Instead you will feel that you will do quite a bit of scrolling in the meantime. If the developer does get a moment, it may be necessary that Sudden Strike 4 gets a chance to quickly navigate the map using the touch pad. One of the largest nuisances is the distinct lack of capable feedback that the game has. This is present on both PC and console versions. Attempting to repair your vehicles or even downed troops do seem to be mildly overwhelming at times. There’s no indication whether your engineers or medics are headed to repair or heal your downed troops.
Think you pressed the wrong button to repair or heal? Think again, you may not have. Even ordering attacks can be rather questionable from time to time. It’s hard to see an indication whether or not your troops are doing what you needed. It is clear, however, that the units do give off a vocal response in what they are doing. Hearing “Yes sir” in any accent is quite indicative of what your troops are doing. Even if it’s as simple as requesting things like your troops tossing grenades or throwing down dynamite when needed.
There is a design choice that seemed rather odd over all. If you have one action already going? Another press of A or X or the proper mouse click, you may find yourself issuing a command before canceling it the very next second. Wanted to just tell your troops what to do? You may have wanted to hit circle, B, or even your right click. Even with these options, you may find yourself accidentally giving off the wrong commands while navigating the wheel until you become better acquainted with it. It is quickly easy to overcome within a matter of a few missions, but it still doesn’t help when new features get tossed into the mix.
While exploring maps you may find yourself a bit frustrated with the games use of pathfinding, you can find yourself becoming a bit disgruntled with the games AI. It seems to, at times, decide to take alternative paths compared to that of what you wish. To help with this issue, you can find yourself ordering your trips to form up how you want. Holding circle or B, you can see them lining up side to side, or even going into pyramid like groupings. If your route is too narrow, your trips will tend to wander off, get lost, and possibly get disposed of. If the map is large enough, it’s not a problem, but if you’re in a map such as the Russian or Soviet campaigns? You’ll be encountering a lot of anti-soldier placements.
Tanks, gun placements, and even trenches offer a quick loss of lives for your forces. On maps where ice is evident, you may even find your tank veering off into an icy hole, and ultimately be destroyed by sinking to the bottom of a lake or ocean. This is where Sudden Strike 4 becomes a bit more frustration than expected and even rather confusing. The most irritating part next to all that is trying to figure out who is who on the battlefield. Want to know who your battle medics are? That may not happen. Want to know who your engineers are? That’s not happening. You’ll have to go through each one of them and identify each of their roles.
Where the game does shine the most? Multiplayer. Online skirmishes are an absolute blast. Taking advantage of your your teams position is key when trying to defeat your enemies. You’ll often find yourself taking advantage of using cover to take quickly dispatch your enemies offensive line. While the matches are rather short, they are ones that are truly enjoyable. You’ll even find yourself coming to terms with the fact that the matches are bare-boned one-off skirmishes where you will be taking arms against enemies one-on-one.
Sudden Strike 4 – PC and PlayStation 4
Developer: Kite Games
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Cost: $59.99 / $49.99
Release Date: Now Available
You won’t even find yourself as a weaker force than one or the other. Instead you will work against them in tactical means. Whoever has the best tactics, is the one who wins, and that’s where the combat is truly enjoyable. Even while Sudden Strike 4’s issues can be infuriating, it doesn’t take away that the game does come out with some well put-together challenges for players to enjoy, and overcome. The game offers an authentic experience that most games can’t come to offer. Holing up and launching surprise attacks are quite enjoyable. Smashing your enemies down one-by-one, but it still doesn’t leave the fact the game struggles with its debut on consoles.
PC Hardware Used
-MSI Z720 M7 Mobo
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB MSI Game Ready Plus
-Corsair Vengeance 16GB RAM
-I7-7700K | OCed to 4.2GHz
-Thermal Take V8 GTS Radiator
The development team has gotten a lot of things right and even a lot of things wrong. The team does have a lot of work cut out for them to streamline the game a bit more post launch. Even if these confusing barriers aren’t broken down, there is still a lot of fun to be had with Sudden Strike 4, even if confusion and frustration both kick-in before the option to enjoy the game. If you are a fan of RTS titles, then this may be right up your alley, and even might be one that deserves a chance. If you are capable of running it on PC, it may be the better option of the two at this point.
Our review is based upon a retail version provided to us by the games publisher. For our review, we used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
About the Writer:
David Murphy is B.A.T.G.R.’s behind the scenes man who helps get things up and going as well as keeping things in order. Don’t be surprised to know that the old man contributes rather heavily to editing, news, and information he digs up so that editorials as well as articles are done properly. He also likes Fallout… A lot. We’re not sure he’s not secretly the Vault Boy in disguise.