Real time strategy games are a rare creature on consoles, because other than “Halo Wars“. I can’t remember the last high-profile RTS title that launched on the market. I mean, the days of “Command and Conquer” are long gone on console (or anywhere else), and if you want to enjoy an RTS games like a boss, then PC is the platform of choice. However, “Sudden Strike 4” has arrived for the PS4, and this WW2 themed RTS packs quite the punch for those who enjoy strategy and blowing stuff up!
Right of the bat,“Sudden Strike 4” is a World War 2 RTS game, it’s had a hiatus for a good few years but has now been revived by Kalypso Media (developers of “Tropico 5” and “Valhalla Hills”). In “Sudden Strike 4”, there are three campaigns where you can either play as the Allies, Soviets or the German army, Sudden Strike 4 gives you control of over 100 authentic land and air units as you re-enact choice battles from WWII.
There is also a new commander system (new to the series), where players can pick between three famous military figures to boost either infantry, armour or air power. Each commander has their own skill tree and can be picked prior to engagements, so you can pick legends such as Bernard Montgomery or George Patton complete with their own abilities to help you achieve victory. However, don’t expect to select any famous Naval commanders as there are no Naval vessels in “Sudden Strike 4“.
From what I played each scenario you choose (20 across three factions) presents you with various missions, such as holding positions, destroying bridges or calling air support to aid allies in the field. Of course, playing on console has its drawbacks, the accuracy and simplicity of controlling an RTS on PC is lost here, but I didn’t find it to be a huge issue. As selecting units and sending them to war becomes easier with practice. You can also pause the game to designate specific commands to your troops before resuming the battle.
Furthermore, there are various options make the game accessible and not as cumbersome as you would think it just takes a little getting used to. So it’s rather satisfying lining your men up with tanks supporting them just to ambush an enemy patrol. You can also use a radial menu which makes using abilities quite easy, throw a grenade or deploy sand bags for added cover add a tactical edge. In terms of difficulty, it varies. You have easy and normal to choose from, but things get hairy on later levels and raw fire power won’t always prevail.
The war of attrition also comes into play where you will need to micro-manage specific units to make sure you have the edge on the battle field. However, keep in mind that tanks require fuel to run, and you can also run low on supplies and ammo making advancing difficult. You can liberate petrol stations or use support vehicles to repair or resupply your tanks, but these can also run out of fuel and can be vulnerable to enemy fire. Unfortunately, this is where things get a little clunky, and I found it took a few attempts just to get a tank repaired and running out a fuel if you’re not paying attention can be a major buzz kill, on the flip side it can make for some epic moments as a lone support vehicle makes a dash behind enemy lines to help out your advancing army.
Visually, the game is okay. Sure, it’s not the prettiest RTS by a long shot, but the units are fairly well detailed and the fact that the glorious Spitfire and Lancaster Bomber are featured in the game makes me very happy. I would also like to point out that the maps are nicely detailed, and the beach landing map was especially memorable. Sound is a different matter, while the sound effects of war sound are great, the voice acting is a bit of a mess.
The narrator (or commander I’m not sure) sounds the same across all factions. Allies is fine but when I’m playing Soviets or Germans and have an American voice giving me orders while controlling Soviet or German troops, it breaks the immersion and is just weird. On the good side of things, “Sudden Strike” includes some really cool classic war footage (which is also narrated giving me flashbacks to when the History channels was worth watching). So these retro-style war videos work as a nice way to get a little break from the actual game itself, and you might even learn something as well.
There are plenty of replay-ability in “Sudden Strike 4”, once you’ve beaten levels you re-attempt them in challenge missions or at a higher difficulty. However, that is just re-treading content you’ve already seen. There is also an online battle mode so you can go to war with other players or fight the AI together. Even so, this has a hefty downside as the community isn’t exactly thriving on console. There might be several reasons why but the main one is likely the price on PSN “Sudden Strike 4 “is a whopping £49.99 title… And that is quite the price for an RTS game where the majority of players might have never heard of the first three games, there’s also no cross-play available, which is unfortunate.
All in all though, “Sudden Strike 4” is a pretty decent RTS game. The history lessons with narration and footage make for a nice bonus. The gameplay is engaging, and the sound effects are great it’s just a shame about the voice acting. The online side of things might make or break (at least on PS4) especially at the admittance price at £49.99 (which is pretty steep for a game that feels a decade old). Nevertheless, the game still fun to play. Sure, “maybe” it’s because it’s been so long since I played an RTS game. Anyways, while I can’t wholeheartedly recommend “Sudden Strike 4”, it’s certainly a game worth picking up in a sale later on.
+ Historic clips are interesting
+ It’s an RTS on console
+ Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers FTW
– The voice acting is iffy
– Micro managing can be tedious
– High price tag
Replay value: 3/5
“Sudden Strike 4” is an okay RTS game. However, for £49.99 I expect more to warrant the price, and the lack of Naval encounters adds to that list of what “could be there”. At the same time, there’s fun to be had, so wait for a sale.
Title: Sudden Strike 4
Developer: Kalypso Media
Release date: 14/08/2017
Difficulty: Medium to hard
Spent time: 6 hours
Average grade internationally: %68.33 Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 16
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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