Sudden Strike 4 Review-in-Progress – Xbox One
Real Time Strategy games on console have rarely ever worked, and in our opinion, we have been let down by more titles than we have been pleased with. Enter Sudden Strike 4, a World War 2 era RTS game on console that has you moving troops around various battle fields, working towards domination and victory. Is Sudden Strike like almost everything else that comes to console, or have the PC controls been mapped well for a surprisingly good RTS experience? Let’s dig in!
What can be said for Sudden Strike is how beautiful this game is. Despite recreating a deadly and horrific time in world history, the game seems to accurately portray the look and feel of the World War 2 theatre. The environments are wonderfully detailed, and the troops and vehicles themselves look top notch. Even the movement animations are better than I would have expected; from top to bottom, Sudden Strike seems to be incredibly polished.
But ultimately, a good looking game won’t keep you playing for hours upon hours, so having strong gameplay mechanics and plenty of content is a must.
The game will allow you to play five different campaigns which span a total of nearly 3 dozen missions or so. You can play through some of World War 2’s greatest battles as the Soviets, Germans, or Allied forces, across various battlefields in Europe and Asia. You will take part in a number of historic battles, including Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Berlin, and much more! For a history buff, these experiences were outstanding, and from my brief knowledge of World War 2 history, fairly accurate as well.
So content isn’t really an issue, and the content that is available is delivered incredibly well.
The game works fairly well, and the tutorial right off the top will definitely get you going. Grabbing all your units within an area is fairly simple, even on the Xbox One, and moving them around the map is equally as easy. On top of that, certain groups can be put together and hot keyed to a specific Group Number, which can then be cycled through by pressing left and right on the D-Pad. In the heat of battle, the system doesn’t work all that well when you need to quickly get to a grouping and realize it requires 3 or 4 button presses, but for the most part, it’s an OK system that is easy to understand.
The game utilizes basic rock-paper-scissors approach to combat, with specific units and vehicles being better against others, but always having a weakness. While this is typical of RTS style games, making it work accurately is always somewhat of a challenge. The developers on Sudden Strike 4, however, have done a phenomenal job on this front.
Sudden Strike 4 is not without its share of problems however, highlighted by some poor voice acting and terrible unit path finding, the latter of which has a huge impact on each and every scenario you play. In tight situations, attempting to move units around the battlefield in a strategic and thoughtful way can become incredibly frustrating, and has directly resulted in lost campaigns. When working on a coordinated assault, having just one group of units get stuck attempting to reach their destinations causes a hole in my planned attack. While at times this meant nothing more than losing a few extra troops, in other situations – or when more than 1 group cannot reach it’s destination properly – t has resulted in lost battles.
From all accounts, the path finding has been improved since the game launched on PS4 and PC, but not to the level it needs to be at for an RTS style game.
When Sudden Strike 4 works, however, it works well, and the developers should be commended on launching a fantastic experience. The hardest task for RTS ports to console is getting the controls correct, but that is not an issue here. While path finding definitely needs a patch or two, the experience as it stands is still one worth playing through, regardless of a few lost campaigns from time-to-time.
If you love RTS style games, look no further than Sudden Strike 4! We will put our final review score on this title after playing through a few more levels and attempting to play online with others!