Sudden Strike 4 (Review)
Sudden Strike 4 is a real-time strategy title that takes place during World War II and includes single-player campaigns as well as multiplayer features. It's the franchise's fourth stand-alone installment, one that comes about a decade after the third, so we can expect great improvements in campaign features, gameplay and visuals. Does Sudden Strike 4 deliver a quality experience?
In Sudden Strike 4, players control the movements and actions of their troops and tanks across the battlefields and streets of Europe to mow down enemies and destroy their assets. There are three campaigns with about two dozen missions, including a tutorial that teaches the basics. Players can choose either the German, Soviet or Allied campaign. The German campaign takes players through Western Europe and Western Asia and includes historic conflicts like the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of France, and Battle of Stalingrad. The Soviet campaign includes the Battle of Berlin, Battle of Moscow, and also participates in the Battle of Stalingrad. The third campaign has players controlling the Allies in conflicts like Operation Overlord and Battle of Hurtgen Forest in Northern Europe.
Having adored the series on PC back in the day, I wasn’t sure the mechanics were quite so well suited to the more finicky controls of a DualShock. Previously it was about quite precise unit management, and though its slow pace could give you the time to correct controller upsets on a console there was still a necessary precision involved. Unit positioning, for example, would need some care, while picking buildings to enter could pose a problem.
But actually it all works pretty damn well. That slower pace the series had has been retained, and while that does mean your individual units are much more precious here – there’s no base-building and unit construction, for example – there’s still a deft amount that the controller can do. Little things like the D-Pad controlling the selected squadron’s level of aggression or a quick radial menu allowing to access abilities (when available) means there’s not too much hassle in actually getting stuck into the fight, which is really where console RTS games can drop the ball.
And since the control scheme is an ever-present stamp on the UI, you have no excuse to fumble in the heat of battle.