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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

CDV

 

Developer

Nival Interactive

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q2 2003

 

 

- Great graphics

- Online play

- Quite long

- Authentic WWII units and weapons

 

 

- Lack of bases

- Some units are hard to see

- No reinforcements

- Doesnít keep up with current RTS standards

- Locked camera view

- Gameplay feels limited

 

 

Review: Command and Conquer: Generals (PC)

Review: Shogun: Total War (PC)
Review: WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos (PC)

 

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Blitzkrieg

Score: 7.4/10

Blitz∑krieg Ė n. A swift, sudden military offensive, usually by combined air and mobile land forces.

German developer Nival Interactive has strived to create a game just as intimidating as the definition itself. Blitzkrieg is a WWII RTS (Real Time Strategy) that pushes forward all authentic units, weapons, and missions spanning from three countries, allowing the player to play through some of the most famous battles of the most brutal worldwide war. Pulling this off was not an easy task, and because of this, flaws are easily pointed out in what couldíve been the greatest WWII RTS ever.  

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The first thing youíll notice when starting out a mission in Blitzkrieg is that there are no bases to be built or extra units to be deployed. The units controlled at the beginning of each mission, are the only ones given (with exception to special one-time units). Plenty of units are given with the ability to reuse previous units which may have been promoted to higher ranks, but other than that, every unit must be used wisely.

Once starting the mission everything else becomes strictly point-and-click, without any new techniques implemented. Controlling the infantry is easily done, with the capability of placing a group of soldiers in a specific formation, into a trench, or to rapidly charge the enemy. Tanks and other machinery canít be put into formation and sometimes causes some units to be lost in the heat of battle. The fact that the color of the tanks blend in with the terrain, creates an even more difficult time of finding lost units.

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Given that Blitzkrieg offers little inventiveness on the structure, the gameplay is highly addictive and well done. Deploying units into battle is effortlessly completed because of the infantry units being link together; without any time wasted clicking on each unit to control the whole squad. Deploying tanks is also promptly done before the enemy can squeeze off too many shots. Spicing up the gameplay, Nival added special units such as engineers that inspect the field and add any 

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thing or object needed to help give subtle advantages. For example, an engineer can construct a bridge over an area of water for units to cross or build trenches for units to take cover in. Those tiny factors are quite helpful when in a heated battle of firing back and forth. In addition to covering in trenches, infantry units can also seek cover in buildings. Buildings, like trenches, give cover and certain firing benefits not given when fighting elsewhere.

Blitzkrieg requires a lot of patience and almost always relies on calling for backup. On the bottom of the screen is a tab with a picture of a plane. Once clicked, another panel unloads holding a list of units that can be deployed. From the list you can choose to set out a reconnaissance plane, bombers, fighter planes (two types), or send down parachuting soldiers into battle. Every mission requires the use of this tab at least once and without it victory would take much longer. Aside from the planes, there are no other ways of getting reinforcements. The lack of this power causes the player to make the right moves at the right time, or be forced to restart. Some missions are heavily one-sided and call for perfection. Not that the AI is hard, but donít expect this RTS to resemble Warcraft III or Command and Conquer: Generals, which can be a common misperception.

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Being an RTS, Blitzkrieg stresses detail in environment and units. Blitzkrieg is highly impressive when it comes down to graphics, with units rendered very smoothly and rich full of detail. Besides the units being stunning, the environments are just as imposing with textures looking almost photorealistic. On top of the great graphics, all objects in the game are destructible. If buildings are being bombarded by suppressive fire, they destruct flowingly like a real building would.  Trees and other objects are destroyed in the same way, and leave impressions of there state before being destroyed. The best aspect of the graphics comes within the cannons and bullets when fired onto the environment. When a mortar explodes within a river the water discharges in an upward spiral, looking absolutely amazing.

When it comes down to sound accuracy, Blitzkrieg doesnít deliver over-produced effects found in every other RTS game. Because the game plays upon WWII accuracy and carries over 240 units, the sound has to differentiate between units. Hearing a U.S. Soldier fire his sub-machine gun does sound different then a German firing his weapon, and creates very realistic battles when tied-in with the superb graphics. The tanks and supporting vehicles have similar sounds, but a diverse range of sounds between vehicles is difficult to tell apart.

Blitzkrieg spans across three different campaigns (Allied, German, and Soviet) and traverses through eight different countries. Starting a campaign unloads a brief cinematic showcasing actual footage from WWII and subtly set the tone of what to expect. Before starting out on each mission, a map is placed in front of you along with a detailed description of the mission. Beside the objectives, an in depth analysis of the actual battle is given with all of the numerical details and current status of the war. Though reading these paragraphs does take some time, the extra knowledge of WWII facts is welcomed; educating those that arenít die-hard WWII fans.

As a whole, Blitzkrieg does deliver a decent RTS that will last for a very long time; however the game isnít at the stage to compete with current RTS standards, still sporting the 2D landscapes and scratchy infantry movement. If you can put that aside and the fact that creating units is virtually impossible, Blitzkrieg can become a fun and addictive being one of the best RTS games released this year.  

Eric Lahiji

July 13, 2003

 

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