D-Day. The Allied assault on Fortress Europa. Thousands upon thousands of men thrown headlong at the Nazi War Machine. Sounds like an exciting setting for a real-time strategy game, doesnít it? It is, but somehow D-Day the game manages to turn this dramatic and historic struggle into a boring, perplexing, and frustrating mess.
D-Day certainly tries to get you excited before each mission. Each one begins with dramatic stock footage and narration designed to drive home the epic nature of the battle. Once the mission opens, though, things go down from there faster than a U-Boat with screen doors. The first issue is that unit control is implemented so very poorly. You can tell the armor apart from the men, but trying to distinguish a machine gunner from a medic is a Herculean task. The camera can be zoomed, but when you keep it at the only practical zoom level for play the units are tiny and indistinguishable. Selected units are represented by icons that appear on the control bar at the bottom of the screen, but these are small as well and hard to distinguish. Good luck trying to put together a squad of similar troops such as riflemen.
Things get even worse when you try to give the units orders. For some inexplicable reason a number of your units will flat out ignore your order and others will take off in random directions. Your forces will be constantly mowed down piecemeal unless you guide them to the destination taking baby steps the entire way. The same goes for attack orders Ė some units attack the target while others seem to decide it is a good time to take a smoking break. Needless to say it is virtually impossible to apply any kind of strategy to this strategy game as it is ridiculously difficult to get any kind of coordination or cohesion out of your forces.
Not that your enemy fares much better. The enemy AI is so scatterbrained that it continually does things like sending a lone soldier out of group to face your attacking army, keeping soldiers standing idly by while a major force battles their comrades on the next street over, or leaving unmanned artillery pieces out in the open for you to commandeer. Did anybody bother playtesting this game before it was released?
The weirdness continues in other areas of the game. The radar minimap sometimes shows the locations of enemies on the other side of the map but not those just down the street. You can scroll the map to peek at enemy positions at the same time you find yourself walking up to enemy units that only pop into view when their in your LOS. Iíve even seen enemy 88s that were there one minute and then apparently vanished into thin air the next.