Sudden Strike Review

Sudden Strike brings RTS to World War II on a grand scale. Games can feature thousand of units - soldiers, armor, and artillery - clash on large, beautiful maps. Is this a wargamer's dream game? As they say in the Hertz commercials, not exactly.  Despite modeling and accurately depicting dozens upon dozens of units, a realistic military simulation Sudden Strike is not. Grognards will cringe when they see infantry dispatch a column of tanks, fall out of their chair when mortar units wipe out vehicles with pinpoint accuracy on the first shot, and die of a heart attack the first time they see a B-17 come screaming across the map on a close ground support mission. That being said, let's take a look at Sudden Strike the RTS game...

Sudden Strike is all about combat. There are no production, logistical, or supply/resource considerations - present in most RTS games - to worry about. The game takes place on large, beautifully drawn maps representing European villages and landscapes. You are placed in command of German, American, or Russian forces, and given a set of objectives to complete in order to achieve victory. These objectives can include the destruction of bridges, elimination of enemy units, capture of strategic locations, etc.

The forces at your disposal are drawn from historical weapons and units. T-34s, Tigers, Shermans, and more are all depicted in the game. You'll also find units from other powers such as France and England modeled in the game as well. You control these units in the standard RTS way by selecting them and providing them with orders. However, Sudden Strike departs from the typical order-giving convention in a couple of ways. The first is that the game can be paused while you are issuing orders. With battles involving hundreds of units, this is an absolute necessity. The second thing is the ability to queue orders. For example, it is not necessary to wait for infantry to reach a destination before beginning to lay mines - you can instruct them to do so immediately after giving them their marching orders.

Sudden Strike can be played as either a German, Russian, or US campaign, or as a single scenario. The scenarios include a wide-range of historical and hypothetical battles that allow you to play from either the Allied or Axis side.

The game's graphics is definitely one of Sudden Strike's strong points. The maps are detailed and beautiful to behold. The various units do indeed resemble the historical weapons that they are trying to represent. Bridges, trees, buildings, and just about everything else reflects damage received during the game.

The game's sound effects do a good job of representing weapon fire, explosions, etc. However, the game suffers from some very poor voice acting, especially in the screens that provide mission briefings in the campaign game. The missions are explained in voices that are supposed to have accents corresponding to the country you are playing, but they instead sound a little odd and correspond to no accent that we've ever heard.