Blitzkrieg II Fall of the Reich PC Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.4
Graphics 8.5
Sound 8.6
Value 8.3
Developer: Auran
Review Date:
November 2006
Reviewer:
John Sudukis
Classification: PG

8.3


Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich

Blitzkrieg II once again returns on the PC with strategies, graphics and gameplay to make all fans of the genre jump with glee. Whether you're fighting for the United States, the Soviets or the German Wehmacht, this title allow you to control a plethora of troops in order to engage in a variety of exciting and military based missions such as capturing airfields to allow full supremacy of the area.

Although Blitzkrieg II is a real-time strategy, it accurately follows the events of World War II and allows you to engage in various campaigns to include the United States, Russia and Germany. On top of that, the units for all of the involved countries are designed to reflect the different types of units involved in the war, a true real-time simulation.

Features

  • Three sizeable, historically-accurate campaigns that span the globe with 80 painstakingly researched single- and multi-player missions, including a thorough representation of the World War II challenges faced by the German,
    Soviet, and the U.S. military and their commanders.

  • Over 250 realistically modeled military units, including 60 types of infantry, along with a comprehensive battlefield recognition guide that serves as in-game military unit encyclopedia.

  • Realistic combat modeling that considers armor plating, penetration effectiveness, reload times, angle of shots, unit experience, and literally tracks every round fired, and more. Tanks may throw tracks and become disabled, while infantry can ride in appropriate wheeled and amphibious vehicles. Aircraft and naval units now play a decisive and player-controllable role.

  • A dynamic campaign interface that rewards historical play, but does not require it. Players gain experience and may appoint battlefield commanders to imbue units under their command with additional capabilities and improve their effectiveness. Successful commanders will gain unit upgrades and newly introduced unit types. Reinforcements must be carefully balanced to create an effective force composition and to provide sufficient strength in individual missions, yet must also be conserved for the operation as a whole.

  • A full-featured editor that allows the creation of everything from simple modifications of existing battles into "what if" alternatives to brand new missions and entire linked-mission chapters.

  • Each country's story during the war is divided up into small campaigns, which contain about half a dozen missions plus one final mission that will complete the campaign before you move on. You don't have to beat every single mission in order to play the final one, but there are advantages for finishing the other missions.

The gameplay for Blitzkrieg 2 is not your typical strategy game. You don't build a base, but instead attempt to control the checkpoints found around the map. These points are where your reinforcements will arrive when you use your reserve points. If you do not control one of these locations, you will not be able to call in any reserves, so it is best to control as many of these as possible. Each mission will give a variety of different objectives, some of which are secret objectives that you will find as you play the mission out. The missions vary from defending a hill, to assaulting a beachhead, to rescuing an intelligence officer behind enemy lines. The variety is so vast because the missions are all based off of historical battles. The game also comes with a map editor that lets you create your own custom missions and campaigns. This adds a lot of gameplay potential to the game and lets players create a variety of maps for multiplayer gaming.

Each type of unit can have a commander assigned to it. This commander does not actually participate in battles, but allows the unit type to increase in experience so that it can receive new abilities. Each type of unit has four different abilities that it can learn, that will significantly affect the gameplay. For example, one of the final abilities for the tank unit types is the ability to fire their canon while moving. This is an extremely powerful ability, as a moving target is a lot harder to hit than one that is not moving at all.

The graphics in Blitzkrieg 2 are some of the best that I've seen for a real-time strategy game, perhaps with the exception of Age of Empires III. The unit and object models in the game are all completely three dimensional and are quite impressive. Fortunately, the developers have also taken the initiative as to prevent the camera from zooming in so far that the units lose their graphical flare. The camera can be rotated around the map and the vertical angle can be altered as well by holding down the mouse wheel. Zooming in and out is as simple as scrolling with the mouse wheel, like most other modern strategy games The in-game menus along with the main menus are all well designed and easy to use. The campaign map is well designed and really maintains simplicity while at the same time giving a WWII feeling to the campaign.

Not only are the graphics one of the game's strong points, but also they just wouldn't be quite as good without the sound effects and music to go with it. It is so fun to watch and listen as your bombers fly over your enemy and drop a payload onto their unprepared troops. The music in the game is excellent, as well when you are in the campaign map preparing for a mission. The music  attempts to bring about a sense of the historical significance of WWII. You  can hear this with the completion of each mission. The Americans have a short  music score that sounds majestic but with power behind it; they sound like the  good guys. The Germans, on the other hand, start off with a similar music  score, but by the end it has turned into something sinister and foreboding.  The German war machine was not something to be trifled with.

In conclusion, Blitzkrieg 2 is a really very solid concept plagued by technical issues, a game that simply fails to utilize its full potential. The gameplay is fantastic, but when it comes down to dealing with these issues, the game loses its lustre. Hopefully over time the development team will be able to release bug fixes that will eliminate all of the crashing that gamers have been experiencing, but until then we'll have to live with what could have been a top-notch strategy title.

Minimum configuration:
. Windows® 98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 9.0c
. Pentium III/Athlon, 1.0 GHz
. RAM: 320 MB
. GeForce 3 / Radeon 8500-class graphics 3D accelerator, 64 MB RAM, HW T&L
. Monitor supporting 800x600 resolution
. DVD drive
. DirectX-compatible sound adapter
. Mouse
. 2,5 GB free hard disk space
. Broadband for Multiplayer (optional)

 






 
 



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