HReat Battles of World War II: Stalingrad PC Review - -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 6.0
Sound 7.0
Value 5.0
Distributor: Red Ant
Review Date:
December 2005
Edwin Millheim


Great Battles of World War II: Stalingrad

Great Battles of World War II: Stalingrad " is a historical military real-time strategy game created by DTF Games. As the title states, the game is based on the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II.

Differing from the original game Blitzkrieg in certain elements, the game is more in line with actual historical events. During the game the player is controlling the forces that actually took part in the battle. I salute the game designers because it really shows that they must have done a huge amount of historical research. World War II is one of my favorite historical subjects and the game devotion to historical events and over all feel of the game is well done.

Now one would think that since the game takes focus on the battle of Stalingrad, that this would make for a limited game, I mean sure, city fighting can be more than just a little challenging, but just being in the city could make for a limited game. Not to worry. The maps that battle take place on are various and enough to keep a player interested, but historic enough for even the hard core historical game strategist.

While there are battle within Stalingrad city limits, there are a number of other places that battles take place. The city districts include places such as the Stalingrad railway station, the Square of the Perished fighters, Mamayev Kurgan, and even the red October Plant and airfield. There are various other battles within the region, farms, Cossack settlements and villages. The game does focus on the events between 1942 Ė 1943 there are enough things going on that will more than make up for the time span. The player cannot change actual results of any of the historical battles. Not to despair too much, since having success, the player is granted access to a number of secret missions, giving a window into some of the lesser known historical events and facts of this time and the battles that took place.

There are plenty of combat units in the game and they seem to reflect very well historically. Both the Red Army and the Wehrmacht are well represented here. The artillery in the game seems to be pretty darn deadly the shots scatter pretty well depending on the type its range game wise covers anywhere from 360 tiles to 900 tiles.

Everything in the game seems to be modeled very accurately. There is nothing like coming up on an area only to find there was some camouflaged guns waiting for you.

During the meat of the game the player starts out with commanding the Wehrmacht, leading the German army. Then things switch and the player is thrust into leading the red Army. While this style of game play is interesting, one would wonder about actually leading one side or the other through the whole of the events. But the style of gaming the programmers force on a player actually keeps things from getting too predictable. So, some players will actually enjoy this while others may fume a bit. But between the two campaigns if a player really wants to get a true experience then playing the German Campaign first makes more sense.

The game plays out like a documentary of historical events while connecting two different sides of view of the events. As seen from the Soviets and the Germans respectively. If youíre in Europe you may have the pleasure of procuring the special edition version of the game complete with a nice 64 page manual and an interactive encyclopedia of the Stalingrad battle.

What does the game really boil down to? What does it have to offer? Well under the gaming goodness hood Great Battles of World War II: Stalingrad has 36 missions that cover both the red Army and the Wehrmacht campaigns and in the middle of all this, if the player is good, 7 secret missions.

The visuals of the maps look ok; all of the landscapes are based on WWII aerial photography and tactical mapping of the time. But the graphics of the game are not going to please the more fickle gamer. The game does not look awful mind you. Just a tad dated. Here is where I have to have a difference of opinion with Andrew B who did a marvelous review of Blitzkrieg II; this game uses the same engine and graphics with some tweaks. But I just feel the full potential for this title is just not realized. As a game there is nothing her to make me stand up and take notice. Now on the flip side as a treasure trove of historic information sprinkled with some gaming it hits its mark very well. I know some would argue that if itís not broke donít try to fix it. But other game franchises using like engines or similar have pushed their visuals to meet the times, technology and hardware of todayís computer systems.

Great Battles of World War II: Stalingrad graphics do the job for what they are worth, they leave you satisfied. So I guess thatís all any one could ask.

Now couple this along with well over 150 infantry and armored vehicles including some of the lesser known experimental hardware of the time such as the Panzerselbstfahrlafette V "Sturer Emil" howitzer, PZB-41/28 anti-tank gun. Now we are having some fun. I just love playing the games that delve into historic events. Just give me the toys to blow up stuff and Iím good.

All in all it is a game worth a look if youíre a hard core gamer that enjoys this type of game. Winning a newer gamer over on the other hand, may be a tad more difficult. The game as noted earlier seems to be more of an interactive book on historical events and there is plenty of information here. In fact there is more information here than a player really needs or would probably even want. Now on the other hand if youíre some one that collects historical books on WWII this game/historical interactive game book is for you.

The amount of research to keep the game so historically accurate must have been massive. I will applaud the game designers in this. For being such a worthy look at some of the most famous battles of the time period Great Battle of WWII Stalingrad is worth having in your collection. Just not a game for the casual gamer.

Have fun, play games
Edwin Millheim


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