Sudden Strike 4: European Battlefields Edition – Review
Follow Genre: RTS
Developer: Kite Games
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Platform: Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Sudden Strike 4: European Battlefields Edition – Review

Site Score
5.0
Good: great visuals, challenging, plenty of things to do, single and multiplayer
Bad: detached voice acting, terrible control scheme, non-customizable key bindings
User Score
6.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Venturing warfare zones in the first-person perspective can be tiring as the general gameplay experience usually feels the same and is repeated over several games and franchises. Sudden Strike 4 offers a different take on the second World War with its top-down view of the landscape and real-time strategy game mechanics. Without a doubt, the setting is great but are RTS games a genre that should be ported to consoles?

Story

As Sudden Strike 4 is based on the second World War and tries to be historical accurate, the general storyline is already known. Therefor, they don’t really touch base with the actual events during that time-frame. Instead, you can play as several factions such as the Germans infantries and Allies but also the Soviets. Each faction has their own tasks they need to perform, and it are these tasks that come forward as somewhat of a storyline.

Graphics

Whilst the storyline is somewhat of a lacklustre, the visual aspect of Sudden Strike 4 is refreshing in the RTS genre. Obviously, there are some resemblances of cartoon-styled visuals, but the game is played from a bird’s view, which makes it extremely difficult for the tiny soldiers that are running about on your screen to look as realistic as your hand. The graphics in Sudden Strike 4 is of a much higher quality than most games in its genre and that’s quite invigorating.

Aside from that, the game provides the player with different weather conditions for different terrains and armoured units running rampant in said terrains, bringing down the structures and surrounding trees which makes the entire visual setting simply sublime.

Audio

We’ve already established that the visuals are great, and one would suspect that great visuals would be accompanied with great audio. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. The narrator or the commanding officer, who mentions which tasks you must perform in the region has a flat sounding voice with little to no emotions. On the bright side, the audio effect on his voice does make it sound like you are hearing this all through an old radio.

The audio design for certain weather conditions does make up for the flat voice acting but not entirely. There’s also the combat audio and whilst the shoot-outs and explosive barrage do sound decent enough, it still doesn’t make up for the detached speech.

Gameplay

As Sudden Strike 4 is a real-time strategy game, there are various actions to take. It is for this particular reason not a great genre to port to consoles, but the developers certainly did their best with the Sudden Strike 4 European Battlefields Edition. Personally, the controls still feel wonky to me and it takes time to get used to them; unfortunately, we never did, and it frustrated us to no end.

Numerous of times have we pressed all the buttons, cursing when nothing happened and then staring at the small reminder of which button does what. Pressing A will select a single unit, while pressing A and moving the left stick will select an entire group within the circle shown. At the same time, A is also the button to confirm actions whilst Y is used to attack. In fact, most buttons are used for two separate things; B is used to command the units or to cancel an action whilst X is a hard stop. It’s not rocket science but it’s simply frustrating on a console because a certain button requires a specific sequence first and it can be difficult to remember all of it.

It also does not help that the refuel and resupply icons pop up when you hover over a unit but pressing it does absolutely nothing. You first have to find the correct truck, pop the action circle up by pressing the right trigger, select if you want to refuel, resupply or repair and then hover over the unit that you want to refuel or resupply and wait. This is easily performed with the traditional mouse and keyboard setting, but a controller is simply not that great at pinpointed movements.

Aside from the aggravating controls which spoiled the gameplay experience, the game is quite challenging without being impossible. As it was during the war, there are four unit types available to the player: foot soldiers, tanks, artillery and aircrafts. The latter is not a unit you are directly controlling as you would the others though, something that makes the game a tad harder. If you do remember the non-customizable keys, controlling the units is a simple enough feat but this is where the strategizing comes in as enemies are not always visible until you’ve reached them.

The European Battlefields Edition comes with three different campaigns: the main campaigns, the Road to Dunkirk campaigns and the Finland: Winter Storm campaigns. Each campaign comes with separate faction campaigns; in total there are four different factions in seven different campaigns. Then each campaign has two to seven different battles or operations; making a grand total of thirty-one battlefields for you to complete. Considering the fact that each battlefield has several difficulties, there’s a lot of replayability to the game. The cherry on top of it all is that each battle comes with several objectives. Luckily you are not bombarded with these objectives from the get-go, but they will gradually come when you’ve completed the first objective.

There are thirty-one solo campaigns but there’s much more than that. There are also thirteen skirmishes, all with two different modes; domination or classic. And last, but certainly not least, there’s also a multiplayer mode. It’s a lot to take in if you first look at all there is to do.

Conclusion

Sudden Strike 4: European Battlefields Edition is a big-scaled real-time strategy game with plenty to do, providing a challenging experience throughout the entire game with stellar graphics and lack lusting voice acting and somewhat decent audio design. However, the grand gameplay experience was utterly ruined by the infuriating control scheme. As there is a lot of hit and miss, we are certain that fans of the genre will absolutely adore this game whilst others will detest it; at least on console.

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Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Sudden Strike 4: European Battlefields Edition - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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