Time to see how Sudden Strike does in its final form.
Type: Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Genre: Strategy, Real-Time-Tactics
Developer: Kite Games
Publisher: Kalypso Media Digital
Release Date: 11 Aug, 2017
Note: Sudden Strike’s original review can be found here.
Sudden Strike 4: Complete Edition brings four DLCs to the main game, adding a noticeable amount of content and missions. In addition to the three base campaigns, namely one for the Germans, one for the Soviets and one for the Allies, every DLC adds a new war front where two or more factions fight each other, effectively adding two mini-campaigns (one for each faction) each time.
The road to Dunkirk
“Road to Dunkirk” was the first DLC to be added to the base game. As the name suggests, the story follows the events that brought to the siege of Dunkirk, this in two missions for each faction: the Germans against the Allies, where the first one attacks and the latter defends. “Road to Dunkirk” is the weakest add-on for this game, with its four missions playing in already-seen environments and the handful of units additions. Still, it’s nice to be able to play such an iconic battle of WWII.
The Cold War
“Finland: Winter Storm” brings the player in quite an unusual territory for a WWII videogame. Here Soviet units fight the Finnish troops in the cold wheater of Finland. This DLC introduces six new missions (three per faction) as well as new vehicles, like the Soviet KV-1 heavy tank or the Flak 36. The missions are really good, especially if compared with those of the previous DLC, and have nice returning mechanics like ice terrain (that can be destroyed by explosives, sinking the vehicles on top of it) and mud-terrain (that can and will get vehicles stuck). What really got me though are the special vehicles, like the armored aerosled, of which I was not even aware of the existence.
The third DLC is settled in North Africa, within the fights between the Axis (Germans and, for the first time, Italians) and the Allies. Like in “Finland: Winter Storm” the DLC delivers two additional mini-campaigns with three missions each, plus new troops, vehicles and a whole new faction: Italy. Italy has all-new cannons, trucks and tanks. Besides, all Italian troops have a voiceover that, to my surprise, doesn’t sound ridiculous. Missions here are quite good, mixing open-field desert operations with urban fights and requiring a good amount of tactical reasoning, especially when it comes to air support.
“The Pacific War” is hands down the most complete and fun DLC. This got already reviewed in the past on SaveOrQuit, and you can find the review here. Naval combat is now a thing, Japanese got added to the game and missions are not only really good but also quite numerous (ten, five for each faction). The number of units in the game jumps up by 51 (51!), also thanks to flame throwers, amphibious vehicles and large ships for naval combat.
The complete version of the game brings the player to all main war fronts, while also covering smaller battles. With 47 different missions and a good replayability thanks to the different doctrines and challenge modes (which let you replay the missions with some hard, mission-specific limitations), Sudden Strike 4: Complete Collection’s singleplayer mode can easily hook the player up for more than 50 hours, or even more for completionists.
After the campaigns, there are still skirmish and multiplayer. These two modes work in an atypical way: you pick a general at the start of the game and then spawn with your units. The general defines which troops you get at the start of the game, which reinforcements you can call and also the power-ups your units have during the battle. The game has a decent amount of multiplayer maps but, to my surprise, they are only for 2v2 matches or more, excluding the possibility of 1v1 games (which can be played, but it’s not optimal due to the size of the battlefields).
Sudden Strike 4 has some strange absences for being a 2017 real-time-tactics game. For starters, the lack of deployables like heavy MGs and mortars (not talking to the poorly implemented deployable MG from “The Pacific War” DLC). The game also lacks a proper cover system for infantry, which is often hard to deploy near covers, and the possibility to equip tanks with different kinds of shells, like APC, HEAT or APCBC (the game only has HE, AP and general “anti-tank” ammo as an ability).
Multiplayer maps tend to have a lot of open space and a lack of general detail, resulting in matches that are less fun (and less tactical) than they could’ve been.
Sudden Strike 4: Complete Edition is one of the most complete games when it comes to singleplayer Real-Time-Tactics. The game lets the player fight in numerous war fronts in well-constructed and replayable missions. What the game has in singleplayer, unfortunately, lacks in multiplayer, that feels the absence of a proper cover system for infantry and misses deployables that could’ve greatly improved the gameplay. Those who are passionate about WWII and also interested in a singleplayer experience will find a great game, thus I would rate this a “Save” for singleplayer, but a “Pause” for multiplayer, since it lacks mechanics that are instead present in older RTT games.