Sudden Strike 4 (PC) Preview

By Renan Fontes 03.07.2017

Review for Sudden Strike 4 on PC

Continuing the series' long trend of World War II real time strategy, there's little that Sudden Strike 4 does differently on a surface level. Underneath the returning three-nation campaigns and focus on limited resources, Kite Games' latest RTS tries to freshen up the franchise with the inclusion of skill trees and commanders who each have their own set of unique abilities and strengths. As nice as it is that Kite Games is trying to keep this series alive 17 years later, quality and quantity is a difficult beast to tame.

Sudden Strike 4's greatest strength lies not in what it adds, but in what it refines. The campaign, while typical for a WWII-themed RTS, manages to recreate famous battles in a way that stays true to its historical background while allowing for deviations through alternate objectives.

Each mission has a specific goal, but new side-goals are added as progress is made. They start out simple enough, easily clearable by just following the designated path, but they quickly become trials that test the ability to manage an army during high stress situations. Defending an outpost sounds simple enough, but it becomes a gambit when doing so would mean giving up a tank, or key units, that could otherwise be utilised in the core objective.

Unlike other strategy titles, the Sudden Strike series has always put an emphasis on minimal team building. Reinforcements are scarce and a unit's death carries a monumental amount of weight. It may not seem like much when one infantryman falls in combat, but when they keep falling, and none come to replace them, the consequences become clear.

From a design standpoint, Kite Games' synergy between its map and level design takes an already strong core concept and elevates it. Maps are filled with hazards that require actually manoeuvring around and consideration. If a tank tries to roll itself over a frozen lake, it'll simply sink and potentially bring down whatever soldiers were escorting it across.

Screenshot for Sudden Strike 4 on PC

Although there's no shortage of map variety when it comes to the campaign, the multiplayer is a different story altogether. Online boils down to capture the flag spread between four possible maps. The novelty is fun at first, but the lack of others modes, and more maps, leaves multiplayer feeling rather barebones.

Multiplayer maps aren't particularly big, nor do they offer much in the way of discovery after one playthrough. There are multiple routes that can be taken to capture each flag, and volleying between constantly stolen flags can be exciting, but it doesn't take long for its simplicity to become glaring.

Disappointingly, the skill trees and commander abilities that Kite Games put front and centre don't amount to much. Skill icons are next to impossible to figure out in-game and commanders really only change an army's selection of units. It's an interesting concept that clearly exists to try to add a level of customisation and personality, but it barely feels like a feature.

As beneficial as it would be, it's unlikely that Kite Games will add more content into Sudden Strike 4 for its release. The single player is more than enough to make it an enjoyable RTS, but a $50 price tag and a lack of refined multiplayer is certain to keep prospective buyers on the fence.

Screenshot for Sudden Strike 4 on PC

Final Thoughts

At its core, Sudden Strike 4 is shaping up to be an RTS with a great single-player campaign and a rather lacklustre multiplayer. All three campaigns offer high levels of tactical play that intertwine optional objectives with the core mission, while multiplayer maps are scarce and fail to maintain their lustre. It's more than likely that Sudden Strike 4's biggest pitfall will be its lack of content. The campaign is plenty fleshed out, with a total of 22 missions split between the Allies, USSR, and Germany, but the lack of map and mode variety for multiplayer is underwhelming. Regardless, if more modes or missions are added into the full release, the latest entry in the Sudden Strike franchise is shaping up to be another great RTS, if a bit bare.

Developer

Kite Games

Publisher

Kalypso

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this preview yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, Ofisil

There are 2 members online at the moment.