Blitzkrieg 3 (PC) Review

By Ofisil 26.06.2017

Review for Blitzkrieg 3 on PC

In no way was the original Blitzkrieg an extremely entertaining, and highly popular classic… but it was entertaining, and it was popular. Its approach to real-time warfare was closer to the Total War franchise, with no base-building at hand, forcing a careful use of the few available units - and, true to its name, it was pleasantly fast-paced. 2015, and Blitzkrieg 3 starts becoming a reality, after 10 whole years from the, somewhat disappointing, sequel. The first impressions weren't exactly encouraging, although its then Early Access state surely played a role to that. Are things any better now that Nival has completed its RTS homage to WWII? Well, the thing is that the Russian developer hasn't actually completed it…

There are a couple of ways a developer can show its level of professionalism. The first, and maybe the most important one, is the way it welcomes new players - Blitzkrieg 3 doesn't even welcome veterans. The first tutorial missions are the perfect example, as they don't explain things and leave you to discover the various intricacies of the game, or throw too much information at you right of the bat, and not in the best way possible.

It shouldn't be so, as this is a pretty tough RTS. Thankfully, even with its current need for some strong rebalancing, it's far from unfair as it's still all about skill, but a lot of trial and error must be done beforehand …But it does need rebalancing, as this is no minor flaw. One notable example is the efficiency of infantry units. Without any exaggeration, everything that doesn't move on wheels is almost worthless, as troops go down way too easy.

Screenshot for Blitzkrieg 3 on PC

While infantry forces have some tricks up their sleeve that benefit those with good tactical manoeuvre warfare skills, casual and mid-level players will just prefer using a big wave of armoured vehicles to win, which leads to Blitzkrieg 3's second issue, the fact that it feels more arcade-y than a title that relies in strategic thinking, as most battles are all about storming the opposition with all you got. Yes, it's still possible to methodically micromanage units to do more than that, but it's just isn't fun this time around.

Units can use the terrain to their advantage, hide in fog or forests, and, for those with a penchant for some high-level multi-tasking, take cover. It all sound good and all, but, unfortunately, in practice this feels more like an action game, as the underlying mechanics and available abilities don't leave much room for creativity on the battlefield. Maybe Nival should try making this a fun ride, rather than focusing so much in historical authenticity and vehicle/unit variety. Sometimes, less is more if done right.

Screenshot for Blitzkrieg 3 on PC

There is so much to see here, that this feels like a fan service product aimed at WWII enthusiasts, with tons of vehicles, and more than 60, and, for the most part, historically accurate battles. Furthermore, it all looks beautiful, and with an extremely high attention to detail. Sadly, it's nothing more than that. Visually, it's Michael Bay meets WWII real-time strategy; gameplay-wise it's simplistic and has a certain free-to-play, mobile game stench.

The only redeeming quality here is the Neural Network AI, which is basically a fancy (and swollen-headed) term for a CPU that's not as predictable as usual. Nicknamed Boris, the AI at hand claims that it's the first one that acts like a real human being - it doesn't. Yes, it's more random than the AI of most titles, as it keeps changing its tactics depending on how the human player acts, but it's still a somewhat robotic foe. A good step towards what it's supposed to be, yet still far for something really revolutionary.

Screenshot for Blitzkrieg 3 on PC

This review started with an example of a developer's level of professionalism, and Blitzkrieg 3's final, and more serious flaw shows Nival's lack of it. In all honesty, this is still an Early Access product; it's simply not complete. Yes, the assets are there, but it definitely needs plenty of work. Get ready for frequent crashes, units that sit there doing nothing while being shot at, a severe amount of online lag, long loading times, and, typical of Unity-based video games, a system hog-ish performance.

It might seem a bit rough to bash on a small developer, especially one such this as its comprised of a team of people that constantly listen to the fan base, and provide frequent updates… but this is a trend that needs to stop. Not everyone likes id Software or Blizzard's games, but there's a reason why their "done when it's done" attitude is do damn successful. This might provide a better experience some day, but no one should pay for something that might become better.

Screenshot for Blitzkrieg 3 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Blitzkrieg 3 is Blitzkrieg… but without its tactical approach to the battlefield. It's fast and bombastic, but it lacks the depth that made so many strategy fans love the 2003 original. Even worse, Nivel removed the Early Access label from its product, but "forgot" to actually reflect that in it, leaving behind a flaw-ridden piece of software.

Developer

Nival

Publisher

Nival

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

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   

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