Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich PC Review
I am sure I will not be the first to say there has been a never ending torrent of RTS released in the past few months. There is something for everyone – from present day warfare to brutal tales of World War II to bloody massive dinosaurs to completely fictitious wars that have no basics in anyone’s interpretation of reality. Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich somehow manages to fall right in between all of the above – minus the dinosaurs of course – and as a result we get an okay yet unspectacular RTS which could interest fans of the genre.
Set in 1945, Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich gives those who choose to play it the options of three different campaigns – Germans, Russians or the forces of the USA. Of course, as you would expect, each group has their own individual weaknesses and strengths. It plays like a basic RTS game offering no gimmicky controls or any fluff people may deem confusing. The game also offers some realism as I believe each of the units (artillery units, supply trucks, engineers, paratroopers, snipers, planes, engineers, paratroopers, and aircraft) in the game are based on something that was available at the time in the real world and because of this the game is at least historically correct.
The user interface in the game is your standard RTS affair; left click to select a separate unit or click on them and drag to select a group. Nothing in the menus seem out of place and no options (such as capturing buildings) seem to be hidden too deep meaning everything is pretty much easily on hand when and where you need it. Most of the maps in the game are of considerable size with so it will take some considerable work to move units about and scout everything. Sadly AI is very disappointing when compared to other games on shelves today… even if some of your units are right beside the enemy you will have to order them to shoot as they wont do so themselves. Enemy AI also does not fair so well and they just seem to run towards you and shoot until they’re all dead or they’ve killed you. If units do survive they can gain as they advance making them more powerful and as a result more powerful. Disappointingly if you have too may really experienced units the game can get very easy and you can just start tank rushing all over the map tearing stuff apart with ease.
Graphically the game looks ok – but once again there is nothing outstanding or spectacular to mention. If there was one big plus point to focus on it would have the be the destructive environments – you can knock down trees and wreck some items such as vehicles. While the destructivity is nowhere near as spectacular as those seen in the recent Company of Heroes they do look alright. There are a few other small extras dotted around environments to make the areas look like they’ve been lived in which is another nice touch. One disappointment that I had with the game was the zoom function is very limited only letting you pan out the smallest of amounts from the action… as a result you will need to move the mouse around a lot more than in other RTS’ to get to where the action is. Another disappointment would have to be the sound – in particular the sound effects. None of the sounds in the game seem to have any bass to them and at times even sound tinny, if not crackly. The music is also nothing to write home about. It tries its best to sound epic and hype you up for battles, but ultimately fails to do either.
Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich is an okay, albeit old-school RTS. As a result anyone that has spent some quality time with Relic’s recent Company of Heroes could find this almost archaic in comparison. Of course with the RRP of this title much less you would not be expecting the same production values. If you are a huge RTS fan then you will most likely find something to love about Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich, but if you are a gamer that demands near perfection for each title bought then you’d best look elsewhere.
While not one of the best RTS’ I’ve played, there’s still some fun to be had for fans of the genre.