Blitzkrieg 2 PC DVD-ROM
Published by CDV
Developed by Nival Interactive
Release Date: 14th October 2005
Blitzkrieg 2, an introduction.
Amongst the many World War II RTS games there only a few that really stand out. One of the best World War II games we've seen is Blitzkrieg by Nival Interactive. The first game proved to be very popular and it's no surprise to us that there's a sequel. Rather than simply being complacent, Nival Interactive have added quite a substantial amount to this sequel and it's fair to say that most fans of the original game will appreciate the new features that have been included.
What's the game about?
Blitzkrieg 2 offers 3 campaigns for the USA, Germany and USSR along with the option to play custom missions and campaigns (although none have been included with the game there'll soon be a nice collection available online after the game's release no doubt). LAN and Internet play is also supported (for up to 8 players) and co-operative battles can be fought too. Game modes aside though, there's a lot more to Blitzkrieg 2 which we're just about to come to.
What's good about the game?
Nival have attempted to steer clear of making a game that's completely linear and it really gives Blitzkrieg 2 a certain appeal. Whilst there are missions that have to be undertaken, for the most part you'll have a choice of what missions to take which is great. Of course the rewards (in the shape of unit upgrades) for each mission might dictate which mission you select but this is all part of the game's appeal and it adds to the strategic nature of the game. Upgrades can now be called in mid-mission, although you do have a fixed number so it's definitely not a feature that can be exploited. The game contains around 250 different units and almost 60 types of infantry which is impressive. The game has both day and night battles which you can use to your advantage and you can also use the weather and 3D terrain to your advantage in certain situations. Because the game is now 3D many objects in the game are destructible which adds a lot to the game's realism. Commanders can also be used to increase the performance of you units which is a nice touch. Other pluses include an interface that works well, a great hotkey system, an excellent editor to create your own missions and campaigns that feel very varied.
What's not so good about the game?
I personally thought there was a little too much emphasis on tanks in Blitzkrieg and you could argue the same for Blitzkrieg 2. This is more a personal niggle rather than a fault with the game though. Rather more problematic is the path finding which is occasionally troublesome and means you'll have to oversee the movement of your units a little more closely than you would like at times. Units can attack of their own free will at times, even when ordered not to, which can be irritating.
How does it look?
I have no complaints with how Blitzkrieg 2 looks. Nival Interactive have managed to create a 3D RTS that retains the graphical detail of a 2D RTS which is quite impressive. The destructible environments look great and really add to the game. The unit animations look great and it's wonderful to see the movement of your infantry as they back off from enemy fire or throw themselves on the ground into a prone position. Some of the environmental effects look good too. You'll see the snow fly in the USSR campaigns as your tanks drive through it. The shadow effects are also impressive and the detail exhibited is something that wouldn't have been possible in a 2D RTS. The explosions in the game look impressive too.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Blitzkrieg 2 is OK for deaf gamers. The main disappointment in this respect is that the cutscenes that introduce the campaigns are not subtitled. This isn't a major disaster by any means but it wouldn't have hurt for Nival to offer subtitles for these movies. The tutorials, briefings and objectives are shown in text so there's no problem there. Objectives can be recalled and you're notified in text when objectives have been completed. Warning messages such as "Enemy aviation detected" appear in text although the text does appear on the left hand side of the screen which is not ideal and it's not always easy to read and would have benefited from being placed in dialogue boxes.
With the sheer wealth of World War II RTS games that are on offer at the moment, it's easy to become a little blasé about another title appearing on the game shop shelves. Blitzkrieg II however, is definitely one of the finest World War II RTS games to date and the wealth of new features, some of which we've only touched on, really make the game feel like a true sequel to the impressive Blitzkrieg. If World War II RTS games are your thing then quite simply Blitzkrieg 2 is a must.
Overall Game Rating: 8.7/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Blitzkrieg 2 is a great sequel to a great game. The new features that Nival have included really add to the game and fans of the original are sure to love what's on offer here.