Mission Kursk PC CD-ROM
Published by CDV
Developed by Active Gaming
Release Date: Out Now
Mission Kursk, an introduction.
Mission Kursk is an unofficial expansion for Blitzkrieg, the World War II strategy game from Nival Interactive. We'll stress right at the top of this review that this expansion is for the original Blitzkrieg and not the sequel, Blitzkrieg II that we reviewed a couple of months ago. But what an expansion this is though. Mission Kursk brings so many changes to the original Blitzkrieg that it's practically a brand new experience and a very good one at that.
What's the game about?
When people think of the battles on the Eastern Front in World War II, they often think of Stalingrad. Whilst Stalingrad was probably the most important battle on the Eastern Front there were other important battles such as Operation Citadel, also known as the Battle of Kursk. In many ways the Battle of Kursk marked the end of major German efforts in the east as Hitler broke off from the assault against Kursk to concentrate on the Anglo-American invasion of Sicily. It is the Battle of Kursk that this expansion is concerned with.
What's good about the game?
Mission Kursk may come at a low budget price of £9.99 but there's certainly not a lack of content in this expansion. The main campaign is made up of both the Northern and Southern assaults, so it's effectively two campaigns that are on offer here. The expansion contains 40 new highly detailed vehicles, 25 new buildings, 210 different textures and 15 historical missions (which are very good I might add) that have certain random elements that make for great replay value. The expansion also boasts 50 hours playing time which is very impressive for an expansion pack under £10. Alterations have been made to the game to make it a more 'realistic' experience. Direct range weapons have had their range increased (by 2 to 3 times) and infantry have also had their range increased since the original Blitzkrieg game. Weapons now fire at real-time rates and artillery fire is not as accurate or fast as it previously was. There have been other alterations too and they all serve to create a more realistic experience. The AI is now sharper and will co-ordinate air resources as well as use other advanced techniques when previously it might not have done. You'll also find POW's in Mission Kursk, which add a further twist to the way the game plays. In fact if you're looking for a more challenging and authentic experience than the original Blitzkrieg, you should really pick up a copy of Mission Kursk.
What's not so good about the game?
Whilst it's not really a negative you should be aware that the missions in Mission Kursk are much more difficult than those in the original Blitzkrieg. This is really an expansion for those that want more of a challenge. Seriously though for the lowly price of £9.99, it's difficult to find fault with Mission Kursk.
How does it look?
It would be easy to assume that Mission Kursk would look exactly the same as the original Blitzkrieg except for the addition of new units. Active Gaming have given the game quite a facelift however and have introduced 210 different textures for all 3D-modelled tanks, planes, vehicles and artillery guns. There are also 40 new highly detailed 3D models and they all look great. Special attention has been given to the camouflage liveries and they all look historically accurate. The mission maps are actually quite large and the developers have obviously gone out of their way to make the maps as accurate as possible to the real world terrain.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Blitzkrieg was absolutely fine for deaf gamers and Mission Kursk is also fine. Mission briefings are given exclusively in text. The same is true for the mission objectives and these can be recalled at any time, which is most helpful. The replies that your units give when issuing orders to them are not subtitled but this is hardly a problem and doesn't add anything to the game.
Don't make the mistake of looking at the price tag and assuming this is bargain basement material. Mission Kursk is the best expansion pack we've seen this year and invigorates the original Blitzkrieg. In fact even if you don't own a copy of Blitzkrieg and are a fan of World War II RTS games, you'd do well to pick up a copy of both Blitzkrieg and Mission Kursk as there aren't any better World War II RTS experiences you can purchase at the moment.
Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Mission Kursk is an outstanding expansion at an outstanding price. It's time to dust off that copy of Blitzkrieg and get ready for a whole new experience.