Rush for Berlin PC DVD-ROM
Published by Deep Silver
Developed by Stormregion
Release Date: Out Now
Rush for Berlin, an introduction.
World War II real-time strategy games are seemingly ten a penny these days. We seem to have had the whole gamut of World War II RTS games ranging from the accessible to the frustrating. In short any new World War II RTS that's going to appear on the scene better be good or have something original about it if it's going to succeed. Rush for Berlin certainly has its work cut out then if it's going to succeed.
What's the game about?
Rush for Berlin is a World War II based RTS. The game doesn't really go for historical accuracy, although you'll notice the occasional nod here and there to real life events. The game offers four single-player campaigns (Russian, Western, German and French) that are set between 1944-1945. In total there are around 25 missions and you're looking at 30 hours of play time which is certainly more than adequate. The game has over 100 different units including several German prototypes. On the multiplayer side of things you can take part in deathmatches, RUSH and RISK modes.
What's good about the game?
The decision not to make Rush for Berlin as realistic as it could be will alienate many World War II enthusiasts but it should make the game more appealing to those who want an easier time of things. It's possible for infantry to take out tanks, for instance, as they simply chip away at the tank's health. The game has officer 'hero' units that prove to be very useful in boosting morale or temporarily increasing attributes of your units. There's some challenge here though, despite the leaning towards more forgiving game play. Units gain experience so you're going to want to keep them alive for as long as possible. Before a mission begins you'll be able to select additional core army units to add to your default mission units. Selecting units takes away some of the bonus time you're allowed for a mission, so it's wise not to simply throw in all of your core units at once. Core army units carry over from mission to mission so you need to be careful with them too. You're rewarded for completing objectives as quickly as possible. During missions you'll see a game progress status bar. During the game the pointer will move from the green (right) side of the bar to red (left) side. Completing objectives sends the pointer back towards the green side. By completing mission objectives quickly you stand a good chance of finishing the mission with the pointer on the green side of the bar and this means you'll earn medals and additional units with which to bolster your core army. There's no base building as such in the game, although facilities can be captured and used in several missions.
What's not so good about the game?
Personally one of the biggest disappointments was that the game uses the StarForce copy protection system. This much maligned copy protection system has proved to be a royal pain for many PC gamers over the last few years and whilst we have been fine with games that use the StarForce copy protection system until now, Rush for Berlin has given us plenty of problems with the game failing to start on numerous occasions when performing the copy protection check. Only about one out of every four attempts to load the game actually succeeded. In case you're wandering our gaming PC has no software that would cause any problems (we don't use or never have used any virtual drive software for instance), so why should it be such a pain is a complete mystery. It's not difficult to understand why so many PC gamers turn their noses up at any game that has the StarForce copy protection system and I'm afraid Rush for Berlin is going to be avoided by many because of it. In fact the tech support forums for the game have more than a few threads from people who can't get the game to load, which is hugely disappointing.
When we've been fortunate enough to get into the game it's fair to say there's not been a lot wrong with the game. The AI is generally fine, although experienced RTS gamers will want to jump straight to the Hard difficulty setting as Medium and Easy are simply a walkover for those who have played other games in the genre. Pathfinding is a particular problem with units seemingly unable, at times, to pick a sensible route. Enemy units don't really take advantage of any cover that's available to them, which makes things easier than they should be. The multiplayer options are probably not as fully fleshed out as many gamers would have wanted and the modes on offer aren't anything you won't have seen many times before.
How does it look?
Rush for Berlin actually looks quite impressive and it's easily one of best looking World War II RTS games to date. I was impressed not only by the environmental detail on maps but also the unit animations which have been very nicely done. Quite a large number of items on a map are destructible and it all looks pretty impressive. Some of the maps you play on are very large too. When playing on these larger maps you'll notice a few dips in the frame rate, even with a strong PC specification, but on the whole performance is more than acceptable. The game features day and night cycles and some impressive weather effects that really add to the game's atmosphere.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers shouldn't have many problems with Rush for Berlin. The game's tutorials are subtitled. Cutscenes are subtitled too, so you'll be able to enjoy them fully. Mission briefings are in text and you can read these at your own pace. Objectives are shown in text and they can be recalled at any time by pressing the Tab key. Your units comments (that they make when you issue them orders) are not subtitled, although this isn't really much of a problem. Icons highlight approaching enemies, which is good to see. The game progress status bar is always on display at the top of the screen, so you'll always know if you're progressing nicely in a mission.
Rush for Berlin is a fairly comprehensive and well polished World War II RTS that can't really claim to be highly original but nevertheless is a game that fans of World War II RTS games should enjoy. The look and feel of the game is more than satisfactory and even though I feel like I've played World War II RTS games to death, I still found myself wanting to play the game which must count for something. Unfortunately the much maligned (and deservedly so it would appear) StarForce copy protection system gets in the way of things and when you can only load the game every one out of four attempts (with error messages saying you don't have the correct disk in your drive or simply not responding at all), it acts as a huge deterrent. I believe no gaming store will refund a PC game purchase (in the UK at least) so for some this will indeed by a risky purchase. Assuming you have no issues with the StarForce copy protection system you'll find an enjoyable World War II RTS game that's definitely one of the better, if not one of the more realistic, World War II RTS games to date.
Overall Game Rating: 7.0/10
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Rush for Berlin is an enjoyable World War II based RTS. It's light on realism but nevertheless I'm sure most RTS fans will enjoy the game. The AI could have been a little sharper though and it's a shame the game will prove rather troublesome for some gamers thanks to an awful copy protection system.