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Publisher: cdv Software Entertainment USA
Developer: Fireglow Games
Minimum requirements: Windows XP or Vista; Nvidia 6600/Radeon 9800; 1 GB RAM
Genre: Historic real-time strategy
Release date: Available now
Review by: Jason Pitruzzello
Back in 1945, who would’ve thought that the next 60 years would’ve seen the production of millions of dollars in entertainment based on one of the bloodiest and widest ranging conflicts in the world’s history? Between movies and television, hundreds of hours of entertainment have been generated using World War II as a backdrop. It should be no surprise that the video game industry has followed suit for the past two decades, producing innumerable titles in almost every genre from strategy to first person shooters. Adding to this very fertile and profitable field is the latest entry in the Sudden Strike series, Sudden Strike 3: Arms for Victory. Capitalizing on their previous titles, Fireglow Games has created a tactical combat game allowing the player to take command on battlefields as diverse as Omaha Beach and the Crimea. The outcome of some of the most pivotal battles of the war is in the hands of the player, and victory will not be easily won.
Sudden Strike 3 aims to provide epic tactical gameplay. To that end, the player commands their forces at the individual level; individual soldiers, tanks, trucks and artillery all await your orders. At the same time, the scope is incredibly wide. The number of individual units you may have in action at any one time can number in the hundreds, while the maps are large enough to accommodate forces this large. In addition, you have everything from riflemen to mechanics to various historically accurate tanks, and vehicles are not just a set of hitpoints and statistics. The game keeps track of the status of tracks, engines, armor and other important parts of your armored vehicles. A tank that’s thrown a track won’t be moving very far, even if it can continue to fire; on the other hand, a tank with its engine on fire will soon be blowing up and taking its crew and anyone else around with it.
The diversity of units and their capabilities means that everyone has a specific role to play. In Sudden Strike 3, there’s nothing to be gained from sending your riflemen unassisted into the waiting jaws of German Panzers or leaving your damaged tanks without repairs while you try to advance against enemy positions. There’s also plenty of off-map support in the form of shore bombardment and airstrikes, which are devastating when employed properly. Coordination between your various units is essential to victory, helping to capture the spirit of combat operations of the period.
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