Do you enjoy real time action? Do you enjoy World War II simulations? Think you are ready for a Real Time World War II simulation? Then you owe it to yourself to give CDV’s Blitzkrieg a try.
The graphics are awesome – but then again graphics should be awesome these days. The detail of the various units is really something to see though. The terrain is also done exceptionally well in Blitzkrieg and helps bring the simulation alive. It is obvious that a good deal of time and research went into the making of this simulation.
The game play is as fast as you can point and click. However, even one who does not particularly consider themselves a point and click mogul (me) was able to play and enjoy this game. The interface takes a bit of getting used to but the in-game tutorial gets you well on the way of understanding and becoming familiar with the controls. In most cases you can either click the appropriate button or use the keyboard equivalent for the same command.
Like any complex game in this day and age, you will start out playing and say to yourself "Wow I will NEVER understand the interface" and after a trip through the excellent tutorial and a few plays of the campaigns you will find yourself pointing and clicking and commanding your troops like you have been doing it all your life. It just needs some getting used to.
Detail? How much detail do you want? Vehicles keep track of their individual types of ammunition: armor piercing, high explosive, anti personnel, machine gun ammo, etc. If a tank throws a tread there are repair units that can get it fixed and back in operation, as long as you keep the repair crews alive. There are formations for the various types of units, trucks and half tracks to carry around your infantry more quickly and artillery pieces of varying types to set up in the most appropriate way for what you want to accomplish.
The various vehicles depicted in the game all have armor values for front side and rear armor so sneaking up behind that nasty self propelled gun is a viable way to take it out. They even have sniper units for those tricky individual targets that MUST be eliminated. Take that sniper and have them crawl on their belly (so as not to be seen) to get within gun shot range to take out the enemy snipers, bridge guards etc. that could ruin your overall plans for the mission. Even the infantry can either be controlled as squads or broken up and given individual orders.
Choices and details, Blitzkrieg has plenty of both.
Is the game perfect? Of course not, but it is a ton of fun to play even with the faults. One of the biggest faults, in my mind at least, is the timing of events in a given mission or campaign. In the very first German campaign mission you need to get your sniper, that paradrops in to start the mission, over to the bridge area and take out the enemy sniper / bridge guard before they blow the bridge thus forcing you to repair it before you can advance your armor elements. Unfortunately this ‘formula’ approach to the missions makes the age old tactic of playing it once, sending units out to see what is where and then restarting the mission with full knowledge of where the enemy is, quite viable. Boring, but viable.
I kind of like the surprise of clearing out a nasty set of trenches, sending units across them only to find a second set of trenches full of troops just a little further on. Or charging up a hill with armor to take out a soft target to find anti-tank artillery on an opposing hill within easy range of the hill you just charged up. Now THAT is excitement to me.
I have read complaints of the air power rules, but while abstract and somewhat limiting at times they can be used to your advantage if done properly. Like all aspects of this detailed simulation, getting to know what air missions to use in which situations is one of the keys to success.
All in all I found the game to be quite a lot of fun to play. The tutorial is great at getting you started and from there on you are on your own to figure out how to accomplish the various missions that make up the three campaigns. And if you run through them and have not had your fill yet, you have the multiplayer mode to take it to your friends in the cyber world.
Blitzkrieg is well deserving of the 4 GiN gems I have given it and is a fine addition to any Wargamer’s software collection.