Sudden Strike 4 PlayStation 4 Review.
Anyone reading this review that have come to know me over the years will know straight away that anything World War 2 gets me excited. Amongst all the made up over the top future shooter nonsense that has flooded the games market over the past decade has made me turn my back on most shooters. It's refreshing to see developers go back to WW2. Kite are a new developer set up two years ago and Sudden Strike 4 is there new baby. You can see the love for the great series they have inherited.
Sudden Strike 4 is brilliant. There I've said it. Now if you want to deduct one or two marks from my score because of the lack of this type of game on PlayStation consoles and take my excitement level into account, feel free. But what you also have to know is that I've played very few PC games, one I have played is the brilliant Company of Heroes. SS4 is a real time strategy game. Anyone who doesn't know what that is I will quickly try to help out. Basically you have units that you give orders to. Tanks, infantry, and call in air strikes etc. All from a top down prospective, playing god if you like. Key to victory is to plan what is you best move. Hold back repair trucks and fuel supplies to back up any rushed move you may have regretted. Take your time. Choose well.
Hit the beaches!
Every mission has a small intro to tell you the basics of what you have to do. You can choose some upgrades from three different generals before you start and the more stars you earn, a possible 3 from each mission, will unlock these extras. From repair kits to sandbags, health to extra ammo, choose carefully for each battle. Now your mission can end before it even starts if you just rush off looking for a quick fix. The game is VERY unforgiving even on easy if you rush your moves or send your troops blind into a hail of gunfire you'll be hitting restart. I ended in an epic fail many times and when I replayed the same mission with more care I got through in a breeze.
You have three campaigns. Ailed, Russian and German. These play out differently. Some are very hard even on easy and trying to find the right solution can be quite trying at times. The first ailed mission is one of the best in my opinion giving you a fantastic overall play of most of the units in the game. You start with the 101st airborne and take what looks like Sainte Mere Eglise, then land on Utah Beach as the US infantry to fight your way off the beaches and link up with the airborne. Exciting stuff. You can zoom in on the action holding R1 and pan the camera about 180 degrees with the analogue stick but the annoying thing is that the camera then snaps back. I'd much rather 360 degrees control over the camera and this is a strange omission from the game. I have mailed Kalypso the publishers to ask of a possible patch.
C'mon Tommy! Take the bridge!
Maps range across France, Belgium, Germany and Russia. The developer has done a fantastic job of trying to mix it up by using weather effects to make maps look different and even city scape's when moving inland. The bridge over the Rhine, Stalingrad, Berlin, Battle of the bulge, Overlord, Market Garden, it's all here.
Graphically speaking it all looks great. It states that the game is "Pro Enhanced". So on looking at my TV the game does seem to be playing in 4K. I'm sure it's not native but it all looks great. The flashes of lightning, chitter chatter of the troops running in the rain and break outs of gunfire is just brilliant. I played on my 50" Sony 4K HDR TV with Sony DTS Surround booming. You can be moving in virtual silence only to encounter enemies with busts of gunfire and tank shells booming and shaking my floor.
Multiplayer is all here. Skirmish mode lets you and seven others take control over set units and try to take strategic points on the maps taken from parts of the game. You can also play against the computer. I have to be honest here, it works but this, for me anyway is best played as a single player game. Don't get me wrong, it all works fine but I love the single player. It's worth noting that when playing you can pause and choose all your moves then play again so your not under pressure. Using a controller will be fround upon by PC players but hey, it works just fine. You can hold L2 and bring up the mini map and in doing so move to an area very fast moving the right stick.
PlayStation 4 Gameplay
Sudden Strike 4 has a tutorial so don't worry if you've not played a game like this before. The menus are slick with real WW2 footage playing out in the background. My advise is to turn the background music off. It's a very surreal feeling hearing the wind blow through trees and birds tweeting before all hell breaks loose only to fade away again to peace, birds go about there business again unaware of the carnage that has just ensued.
War is hell! Playing Sudden Strike 4 is an absolute joy. You can download now from the store or buy the retail version from £27.85 from shopto now.
Sudden Strike 4 is a PlayStaion 4 console exclusive.