Sudden Strike

"Sudden Strike" is a real-time tactics (RTT) computer game set in WW2. Viewed from an isometric perspective, the player controls many varied units such as infantry, tanks and artillery. The game was published by CDV software of Germany, developed by Fireglow of Cyprus and was released in 2000.

Introduction

The player gets to select his faction to play for such as the Soviets, the Germans or the Allied campaigns featuring over 10 non-linear missions each. RTT games differs greatly from standard RTS genre games in that the player does not build units or construct a field base but relies on regular but limited reinforcements to accomplish the given scenario. The events would be scripted in advance, however the approach and strategy that the player has to make would invariably change the course of the battle. Sudden Strike is not the first RTT of this genre; the "Sudden Strike" series has predecessor called "Counter Action" for DOS, which was published by Mindscape/SSI in 1996.

Gameplay

For most of the missions, although a complete briefing was given, the player was not briefed as to where the operations took place historically but rather given a preset scenario with an interactive landscape and given specific instructions and objectives to accomplish. Of the many scenarios available, the only historically correct scenario would be the Battle of Stalingrad where the Soviet forces would have been severely overrun by the German troops at the beginning only to stage a late comeback after receiving much-needed reinforcements. The same could be said of the player who chose to side with the German army ordered to capture Stalingrad with the player been issued many reinforcements as happened historically.

The game also utilises accurate in-game physics with houses and buildings obstructing units' view, line of sight and firing range whereas clumps of trees can be used to potentially shield a trooper from total damage of a tank ordnance. The game also allows units to garrison a building and also the option to hold their fire, so as to provide much-needed reconnaissance or to fill up a building to provide stronger firing position especially with anti-tank infantry. In addition to that, damage evaluation is also realistic as tanks or other vehicles that take too much damage would be rendered immobile (as their treads can be damaged) unless self-reparations are made or with the assistance of a supply vehicle. In such cases, when the unit's health bar shrinks and turns red, self-reparations are no longer possible and only may be repaired by the supply trucks or be healed in a mobile field hospital (if the wounded are infantry units).

The game also places a need for the player to carefully supply his army adequately through supply trucks as the troops would run out of ammunition as opposed to other real-time strategy games where units can seemingly rain fire upon targets with ammunition that would never seem to diminish. The player also has the option to pause the action mid-game and issue orders to all his units and watch them carry out instructions upon commencing the game.

Sudden Strike also employs an experience value counter as part of the gameplay. Units with a higher value of experience can fire more accurately, dodge enemy fire, have a wider range of view (important for officers and sniper units), self-heal faster as well as travel faster across the map.

Further, the player may in certain missions, deploy paratroopers as well as order a bombing

"Sudden Strike Forever"

"Sudden Strike Forever" is an official add-on to Sudden Strike and introduced many more historically correct units and equipment such as the upgraded Soviet T-34 tank 1944 version alongside a desert terrain for the British missions in Tobruk and Tripoli. Further, there is also a snow terrain tileset for Soviet missions and also a user-friendly map and scenario editor. The game also polished the game engine and modified the damage modifier of certain units as well as added a more frightening artillery fire sequence to add to the game's atmosphere.

The add-on includes 4 inter-linked scenarios for each of the campaigns for the Germans, the American, the British and the Soviets. Other units which are added into the add-on includes, but not limited to the Universal Carrier for the British; the BR-5 artillery, 160mm grenade launcher for the Soviet forces and more. The supply system has also been tweaked with artillery crews automatically resupplying themselves with ammo crates nearby instead of relying on supply trucks to do the job. The supply trucks would still be needed to repair damages inflicted on these artillery units, however.

The new German campaign puts the player into the winter setting of Russian hinterlands with limited troops and reinforcements available, thus relying on use of captured Soviet artillery as well as equipment. The British campaign deals with the defense of an unnamed seaport from German attacks, whereas the American campaign probably takes place in France during the autumn season as the foliage on the vegetation suggest. The Soviet campaign involves a large armored division counter-attack on Russian soil and the storming of the Wehrmacht-controlled airfields. As with the earlier Sudden Strike original campaigns, the briefings do not explain the historical setting of the campaign, thus only issuing standardized orders to the player to e.g. dispel enemy attacks or to simply take over a designated airfield in the east and so on. The add-on also includes 5 new single player individual scenarios.

equels

"Sudden Strike 2"

"Sudden Strike 2 "was also developed by Russian developer Fireglow and published by CDV and was released in 2002. The game has since undergone minor changes in its game engine and now features a higher resolution setting and other graphical changes. The campaign still involves the Soviets and their Allies, against the Germans and a new country, Japan. While striving for historical accuracy, the missions are mostly fiction. The American missions are in the Rhine regions and tend to involve 'borrowing' war equipment from the German army rather than using their own tanks and other weapons. The British missions revolves around the actual events at Wolfheze and Arnhem and the attempted capture of the bridge. The Japanese missions are centered along the lines of tropical jungle warfare and the use of tanks is somewhat limited whereas the Soviet campaign is based on the capture of the city of Kharkov and other battles along the Dniepr river waged by the Soviet Red Army.

The game introduced new units such as the gunboats as well as naval units like destroyers or frigates to bombard coastlines to clear the way for a frontal assault. The game also introduced the use of fighter planes and manually-controlled bombers to harass enemy positions. The game also allows the player to place infantry units on top of tanks to enable a better line of sight.Tank drivers can also see further if their turret hatch is open.

Also, even tanks can lose their crew when damage becomes too intense and can be captured provided that the player has tank crews as well as supply trucks to repair the damage caused. Smaller artillery pieces with an inferior caliber may also not pierce heavier armored tanks like the Tiger tank or the IS2 tank.

Other improvements include the ability to send troops to different floors of a garrisoned building to improve the range of sight or to deploy sniper units to scout out an area and to take out enemy personnel manning anti-tank guns before a direct confrontation occurs.Infantry is less tough than in the previous version and still cannot entrench itself.

It sold in large numbers, over a million copies, and is considered the better balanced version up until now although some prefer the slower-paced v1.21.

"Sudden Strike Resource War"

This is an enhanced version of "Sudden Strike 2 "which was released in 2005. It features the same graphical engine as "Sudden Strike 2 "with some minor modifications. The main new game play addition for this game is the introduction of fuel. Now units as well as needed to be stocked with ammo they need to be stocked with fuel (only motorised units). This is done by new objects like petrol canisters and the new fuel truck units. The other major additions are the ability to capture buildings like hospitals (which heal player's troops), barracks (which sends infantry reinforcements) and factories which sent motorised reinforcements. It also adds allied armies to single player missions which work with the player, who however has no control over them. A minor addition is the ability for some infantry units to deploy smoke screens with smoke grenades. The game includes new campaigns for all the countries in the game (though the Russian one comes with the patches), it also adds a new tile set to the game allowing desert and snow battles like seen in Sudden Strike Forever. A map editor is included with the game for creation of custom levels and campaigns. It was not well received by gamers as the fuel constraint hindered movement and hence speed of play.

"Sudden Strike 3: Arms for Victory"

This new installment in the Sudden Strike series uses a new 3D engine which departs from the previous versions which only used 2D graphics.

The single player game has 9 missions and 5 mp maps. A [http://static.suddenstrike.com/SS3_Patch_1_2.exe X-mas pack] with two more multiplayer maps and a single mission has been released.

It has been poorly received by gamers who knew the previous versions as the 3D map and units ruin the ease of identification of the different units. The engine is very resource intensive and is quite sluggish on a 2 GHz PC.Overall, it is considered a failure to enhance the game other than graphically, as the gameplayis badly damaged by the numerous unnecessary changes that have been made.

ystem requirements:

Pentium 233, 32 MB RAM, CD-ROM, Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP"*", 500 MB of Hard Disk space.

"Sudden Strike 2 has several issues on Windows XP and will not run in a normal configuration"

External links

* [http://www.suddenstrike.com/ Sudden Strike official website]
* [http://www.sudden-arena.com.com/ Sudden Strike Arena multiplayer : chat, games launcher, games statistics. Supported modes : 1.2, forever, 2.2, rwm, 3.0, hs2]
* [http://www.suddenstrike.ru/ Sudden Strike official website of Russian community]
* [http://www.fireglowgames.com "Fireglow Games"]
* [http://www.sudden-strike-maps.de/ community download site]
* [http://chat.sudden-strike.ru/ Sudden Strike II Chat Room where people gather and play multiplayer games]


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