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Blitzkrieg 2: Fall of the Reich - PC - Review

It is already a given who a developer is trying to target with a World War II real-time strategy game. It shouldn’t come to any surprise that fans of this genre are dwindling for higher-concept games such as Supreme Commander. Gamers complain about the overuse of the WWII setting and backdrop. Is Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich any different than the norm to keep itself from being categorized as “just another WWII RTS title?”

Fall of the Reich, published by CDV, is a stand-alone expansion pack. Developed by Nival Interactive, the original Blitzkrieg II is thankfully not needed to play. Nival, creators of the entire Blitzkrieg series, have also worked on Silent Storm and Heroes of Might & Magic V.

The expansion pack is what I have come to expect with other expansion packs - it introduces new vehicles, expands the multiplayer with maps, and continues the campaign with long missions. FotR follows the basic routine and doesn’t stretch itself too far in originality. The common saying states that if we all were paid a dime every time a WWII RTS game was released, we’d all be rich. Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich is a run-of-the-mill RTS by today’s standards.

There are two campaigns to play through – Germany and the Soviet Union. The Russian campaign focuses on missions heading in the direction of Berlin. The German campaign is exactly the opposite with trying to stop the Russians from invading and potentially stalling their eventual defeat at the hands of the Allies. Even though Nival didn’t provide a plethora of campaign missions, the 16 missions are adequate enough for at least one entertaining play through.

For those who have played Blitzkrieg II, you’ll remember that it wasn’t an easy ride through. The game’s difficulty level isn’t aimed for new real-time strategy players. I’d recommend avoiding Fall of the Reich if you are a newcomer to RTS genre. The missions have been bumped up to give the fans a new rollercoaster ride to experience. The good thing about the missions is that they are varied and won’t always allow you to use the simple tactics of building up your units and bombarding the enemies with a huge attack.

 

The computer A.I., on the supporting side of the war, has no form of intelligence residing in it. It’s like they don’t want to live and would rather stand around gossiping. If I was a general in this war, I would never let my men, especially with the lack of knowledge the computer A.I. has, enter any type of war. Couldn’t Nival focus on helping out the human players with better A.I. than raising the enemy A.I.? The game is that much harder when you have to babysit your soldiers.

For comparison’s sake, and I am being lenient on Nival, the game barely stacks up to titles that were released entering the new millennium graphically. It could be because of recent games, such as Company of Heroes, who incorporated a full-out destructible environment, but FotR isn’t raising any bars with the graphics. Plus, don’t be expecting any breath-taking FMV scenes furthering the storyline whatsoever.

 

My other complaints would be directed towards the controls. The controls create problems such as the inability to navigate your tanks through small streets. Your tank will eventually get stuck and be open to enemy fire. What I haven’t mentioned, which I will now address, is that the anti-armor guns destroy your tanks with only two shots. Hardly the most realistic approach to recreating WWII since the tanks are worthless when you run into enemies carrying the anti-armor guns. With the problems with navigation, it’s best to think out your route thoroughly before putting your attack into motion.

The advice I have to give is to avoid Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich until after finish the original. The expansion pack only furthers the difficulty and will be hard on new players to the series. Fans of the series will find enjoyment in the title, but there isn’t enough here to justify a purchase unless you are a hardcore fan.

Minimum System Requirements: CPU: Pentium 3 1.0GHz, Video Card: GeForce 3 / Radeon 8500, HD Disk Space: 2.5 GB, DirectX 9.0c

Review Scoring Details for Blitzkrieg: Fall of the Reich

Gameplay: 6.1
The campaign is a welcomed addition, but there isn’t a whole lot here changed. It basically feels tacked on and uninspired.

Graphics: 5.8
There are explosions, smoke effects, dirt kicked up by tanks, and even trees will be knocked down by tanks. What sadly brings down the graphics score is the environment detailing – it is poor. The variety of environments is lackluster and will drive players bonkers for playing different maps that look similar.

Sound: 5.7
Everything I have come to expect is here. With loud explosions to go with piercing gun shots, FotR doesn’t reinvent the wheel with the sound effects.

Difficulty: Hard
The tactical elements do come into consideration of why the game is insanely hard, but I have to lean with the fact that the computer A.I. on the human side does not help out the situation. I recommend playing the original Blitzkrieg II before picking up Fall of the Reich.

Concept: 5.0
World War II + real-time strategy = zero ounce of originality. I am tired of fighting Nazis.

Multiplayer: 5.9
It is exactly like the original but with two new maps. This is nothing to brag about, particularly to your friends who are playing Company of Heroes.

Overall: 5.9
For being an expansion, the developers didn’t focus on providing new units or game modes. Blitzkrieg II: Fall of the Reich is catered to the fans of the series and is one last hoorah for them. The 16 missions may be enough to bring back a few fans and keep them playing.

Average

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