Moscow to Berlin: Red Siege
From Desert Rats to D-Day, Cristo has done its fair share of real-time strategy games based on World War II, and here is yet another lesser known cookie-cutter game from the same developer – Moscow to Berlin, naturally centering on the Russo-German campaign. Throughout the game you will be bounced from one side to the other, playing both the German and Russian sides respectively. In hindsight it would have been better to have two completely separate campaigns in the interest of providing a more coherent narrative, but whatever.
Moscow to Berlin features missions that range from famous battles such as stopping the German assault on Leningrad or the Soviet push into Berlin. Each mission is usually split up into two to four sub missions per campaign. Although the missions are based on famous battles, the feeling of such doesn’t translate over very well.
The biggest issue the game has lies within its management system. It falls somewhere in between a full on micromanagement nightmare and auto-pilot mode. The micro management portion is in regards to how your units are controlled, beginning with the infantrymen. Most RTS games allow the player to control squads of a particular number of the player’s choosing. Red Siege only feigns this in the simplest of terms. For each soldier is controlled individually. Now you can select multiple soldiers (this must be done by dragging a rectangle around them), but not with the click of a button. But this becomes a serious problem in the heat of battle when you need to order men around quickly.
Fortunately, infantry occupy a backseat to armored warfare. I found that by sending out a single scout to uncover the enemy and bringing in tanks to obliterate any forces along the way, was far more quicker and safer a strategy. Your main units have very low viewing capabilities, but your scout has a much more wider view radius. Unfortunately, this means that most strategies fly out the window, since you can never have a reliable map of enemy positions to leave room for at least some pre-planned assaults.
Like other games of the same pedigree, you need not concern yourself over base building, but merely the warfare aspect of things. Each mission hands you a number of troops and vehicles per mission and you have to use what you have to complete your mission. As aforementioned, the infantrymen are basically useless in terms of offense, save for the scout or flamethrower. Your best bet is to use them hidden away in buildings strictly for defensive missions. The tanks themselves have an unlimited supply of ammo and basically can withstand almost anything thrown their way.
If it’s another tank-centric strategy game you’re looking for, then Moscow to Berlin will deliver a good deal of deja vu. With the same engine left practically intact (even going as far as an identical menu interface), you should have a good idea what to expect here – same old, same old.
System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Win95
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