Sudden Strike II

Sudden Strike 2, the follow-up to the European cult hit that gained a modest foothold in the States, allows you to engage in World War II RTS action as one of five nations, each with a full-fledged campaign. That level of ambition isn’t quite paralleled in the rest of the game, but Sudden Strike 2 does hold a fair amount of potential for fun, particularly if you have an interest in World War II action.

14_1As with the original Sudden Strike and the later Blitzkrieg series of games, Sudden Strike 2 doesn’t have any resource-gathering to slow things down. Instead you are given an army – usually just enough to defeat the enemy – and it’s up to you to decide how to use them. Reinforcements occasionally arrive to provide you with aid. Units cover the range of WWII military personnel, from basic rifle infantry, machine gunners, anti-tank units, paratroopers, and grenadiers to all manner of tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Each unit has different uses, strengths and weaknesses.

Sudden Strike featured U.S., German, and Russian campaigns; Sudden Strike 2 adds Japan and Britain (and more than 50 new units) to the mix. Other than that, little else has changed, which makes Sudden Strike 2 taste more like an add-on than a full-fledged sequel. Tweaks include giving your infantry the choice of raiding more buildings, including occupying each individual floor (higher buildings therefore give your units better line of sight). The game also has more “usable vehicles†— you can capture enemy artillery, tanks, and so on — including trains.

The art direction is pretty much the same, though the textures are a bit grittier. Most other changes are subtle tweaks to the AI, line-of-sight rules, weapon effects, and special abilities of particular units, which, when combined, give SS II a more lifelike feel. The multiplayer game, aside from the larger maps and new units, remains largely unchanged — and there’s still no skirmish mode.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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