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Sudden Strike 4

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Kalypso Media
Developer: Kite Games
Release Date: Aug. 15, 2017

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PS4 Review - 'Sudden Strike 4'

by Michael Keener on Aug. 31, 2017 @ 2:00 a.m. PDT

Sudden Strike is back, complete with bigger battlefields, more units, better graphics, new scenarios and legendary commanders with individual abilities.

Buy Sudden Strike 4

Sudden Strike 4 is a real-time strategy title that takes place during World War II and includes single-player campaigns as well as multiplayer features. It's the franchise's fourth stand-alone installment, one that comes about a decade after the third, so we can expect great improvements in campaign features, gameplay and visuals. Does Sudden Strike 4 deliver a quality experience?

In Sudden Strike 4, players control the movements and actions of their troops and tanks across the battlefields and streets of Europe to mow down enemies and destroy their assets. There are three campaigns with about two dozen missions, including a tutorial that teaches the basics. Players can choose either the German, Soviet or Allied campaign.  The German campaign takes players through Western Europe and Western Asia and includes historic conflicts like the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of France, and Battle of Stalingrad. The Soviet campaign includes the Battle of Berlin, Battle of Moscow, and also participates in the Battle of Stalingrad. The third campaign has players controlling the Allies in conflicts like Operation Overlord and Battle of Hurtgen Forest in Northern Europe.


The game mechanics are fairly easy to grasp, but the real challenge is in executing everything properly and when it's necessary. There are plenty of moments when players must make snap decisions or their units will simply be gunned down. It's crucial that players can see a conflict coming, recognize whether they're at an advantage or disadvantage, and adjust accordingly. For example, I had split up my infantry and tanks so the infantry could flank an enemy gunner position while my tanks held a strong line in a frontal assault. When I realized a couple of enemy vehicles were coming at my infantry, I ordered them away and sent over a few trucks for them to hop on and quickly return to the safety of the tanks.

Players have the option of grabbing over a dozen units at once and assigning them a location to move to, or they can split up units as necessary. Units move well for the most part, but the vehicles can sometimes get piled up when too many move together. The path-finding could be improved, and I often found my group of 20+ selected units trying to move one-by-one around a tight corner. Players can assign units to shoot at will or to hold defensive positions, and most importantly, units can be moved to flank the enemy. It's worth noting that players can pre-assign units to face a specific direction before they reach their destinations, which is beneficial if the units are meant to eventually pinch or hold a defensive stance.

It's best to take things slowly and progress across the map slowly, as methodical approaches almost always work better than full-blown assaults. This keeps soldiers alive and provides players with a better overall rating for the mission. At the end of a successful mission, players receive one to three stars that ultimately translate into how many upgrades they can select for the next mission, such as better armor, support or troops. Each commander has a choice of upgrades to unlock, although there are no historically accurate hero units. The game shoots for realism with an emphasis on teamwork among basic soldiers, so players should focus on boosting the strength and numbers of their platoons.


Everything is simplified but still offers extreme diversity. Players only need to focus on taking their troops through hell to kill the opposition, rather than worrying about defending territory or key resources. While in the field, buildings can be destroyed, enemy weapons and resources can be seized, and tire tracks can be followed in order to find and flank the enemy. The realism of the environments works in more ways than just immersion. When playing on winter maps, enemy movements can be found in the snow, and snowfall piles up on top of vehicles and hinders visibility and maneuverability. Players can also use the environment to their advantage, and that's one of the most rewarding parts of playing and gaining experience.

The multiplayer aspect was a bit of a letdown. I tried to find an online match for a few days without much luck. Players can either search for an online game, which essentially shows available servers, or opt for Quick Match, which theoretically chooses a random server. I say "theoretically" because there are usually no servers available. There's nobody playing on the PS4. When I did find a match, there were only two out of eight people in it. There is a bit of a bright side:  PlayStation communities were made for this very reason. At the time of this writing, there's one community of 43 people who have joined together in search of like-minded gamers to battle it out in classic RTS style.

The presentation is one of the best parts of Sudden Strike 4, as immersion is a huge reason to play for extended periods of time. The wars feel, look and almost sound real. Projectiles and bullets are slightly exaggerated so players can see them, and the way units get into formation sometimes looks too computerized rather than naturally flowing. When there's a lot going on, with tanks shooting tanks while small platoons hide in nearby trees and supply trucks are moving up from the rear, you don't really notice anything other than a great simulation.


The environments look gorgeous and continually impress. Whether I was going across the countryside, through towns, or snowy landscapes, I consistently encountered high-quality visuals. As mentioned earlier, the weather adds another dimension to the strategy elements. Sound-wise, the audio feels authentic and helps to create an immersive experience, from the rolling of tanks and the crack of gunfire to the units yelling as they pump each other up prior to entering a conflict. The commanders were annoying when they barked orders, but they did create some intense moments.

Fans of the WWII era or the RTS genre — or both — will get the most out of Sudden Strike 4. It is a high-quality product in terms of graphics and immersion, and the title provides a great experience full of tense and satisfying moments. There's a lengthy campaign that'll take more than a dozen hours to get through, and multiplayer and skirmish modes offer endless playability. The multiplayer portion requires planning ahead with friends or joining the small online community. Gamers who are on board with all of that will be fine with buying the title now, but others may want to wait until the price drops a bit.

Score: 7.5/10



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