Blitzkrieg: Attack is the Only Defense
Graphics & Sound:
Blitzkrieg: A sudden military offensive, usually by land and air.
Blitzkrieg: Attack is the Only Defense by Nival Interactive is a Real
Time Strategy game set in World War II that takes the complexity up a notch
and manages to appeal to gamers and war buffs alike. It builds on the
foundation set by games like Star Craft and Command &
Conquer and takes the realism to the next level.
While most of the other RTS's coming out nowadays are 3-D, Blitzkrieg
is more of a pseudo 3-D game. The terrain is 3-D but everything on it,
landmarks, units, houses, etc., are 2-D sprites. The game looks beautiful.
Well, the graphics look beautiful -- I'm not sure you wanna say watching
squads of guys getting blown to pieces by artillery fire looks beautiful.
Everything in the game looks crisp and the colors are vibrant. You can
almost smell the gunpowder as you watch your shells scorch the beautiful
European countryside. All the military equipment is drawn from real life
sources. This would almost be a problem when it came to telling sides apart,
if it weren't for the mini-map. I dunno about you, but I can't usually tell
a German tank apart from a Soviet one.
The sounds are extremely well done as well; the battles are just rife with
clashing noises. You'll be walking a squad of guys across some hills,
hearing the birds singing and a small stream nearby, then the air will
suddenly rip as artillery shells begin to explode around you. The unit
responses are all in their native languages as well, not, say, English with
a German accent. Eventually, when you approach a town, you'll be able to
tell the difference between an infantry firefight, tank fire, or artillery.
This is kinda cool and useful as well. The music is decent, mostly composed
of the kind of stuff you'd expect to hear during a WWII documentary.
actually plays very differently than most other RTS's.
There's no resource gathering or base building per se. You generally start
off with a set of guys and that's it, although you can get re-enforcements.
You have to be extremely careful how you deploy your men in missions. It's
extremely easy to suddenly have two or three squads of guys wiped out. It's
an over-simplification, but there's almost a rock-paper-scissors mentality
to your land troops. Tanks beat infantry, infantry beat artillery, and
artillery beat tanks. There's far more to it than that, however. Armor plays
a large role as well. A single artillery cannon might wipe five of your
tanks out if they are deployed in front of it. You'll have to attack it from
the sides or behind. There's just so much you can do, like keeping a supply
line, building bridges and trenches, or even hole up your infantry inside
houses. Officers even get binoculars so they can see what's out there a
One of the more interesting and nerve wracking aspects of the gameplay in
Blitzkrieg is probably the artillery. Artillery range is usually
most, if not all, of the entire map. There are different firing options as
well, such as suppressive fire. This makes reconnaissance very important. If
you know where the enemy is, you can bombard them with artillery from the
other side of the map; of course, so can they. You'll also progress in rank
as the game progresses, depending on how well you do during missions. This
can affect the types of units you have, though it isn't as wildly important
as you might think.
The game is mission based with far more detail in what you must do than just
the usual 'kill every enemy on the map', although that's what it usually
amounts to. You will do things such as build bridges (and destroy them),
occupy towns, and find enemy strongholds in a village. There is also an
absolutely huge amount of real life military unit data that you can
find in the game. There's enough info in there for even the most diehard war
buff to learn a new factoid or two.
There's no getting around it, Blitzkrieg is the hardest RTS I've ever
played. It's extremely easy to lose a large number of troops if you make
even a small slip-up. Reconnaissance in this game is going to be a much more
complicated matter of just sending over a few Overlords. Between spy planes,
binoculars, and scout troops, you'll be making damn sure that there isn't a
platoon of tanks waiting in the trees across that bridge. It's not bad
enough to keep a novice from completing it, though. You can always pick Easy
mode, and of course, you always have the option of loading up a saved game
if your entire standing force of supply trucks and cannons gets wiped out in
one bomber raid. The game keeps tracks of how often you load, and it does
affect your 'rank' as the game progresses.
seems to build upon the foundation laid by previous RTS
titles; the game interface will feel fairly familiar to veteran RTS players.
You can hold the mouse button to select multiple troops, set specific troops
to macros, etc. The one really irritating thing about the interface is that
left-click, instead of right-click, is used to perform the various troop
commands. The game also contains shortcut hotkeys to the various troop
commands. However, unlike most RTS games which give commands a hotkey that
makes sense (such as 'A' for (A)ttack), Blitzkrieg
has it setup in a
mini-keyboard type way. Using the upper left of the keyboard, the hotkeys
are laid out to look just like the button layout on-screen. I found it more
irritating than helpful. You can, of course, keep multiple saved games
inside a mission. The save files seem abnormally large however, and the
manual even suggests that you keep at least 500 megs free for saved games.
So yes, the game is a little hard, and the learning curve is pretty steep.
The tutorial is very helpful however, and if you can get over a few of the
initial bumps, most RTS fans should be able to have a lot of fun with
-Alucard, GameVortex Communications AKA Stephen Triche
Minimum System Requirements:
Pentium II 366mhz, 64 MB of RAM, 3D video card with 8MB of RAM, DirectX 8.1
or better, 2.4 GB hard drive space
Pentium III 700mhz, 256 MG of RAM, GeForce 4 MX 420 with 64MB of RAM,