Nasal hair grows at an alarming rate. If you're of a certain age (as I am), or of a particularly hairy persuasion (like King Kong or Robbie Williams for example), then you'll know what I'm on about No sooner have you managed to shove a thumb and forefinger up the offending nostril in an audacious pincer movement to root out the offending bushel, than a new clump of neo-pubes has already begun sprouting from the shady clearing and set its roots even deeper.
Although not quite as socially stigmatising, WWII games can be just as alarmingly frequent. Once you've completed the trials of, say, Medal of Honor, the expansion is almost upon you. Then another. Its developer then splits in two. one half pursues a sequel, the other a game to counter it - and the cycle begins again... And we haven't even tackled the other nostril yet; the similarly overgrown RTS genre that's been constantly plucking at WWII for inspiration.
Take Your Pick
Blitzkrieg 2 then: sequel to 'Ten Expansion Packs' Blitzkrieg the one time Sudden Strike-Wer (itself superseded by a sequel and soon to be again by another). Dare we mention Panzers, Commandos or Soldiers? In short, there are bewildering array of games out there demanding your attention, and in essence there's very little to choose between them. They all cover much the same scenarios (predictably Blitz2 devotes one of the three campaigns on the war versus Japan); they all eschew resource hoarding and base-building in favour of get-what-you're-given man-management; and every one features all the units you'd ever want or need.
Keeping It Real
To be fair, Blitzkrieg 2 looks better than its predecessor, but not by much, and there's some pleasing degree of refinement both with regard to interface and the fact that the entire game can't be won with artillery alone. The density of the battles is satisfying too, with you taking up the role of a divisional commander rather than a five-star general, with maps that are compact without being constrictive and units that are numerous without being unmanageable.
Where Blitzkrieg 2 does score points is for its realism. It still has some way to go to beat the Football Manager-esque depth of Hearts Of Iron II (and in doing so it would lose much of its immediacy and fun), but as far as cookie-cutter RTS games go, it beats its WWII stablemates hands-down. Bullets . never challenge a tank, cover works well and infantry are, for all their fleshy failings, the . core of your force.
If you've vigorously devoured all the recent WWII RTS games, you'll notice the refinements and welcome them - but they are subtle to the point of being unnoticeable if you're new to the setting. Truthfully, we passed the point of diminishing returns long ago. Blitzkrieg 2 is like an old soldier: reliable, loyal and vastly experienced. But it's way past its prime and if Relic's Company Of Heroes is going to sweep in a new order, as we hope it will, this doddering old hero will soon be left behind, no doubt tripping up on his own nasal hair.
Download Blitzkrieg 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP