Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder

a game by CDV
Platform: PC
Rating: 8/10

It's the beginning of America's open involvement in World War II, and General Patton's no sissy. From the early attacks at Vichy controlled Casablanca, across North Africa, and ultimately in Europe, you have a chance to follow in the footsteps of arguably the greatest (and most well-known) general in American history. Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder, an entertaining if inaptly named WWII tank and infantry simulator, is published by CDV Software. Interestingly enough, this is the same publisher that brought you Panzers, and earlier WWII tank and infantry sim that featured Hollywood-style effects and gameplay. So why is it that I prefer Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder over the earlier title?

Let's look at the details. In many ways, Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder is identical to its counterpart, in that many different units are available, there are primary units that must complete the mission, and so forth, which is pretty standard RTS fare. They both deal with World War II, though Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder's focus tends to be much narrower. Graphics in Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder are very good, though perhaps not as spectacular as Panzers' eye candy. Controls are much like chess; easy to get the basics, yet difficult to truly master without some practice. Most newer RTS players would be smart to go through the tutorial, which, along with basic movement and attack, also teaches basic strategy with the different units in the game.

So far, it seems Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder lags behind Panzers due to the seeming gap in video and scope of game. But truly, the reason I prefer Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder is the no-nonsense approach to the game. Scenarios are easy to get into and have a more defined purpose. While graphics are not as flashy, they are still well rendered with a more methodical approach; you won't see a tank plowing over large trees or through forests with ease, like you'd see with Panzers. These and other touches make for a more realistic and satisfying gaming experience.

Though very little is new in this title as far as strategies games go, Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder scores high marks due to the retro-type feel of the game; it's a reminder of why early RTS games were so fun. Even though it's yet another title in a long list of wartime RTS games, I'm recommending Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder to gamers for it's straightforward, substance-over-style approach to real time strategy.

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