Parents' Guide to

Sudden Strike 4

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

World War II strategy wounded by AI and control issues.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This historically based, real-time strategy game promised accuracy, but its AI and control issues make it lose the gaming war. When most real-time strategy games give players the opportunity to lead their armies into battle, those armies execute their orders and leave success or failure firmly in the hand of the player. That's not the case with Sudden Strike 4, the latest entry in Kalypso Media's WWI real-time strategy series. In some matches, your own troops cause more headaches than the entirety of the opposition forces. Sometimes, units won't respond to commands, sitting around and staying behind while the rest of your army charges into battle. Also, in the objective-based missions, there are times when your army bypasses the objective completely. If you micromanage your troops' actions and follow them from Point A to Point B, this isn't too much of an issue, since you can adjust on the fly. But if you're trying to plan an attack on multiple fronts, it can be almost impossible due to the actions of the AI when left to its own devices.

While the occasionally bewildering behavior of the AI can leave players scratching their heads, there are still some bright points to be found in Sudden Strike 4. The game is visually appealing, with a surprising amount of detail and realism packed into the large-scale battles. It also gives some insight into the war and how the various sides not only viewed each other, but viewed themselves as well. It doesn't glorify any particular part of war, instead letting the players view firsthand the gritty and brutal nature of it. Multiplayer battles are well-done and balanced, especially since the issues with AI behavior and controls affect all players equally. But ultimately, it'll be up to players to decide whether they want to put up with these frustrating issues to explore what Sudden Strike 4 has to offer.

Game Details

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