By Joseph Luster
War-based strategy titles are prevalent, but there are a few different types out there depending on your personal preferences. Some folks dig the more twitch-based reactive strategy that requires an eagle eye and the willingness to be a virtual babysitter for countless units. There’s some merit to this flavor, but not everyone equates strategy with constant on-the-fly action. That’s where publisher Paradox Interactive’s Steel Division: Normandy 44 comes into play. From early previews, this one looks to take a more thoughtfully tactical approach to the traditional World War II strategy game.
Paradox summed it up pretty effectively themselves, reassuring those attending a preview presentation that, in Steel Division, “Clicks per minute doesn’t matter.” According to one of their representatives, this entry in the real-time strategy genre is all about “tactics over twitch.” The reason they’re pushing for this specific direction is because they want players to be responsible for interesting tactical decisions. Rather than spending most of the session babysitting units, players will be making meaningful moves throughout a refined three-phase system. The course of battle is reflected in the ever-changing shape of the front line, so you’ll be able to see when and where reinforcements are necessary, and respond accordingly without a persistent air of chaos.
If Steel Division ends up working like developer Eugen Systems (Wargame, R.U.S.E.) plans, there should be plenty of room for unique approaches to battle. Throw in 10-on-10 multiplayer battles and around 400 historically accurate units and we might just have something interesting on our hands.
STEEL DIVISION: NORMANDY 44
Publisher: Paradox Interactive