To coincide with the hype surrounding the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings (when The Allies kicked ass in France, history fans), Impressions has released a strategy simulation to, er, kick ass, in the way that only strategy simulations can. Presented in a similar style to The Blue and the Gray, D-Day, The Beginning of the End is set, funnily enough, at the end of the Second World War (June the 6th, 1944 to be precise) in Western Europe. Your task, because you're placed on the side of good old Tommy, is to stop Hitler's nasty Nazis from lording it over Continental Europe by freeing France from occupying German forces. The problem is, you have just under a year to complete this task and believe me, that's not far off how long it will take for you to complete this game.
The main play takes place on a map of Europe. The idea is to move your forces around the map and start loads of fights - great fun! But, conversely, unless you're into this type of strategy game then it's not great fun at all (so was that sarcasm, then? - Andy). The action does warm up (just a tad) when a Micro Miniatures battle takes place (an entire skirmish played out with little piccies of Micro Miniature soldiers). You can't control the soldiers directly, but you can give them orders, sit back and watch them being carried out. This sim has FOUR manuals, which gives the box a bit of a War and Peace quality feel. One of them is a history book, though, so, er, sod that.
Hmm... the Second World War, eh? This is a different approach to the usual war games. For a start it doesn't have you driving around in a tank blowing things up, nor is it a flight sim. D-Day is more of a table top Dungeons and Dragons war game, with rules like "how far you can move in your turn," and "how far you can shoot your little gun," and "how many..." but you get the idea. Having not played The Blue and the Gray, I'd say this is a pretty original game although, from what I can gather, the two use the same game engine. What D-Day does, it does pretty well, but after a few battles you tend to get the feeling that the game is getting a bit repetitive, as one battle looks just like the next. Better graphics and sound would have improved this game a lot, because the battles played pretty jerkily as they chugged along on the old A500 (it's much faster and smoother on an A1200). The sound is, well, not up to scratch and is just as quirky and, um, murky as the graphics. A save game feature has, of course, been included, as have a few preset scenarios to get you going. But my main moan about D-Day is the fact that, even at higher levels of difficulty, if your army is bigger than your opponents, then you can pretty much guarantee that you'll win the battle. And as The Allies have a larger army than the Jerries, then you are bound to win in the end (unless you play as Germany, of course!).
It's a 2D table, round based strategy game. You can choose your side, to play the Alliance or the German empire. Poor graphics and sound, but an ordinary gameplay known well from the similar games on the market.
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