Set at what many consider the turning point of World War II, this real-time game focuses on battlefield strategy and tactics. Gamers will equip their troops, review recon, and head to battle in a dozen single-player missions. As many as eight players can compete together in the game's multiplayer mode, which runs on GameSpy's networking software.
In the same year that the D-Day landings hit 60 years old, Digital Jesters bring us an interactive RTS so we can control directly what happens leading up to, and after, the Allied landings on the beaches in Normandy. Shape the battles how you think they should have been fought. It's 3D real-time tactical action on an epic scale.
The game looks very much like the classic Command and Conquer, with lots of small people on a large map. The overhead view can be rotated and zoomed in to get a better view of your men and enemies. The terrain for each level seems to have been investigated into and look as though it has been taken out of the war itself.
It isn't too graphically intense, but still very clear and sharp. However, if you zoom in closer, the detail gets more stunning and you can even see things written on the side of tanks and the character models are very accurate. On the Omaha beach landings that you have to co-ordinate there are explosions everywhere, with tanks being blown to pieces and bombs landing with a very satisfying display of fireworks.
The first few missions are the crucial attacks leading up to D-day itself, you take control over varying numbers of fighters that have parachuted or flown in to take control of an Axis stronghold. You have to capture various strategic positions that are crucial to the success of the Allied landings in Normandy that follow later in the game.
You then control the landing on Omaha beach in an action packed level where your troops are being shot down as soon as they leave the landing craft. You have to make sure that all your men across the long beach are safe and advance up the large front-line of the beach and beyond. It is quite difficult but makes an interesting challenge.
D-Day is very simple to play. Simply click on the men you want to use and then click where you want them to go or kill, just like any other RTS. It is a bit difficult to define which type of unit you have without clicking on them as they all look very similar when viewed from far away.
There are a few different types of unit, including flame-throwers and the common rifleman. There is always at least one Officer on the field, who possess higher amounts of HP than the normal units and grant various bonuses when put in vehicles. Some units have special abilities, such as mine laying, mine removing and healing other units.
During the heat of battle you can sometimes call upon aid from a variety of sources; for example ordering planes and artillery to attack targets without endangering the lives of your men on the ground. You are also able to call on reinforcements in the form of parachute drops. These are normally only available if you complete an objective that will therefore allow the aid to be used effectively.
In general, the music suits what is happening in your game. It is quiet and slow when you have to stay under cover using stealth, but as soon as you near or enter battle, it speeds up and the tension increases dramatically.
There are people of all nationalities providing the voice-overs for the units in the game and during the FMV sequences you see clips of the war and your briefing is usually by either a British or American person. The only thing that I would mark it down on is that on the test machine, when there is some speaking it sometimes jumps and misses a word or two.
D-day is a game that you could play for a long time because there are a lot of missions that will take you some time to complete, not because they are tricky, some are, but because they are challenging and often require a lot of work in order to complete them. In all there are twelve missions to work your way through and when you have completed it, you can replay any mission you like in scenario mode with any of units that you wish.
D-Day is an enthralling game that will keep you busy for hours. It is a great way to commemorate the lives of the men who took part in the landings themselves and we should all remember that for these people it was not a game.
People who downloaded D-Day have also downloaded:
Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps, No Surrender: Battle of the Bulge, Company of Heroes, Moscow to Berlin: Red Siege, Close Combat 5: Invasion Normandy, American Civil War: Take Command - Second Manassas, Close Combat 4: The Battle of the Bulge, Cossacks II: Battle for Europe
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