27/7/04 by Beta1
Will we ever tire of World War 2 entertainment? When we are not saving Private Ryan or collecting a Medal of Honour we are answering a Call of Duty, flying IL2s or marching with the Africa Korps. It’s getting to the point where I’m feeling like Counterglow’s WW2 correspondent. There must be another war we could do? But while I wait for the first FPS set during the UK/Iceland Cod wars I’ll have to settle for more Nazis. It’s probably due to the scale of the conflict, a cast of millions spread over vast continents. Or it could just be the leather uniforms...
D-Day by Digital Reality/MonteCristo takes as its inspiration the night preceding the landing and the weeks up to the end of the battle for Normandy. En-route to commanding the Polish 1st armoured brigade as they close the Falaise Pocket you will drop with British airborne troops to destroy the Merville battery and take Pegasus bridge. Of course no WW2 game is complete without the assault on Omaha beach, all in glorious 3D Technicolor. D-Day sells itself as a historical RTS and this is obvious in game with extensive mission background notes, recollections from the veterans who landed at Omaha and each scenario emphasises the strategic importance of each clash. The sepia tinted cut scenes add more atmosphere to the mix.
D-Day certainly looks the part. All the vehicles are nicely detailed and any CM player will instantly recognise the Tigers and Panthers that oppose your Shermans and Wolverines. The 3D graphics are detailed and features deformable terrain. Trees and hedges can be bulldozed under your tanks treads and pretty French villages are just ready to be reduced to rubble by your guns. Infantry can also enter buildings and bunkers and use the cover to launch ambushes. You can even command a group of “‘allo ’allo” style comedy French partisans led by “Michelle of the resistance”. I can only assume there’s a picture of the fallen madonna with the big boobies involved in one of the missions.
The game mechanics will be immediately familiar to RTS players. Clicking and dragging to select units, move them around the map and attacking the Germans. Missions are based around capturing or defending objectives either against the clock or until certain conditions are met.
The large unit roster is impressive for an RTS with a large selection of tanks, armoured cars, half-tracks and artillery present. There are also opportunities to scavenge Axis equipment in some operations where you often end up leading a mixed force of Shermans and captured Panthers. There’s even a couple of King Tigers lurking in the woods for the heavy armour fans out there.