World War II Battle Action 

World War II has proved to be a fertile period of history for the developers of RTS (Real Time Strategy) games with numerous offerings being available for would-be military commanders.
Blitzkrieg 2 Anthology - Liberation and The Fall of the Reich

Bringing together three titles from the Blitzkrieg series is the appropriately named Blitzkrieg II Anthology.  This product consists of the Blitzkrieg II game and the subsequent offerings of Liberation and The Fall of the Reich as you take part in historic battles of the period.

Using a front-end menu, you can select from the various games making up this anthology.  There is also an option to install a patch enabling Blitzkrieg II to run under Windows Vista.  At the conclusion of the Blitzkrieg II installation you will be informed that the game makes use of a protective system that requires additional libraries.  These will be automatically installed without further ado.

Having included the required patch, I was not expecting any problems when running the game under Vista and so was surprised when a message appeared stating that the protection system was incompatible with the operating system.  Checking online I discovered that a file entitled sfdrvup.exe would solve the problem.  Before downloading this file I took a look at the directory of the game's DVD and found that the file was there.  After running this file and rebooting the system, I was able to start the game.

Blitzkrieg II allows you to command German, British/American or Russian armies with a choice of single or multiplayer action.  With the former there are over 80 missions that take you to all the major battlefields of the conflict.  The missions can be tackled at Easy, Normal, Hard or Very Hard levels of difficulty.  There are more than 250 types of historically accurate units to control within a 3D environment.  Each of the units has its own set of rules dealing with aspects of armour plating, reload time and penetration ability governing performance.

Missions generally consist of a number of objectives conducted over diverse terrain that responds to the action of war as your tanks crush obstacles in their path. The destruction caused by bombs and shells is impressive.  However, rather than tackle these objectives in a set order, Blitzkrieg permits you to decide the order yourself.  As in the real world, decisions made in missions will be reflected in subsequence action.  Use up resources too early and you could struggle later on.

Camera controls allow you to zoom in and out of the action to give a close up or wide angle view of the terrain.  Success in the world of Blitzkrieg brings its own reward in the form of medals and experience points for your units.  These points bring additional abilities and increased effectiveness for your forces.

Neither of the additional Blitzkrieg titles seems to require the protection system libraries mentioned earlier.  Nor do you need the Blitzkrieg II game to be present.  It was also noticeable that Liberation and The Fall of the Reich were quicker to install.

With Liberation your missions will take you across Italy, France, the Netherlands and Belgium. You will be given the choice of  leading the Allied forces battle through Italy or guide the German and Italy armies as they attempt to escape from the Allied forces in France.  The Fall of the Reich deals with the final days of conflict on the Eastern Front. This title features 16 historically based missions, including the Siege of Budapest, Fortress Kurland and Operation Bagration, encompassing some of the most vicious battles of the war.

Blitzkrieg II Anthology certainly packs plenty of action that will appeal to RTS fans.  If you missed out on the original released of these titles, then this is an excellent way to add a visually impressive battle strategy game play to your collection.  This title has been priced at £19.99.  System requirements are a recommended 2.4GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 3GB of available hard disk space with DirectX 9.0 supported video and audio capabilities running Windows 98 and later.

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Comment by videogames, 17 Nov 2010 5:18

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