Sudden Strike 4, which we reviewed last summer, has received another DLC update in the shape of Finland: Winter Storm. Here are our impressions.
During E3, we were surprised when EA announced they were bringing back Command & Conquer. That feeling quickly changed to disappointment though, as we learned the franchise was moving to mobile platforms and wasn’t making a PC comeback. Luckily, Kalypso released brand new content for Sudden Strike 4 not long after – giving real time strategy fans a good alternative during an era where the genre isn’t that prevalent anymore (unlike turn-based, which I’m seeing a lot of).
The new Sudden Strike 4 expansion focuses on a lesser known theater in the Second World War – the icy conflicts between the Soviet Union and the Finnish/German forces. I personally knew next to nothing about this aspect of the Second World War, so that alone made the expansion extremely interesting to play.
Winter Storm features two new campaigns, but both only feature three missions – some of which show different sides of the same conflict as you take control of either the Soviet or the Finnish forces. As introduced earlier in Sudden Strike 4, you also get to play with new commanders to help boost your stats in certain strategic directions. The expansion also includes about two dozen new vehicles to play with, which is impressive considering the relatively low amount of levels to play in.
The winter landscapes look gorgeous, and in some cases they form a functional part of the missions as well. Visibility is hardly ever an issue (which I would have expected with everything turning white from the snow and ice), but I absolutely loved it when units crossing a frozen lake got caught by an aerial assault that caused the ice to break away from underneath them.
Finland: Winter Storm doesn’t change the gameplay formula for Sudden Strike 4 and, as an expansion, definitely falls into the “more of the same” category. To those who enjoyed the original game, however, that’s not an issue at all – and I’m definitely one of those people. The Winter Storm campaign quickly made me forget about the fact that I wasn’t getting a new Command & Conquer yet, and instead had me learning about and enjoying two sides of an unfamiliar historical conflict.