Game Blurb

“London, Tuesday, June 6, 1944: Under command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.”

– first broadcast communiqué after the start of the Normandy Invasion

Let the landings begin! D-Day drops players into the role of World War II Allied forces in the final drive to liberate Europe. Throughout three campaigns and 12 missions in single player mode, D-Day challenge players to prepare troops for battle, create combat strategies, and execute one of the largest military invasions in wartime history.

Players must successfully plan and execute the turning points in the liberation of Europe: the first hours of the beach landing at Omaha Beach, the paratrooper attack on Sainte Mère Eglise, the taking of the Cherbourg harbor, operation Cobra, the battle of the Falaise pocket, and the liberation of Normandy in August 1944. During the campaigns, players can call in the help of resistant forces to recon the landing areas, take advantage of the Allies’ air power (bomber, glider, paratroopers), and stop the German forces’ counter attacks. D-Day features over 60 historically accurate units, including rifleman, paratroopers, artillery, tanks, transports, and air support.

D-Day Game Review

How many games have we seen with WWII as the backdrop? I know…I can think of a half dozen or more huge titles. Well, it was a very important time in world history, and I believe that some real heroes came out of the pages of the WWII history books. From Digital Reality, the creators of Desert Rats vs Afrika Korps, relive the first steps of the Allied forces in their victorious march of Europe’s liberation: D-Day is a real-time strategy game that makes you think like a general as you employ your forces in order to complete your objectives. The narrative and cut scenes guide you through the action quite nicely. The effect is to completely immerse you in wartime Europe.

The multiplayer game option will increase the replay-ability of D-day, but I suggest you start as always with the tutorial to become acquainted with the controls and game play. As with most real-time strategy game, you have a view from above with a limited zoom and mini-map, and you click on the individual units to control them. I enjoyed the actual footage used in the intro movies, leading to the briefing and outline of your objectives.

The look of D-day is ripe with nice textures, and some equally nice visual effects and decent animation. I thought that the weather effects and explosions added greatly to the atmosphere. You’ll also find a good supply of Units…60 in all, each with unique abilities and a range of vehicles to choose from. You do not build anything, (an engineer unit addition might be a nice touch), but your troops do occupy existing buildings and defenses that protect your troops in time of need. The missions unfold in stages and you may not see rime or reason to their order, but remember that hind-sight is 20/20. Keep pushing forward toward each objective.

Where the strategy fits in is how you choose the unit to do a particular objective, and how you guide them to that objective. You don’s want to eliminate a whole unit in a wild charge of riflemen into a fortified bunker…the result would not be pretty. Once you figure out the best combination of troops and vehicles to use, you will find more success in your style of attack. But you should try a few different combinations and different ways of attacking your objectives and you will soon be on your way to Berlin. Naturally the objectives and missions will follow the historical course of the war. You control the allied forces as they disembark in Normandy, and it is your duty to wrestle control of Europe from the Nazis. But even though you follow the general course of the war, it is your performance that defines the real direction that your war will go. You know that this is a big part of what I like about these games…the history. And D-day gives you a healthy helping of history. That was something that I did find impressive.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to go through the tutorial because this game does take a little learning. I found it pleasant to go back and replay some battles, and make adjustments in my approach allowing the outcome to be just a LOT better than the first try. Each mission requires real planning, and the range of scenarios is impressive, and it really gives the game play great variety and challenge. I found this game almost as captivating as I did Rise of Nations, and had a hard time putting it down, much to my wife’s displeasure.

I thought the AI also was good and responded in much the same way I would have if I was on the other side of the board. The enemy fought with great zeal, and responded tactically quite well to situations, but in some cases they came out to fight when maybe it would have been better to hole up in a defensive position. And be sure to take out all enemy soldiers as they retreat or you just may find them behind enemy lines picking off your stragglers.

The graphics were well done and you can see that for an RTS, the graphics have come a long way. The environments are well done and the character animations are nice and smooth. Even the sound effects were quite good though the music might be a little stiff.

Overall, I found the game play challenging and fun, and was thoroughly entertained throughout the game. From the moment you boot it up, you are enveloped into the story, and the environment of the WWII European theater of operations, and you have all the control. Now you guide your troops to victory, and a successful conclusion to the greatest war in history.

Score: 7.5 (out of 10)