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PC Game Preview - "Rush for Berlin"

Rush for Berlin (Wargame Preview)
(Developer: Stormregion: Published by Deep Silver)

Review by John Barratt 

World War II is a popular subject for RTS game designers and players, so the first thought on seeing this new production by Hungarian designers "Stormregion", developers of "Codename Panzers" amongst other designs was to ask what sets this design apart.

The preview copy I received only contains one of the Tutorial missions and six of the campaign missions out of a total of 25, so this review has to be based on the limited play these provide and interviews given prior to release by the designers.

The game covers the later part of the European theatre of WWII, from the summer of 1944. There are four nations represented, in three campaigns. The Western campaign includes US, British and French missions (the later being Resistance units). The Eastern campaign, naturally, the Russians, whilst the German campaign, in which the player encounters all of the Allies, is partly based on an "alternate" version of history. In this one of the first German missions is to kil" Hitler, and so set up a more moderate regime with the campaign objective of delaying the Allied advance on Berlin long enough to achieve a compromise peace.

The Western and Russian campaigns are in a race against time to reach Berlin first. The Player's progress will be measured against his performance in individual scenarios, with a penalty for poor results which may eventually result in the Player losing the Rush for Berlin. In the campaign scenarios, a Player may, for example produce more units, (in the case of the Western Player, often in large numbers), but by doing so will carry overall performance penalties.

Potential Players need to be aware that Rush, based on the scenarios available to the reviewer, is primarily designed with gamers in mind. Anyone looking for strictly "historical" scenarios is likely to be a little surprised. The designers have included in the later stages of the game provision for the appearance of some units, such as the Maus tank for the Germans, which were under development but usually not available by the time the war ended. In the German campaign there is also the historically debatable assumption that the Me- 262 had obtained air superiority over the Allied forces. This, of course gives the German a better chance than he possessed historically, and in game terms provides for a more challenging contest.

Potential purchasers should also be aware that the titles given to scenarios do not always strictly reflect historical reality. In "Arnhem Bridge" the German scenario included in my review copy, I was rather surprised that the German Player, tasked with recapturing Arnhem Bridge, was up against US paras, supported by Sherman tanks! This in game terms provides the Player with a challenging contest, but would upset many in search of historical accuracy.

The Player has a variety of units at his disposal. Infantry seem to be on squad level, with individual armoured and reconnaissance vehicles. In most scenarios, the Player also has available four officers, described by the designers as "heros", each of whom has particular skills such as "reconnaissance" or "paratroop" . In some scenarios, "headquarter" buildings may manufacture "new" units using a supply of resource points allocated in each scenario, though this can incur a serious time penalty. The capture of enemy headquarters and protection of the Player's own, is consequently usually an important objective. As in many RTS games, units may be "wounded" or "damaged", with an appropriately coloured bar showing the current condition of each. Medics and mechanics may aid recovery and repair. Objectives are set at the start of each scenario, with additional ones appearing as the scenario goes on. Even on the easiest setting, the AI provides testing opposition.

Although I only received the third of the Tutorial games, I found the game system reasonably easy to get into, and any regular RTS enthusiast will encounter few difficulties, aided by a clear and easily grasped interface.

Some of those who saw earlier previews of Rush commented on jerky graphics , but in the version I received these seem largely to have been overcome. Indeed the renderings of terrain , weather and buildings are particularly effective. When trekking through the moonlit snow-covered forests of the Ardennes, one can almost feel the bitter cold!

As mentioned above, I'm not able to provide a full impression of all the features and aspects of this game. Based on what I have seen, it will certainly provide a challenging and enjoyable experience for RTS enthusiasts, with a few twists which may make it stand out from other RTS games of this period.

System Specifications

Windows 2000 or XP with SP1 or XP 64
Pentium 4 1.7 GHz
512 MB RAM
ATI Radeon 8000 or GeForce 3

Reviewer's PC
P4 3.2 GHz
1GB Ram
ATI Radeon 8000

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Copyright © 2006 John Barratt.

Review by John Barratt (

John Barratt has authored many books to include: Armada 1588,  The Battle of Marston Moor, The Civil War in South-West England 1642-1646, and Cavalier Generals.

Published online: 05/14/2006.

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