Steel Division: Normandy 44
Top Critic Average
Disappointing campaign aside, Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a compelling and challenging real-time wargame.
Steel Division: Normandy '44 succeeds both at being an entertaining real-time tactics game and a compelling simulation of historical combat, which is a remarkable combination. Not to get ahead of things, but playing this excellent World War II game makes it hard not to get excited about the potential of Steel Division: Stalingrad '42 or Rome '43. Future games or expansions might even smooth out Normandy ‘44's small drawbacks, specifically its occasionally overwhelming amount of detail and lack of context to its huge number of options, but its successes wildly outweigh its failures.
Steel Division is an aggressive, focused tactical game that deftly leverages historical realism to create unique twists on the RTS formula.
As a history teacher, I love the historical backdrop and attention to detail; as a gamer, I love the blending of strategy and excitement that comes with the intermingling of mechanics old and new to the genre. Somehow, World War II has become en vogue once more and Steel Division has come at a perfect time in the cycle of gaming trends. It's hard to remember the last time an RTS game gave me both the challenge of careful planning and the thrill of execution at the same time. Those only interested in a single-player affair might come away a little disappointed, but the package itself is very well-rounded and breathes some much-needed life into the genre.
While there's a distinct appeal to Steel Division: Normandy 44, this is a game that caters to a particular niche audience of hardcore strategy fans. Its depiction of the Second World War focuses on realism, with a reliance on ambushes and weight of fire in infantry combat and a surprising fragility to the tanks, but this difficult to master game won't be for everyone. There's some clever ideas in the shifting front lines, the fog of war and Battlegroups, but there's problems with the presentation and some elements that feel unbalanced.
Steel Division: Normandy 44 is one of the most interesting games about IIWW. Eugen Systems has created a really complex mix of tabletop wargames and RTS.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Sharp as a spike bayonet in the AI department, surprisingly realistic in areas like morale modelling, LoS and armour penetration, SD's crowning achievement is arguably its interface. It's hard to think of a wargame that makes control feel so effortless or one that communicates unit details so effectively. Beware – a few days with Eugen elegance makes Graviteam idiosyncracy awfully hard to bear.
Steel Division: Normandy 44 is a real-time strategy game that introduces a new way to play the genre, but the lightning fast pace of the game is a little too much.
For all Eugen's attempts to position Steel Division as an action-packed RTS, it's still a niche game aimed primarily at wargamers, where complex strategy and historical accuracy matter more than cinematic action beats. That's not a criticism. While it could do with an easier difficulty curve and some sensible streamlining, there's a place for a World War II strategy game where authenticity and detail count. If you think you can handle the workload, sign on up.
Steel Division: Normandy 44 is an awsome strategy game, one of the best in years. Despite its World War II realism, the game is fun at every moments with its 400 varied units for 400 different tactics.
Review in French | Read full review