Genre: Indie, Strategy
Developer: Eugen Systems
Publisher: Eugen Systems
Franchise: Steel Division
Release Date: Jun 20, 2019
Edited by Thorstag
Are you ready to command your troops across the battlefield and take over the enemy front? This is no easy task, as there are limited time and resources. You must plan accordingly and make sure you use your army as tactically as you can. Take as many of their encampments as you can to push back the enemy’s forces, then you can move on to the next mission until you’re free of their grasp.
Steel Division 2 is a World War 2 RTS that has historical battles and people from the Eastern Front. This particular one has big open maps for scaling out battles between the allies and axis during the war. You can choose from various historical battles, skirmishes with the AI, or online play. You also have a choice between well know pre-made historical troops or creating your own battle group to your liking.
The first impression of this game was pretty jarring. The game not having any tutorials, no traditional wording for modes, and total confusion on where to go. The only thing they had was a list of YouTube videos on the side that linked to random YouTubers who made tutorials for them instead. After watching almost three or four hours of these videos, I finally figured out what I can do. There were a few campaign missions that were in order, but the difficulty was scaled in reverse, where the hardest was first. This mission ranking made no sense and was almost an instant lost at an attempt to complete the mission. If you wanted to start out on the easiest, you’d have to do the last mission instead. So you are then tasked with playing against the bots instead. From here, you can choose big four versus four battles, or maybe you want to try and solo against a bot.
If you want to face an actual person, you’ll have to head over to the multiplayer for a chance to face someone who lives on your side of the world. After waiting potentially an hour or two for an opponent, you’ll soon realize that there is a tactical skill to know what the units do, but also spam as many as you can the fastest. The gameplay is based on three phases, a point system, and taking over encampments. In the three phases, different things can happen over time. Each phase comes in later on during the match and allows you to deploy certain units. These phases also determine how many points you get depending on what your battlegroup picks. This, unfortunately, doesn’t really matter because almost everything costs nothing to deploy, and there’s no real limit to the number of units you can have at once on the field. The only limitation is the amount in each group before the depletion of said unit.
One interesting thing that you can do is use different types of ammunition for the units. Different situations call for the use of certain ammo to be used against the vast types of enemies you can encounter, which was refreshing to see in an RTS. You also can run out of ammo, which can render the unit useless unless you have some kind of support that can replenish it. This leads to the next problem, though. Many of the maps are gigantic, and one would think you’d need to move about to cover the land tactically. But that’s not entirely true. The range of units is so absurdly long, it’s unbelievable. It was like watching tanks shooting each other from the farthest corners of the map. Distances didn’t really have an impact as long as you could see the unit somehow.
It’s a decent looking battle simulation type of game. It’s not too good when you’re super up close, and not terrible to look at from a distance. Effects from explosions, shells bouncing off of tanks, and destroyed objects made the battles feel more realistic. Zooming out and seeing plumes of smoke clouds coming from tanks destroyed across the map give you that immersive war feel. But the sounds can be kind of confusing, as almost everything that you see you can hear, which is kind of horrible when you can see all the units at the same time. It took some time to get used to it.
It was exceedingly confusing to get into, but I can see potential in people who really like massive war strategy games. But besides trying out different builds for online play, the so-called campaign and bot play are unsatisfying and dull. Being able to reenact some battles during WW2 is interesting, but not if you have no idea what you’re doing in the game at first. It’s almost like they expect people to know already how to play their game.
- Huge battles
- Constant Action
- Historically accurate units and people
- High learning curve
- Stale overall gameplay
- More for online play
Avorok gives Steel Division 2 a Drastik Measure of 7.1 out of 10 (71)
I can see the appeal to this game, but there’s a lot to like and dislike about it. By itself and for what the game does, it can be pretty good for a certain group of people. But for people just coming into the game, it can be a nightmare to learn everything. Some very advanced battles go on between online plays, which make it off-putting to new players. If you’d like to try it out, pick it up on Steam for $39.99. I wouldn’t recommend it full price if you are looking for something with a lot of campaign play or interesting solo play.