First impressions / the Big Beta Day 4

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varis
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First impressions / the Big Beta Day 4

Postby varis » Sat 1 Jun 2019 16:57

Finally jumped to the beta bandwagon and here are some first impressions after 3 skirmish games. My reference point is WarGame (Red Dragon) and to a lesser degree Steel Division 1.

Overall, vibes are positive. The main coolness factor comes from which conflict was chose as the scope and how it's presented. Also there are a number of small improvements from previous titles. Funnily the main downside is also with how stuff looks like.

The operation is highly interesting, has a lot of potential and certainly hasn't been done to death by generations of previous games. There would be much opportunity to also model the maskirovka (stealth and deception) parts of the operation, such as troop movement at night and fake deployments (RUSE anyone?). Sadly these aspects don't seem to be touched too much.
Visuals are very appropriate, dull greens and browns dominate.
There seems to be more progress on the sound side. Tank engine noises and infantry chatter sounds quite authentic and convincing. Automatic weapons on the other hand have a high pitch and lack the OOMPH of a real gun, makes you more think of the rattling of somebody's box of legos. (Little change from WarGame I think.)
The conspicious bobbing of tanks when firing from the earlier beta seems to have been dropped, which is a very good thing.

The main negative point is that the game looks a bit messy when you look at the graphics, especially closer. Grass is a dithered mess and there seems to be a bit too much stuff/shapes in various objects. The cleaner and simpler WarGame graphics were more pleasant to look at, in a way.
A bit similar with the sounds - it feels like you're listening to machine gun and engine noises non-stop from the click of the launch button. This may be a minor point - on an authentic battlefield you would expect to hear a near-constant barrage of noises. However if the sounds are distinct mostly to highlight an event (eg. a heated engagement) or when you're zooming in, that could make for more enjoyable game design.

It seems that Eugen intends to do away with one of the weak points of their games, a substandard interface. My first feeling is that the UI is the best we've seen from any Eugen game (perhaps discounting the more simple Act of War). There are a few new commands/functions over RD which seem to indicate units behave in a much more intelligent fashion. But mostly the same commands are there that you've used to. There is a new distance (and LOS?) tool. After the initial downsizing, icons behave quite nicely and the awful clutter which appeared in ALB is not present. Sometimes it may be a bit difficult to select the right unit when say 2 different tanks are next to each other. Deselecting a unit seems about impossible, at least harder than in WarGame as the esc trick does not work here.

There are new little fixes/shortcuts like transports typically disappearing after infantry deployment, penetration/armor values being displayed next to the unit icon etc. Control point and command unit mechanics are much improved compared to WarGame.

The maps feel like they have a good balance, with fairly open terrain, dotted with a number of small forest patches and little villages. Separation of light/dense forest and swamp/wetlands sounds like an interesting upgrade.

Can't comment much on the balance yet. Infantry feels somewhat more squishy than in WarGame. Infantry in the open is pretty dead meat in Eugen Games in general, quite different from say Steel Panthers 2. Firing distances (for key units like tanks) compared to the map seem the longest from any Eugen title I've seen.

Perhaps the above is one reason why there doesn't seem to be many dead moments and bullets are almost constantly flying. The pace of the game feels quite right and is close to Red Dragon. I've been playing mostly against fairly easy CPU and the game was over in 15-30 minutes.

Quite expectant of this title. Хорошая работа!
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Destraex
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Re: First impressions / the Big Beta Day 4

Postby Destraex » Sun 2 Jun 2019 01:40

I wouldnlike:

Counter battery order for artillery
To be able to choose how big i want my maps
To be able to group and have a column order and then ameching st thr same speed so i dont constsntly lose leaders and light geat thst is too fast to the front.
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Sunburn
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Re: First impressions / the Big Beta Day 4

Postby Sunburn » Tue 4 Jun 2019 17:35

Destraex wrote:I wouldnlike:

Counter battery order for artillery.
To be able to choose how big i want my maps.
To be able to group and have a column order and then have the units marching at the same speed so I don't constantly lose leaders and light gear that are faster than the slowest unit in the advancing group.


+1

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