Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon
The Second World War. Big inspiration for many people amongst which there are lots of game developers. Witness of that are the many WW2 shooters that are being sent out to us with the regularity of a clock. From time to time we get something different like a WW2 RTS. But is Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon still good enough or is it time for Blitzkrieg 2 and other RTS games to take over ?
Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon is a stand-alone expansion to Blitzkrieg, therefore the name. Those that have played the original won’t have any problems in the beginning with the interface as nothing has changed to that. All your units are still controlled through the 12 buttons next to the map that change depending the tasks your selected units can perform. For those that don’t know Blitzkrieg or haven’t played it yet there’s a very good tutorial that leads you through the different aspects of the complicated life of a front general. Before you know it you can go to the battlefield.
Let’s see what Burning Horizon has to offer. To start there’s only 1 campaign available. You’ll need to be satisfied with kicking butt together with Rommel. Fighting with other nations in the single player campaign unfortunately is not an option. The good thing on the other hand is that there’s loads of custom missions that can be played and here you can also choose to play with the Japanese, Americans and British.
The level of the single player campaign is the same as in the original which means it’s slick and very good. The challenges you’ll face are each time an attack on the braincells with the question: “How the hell am I going to get myself out of here ?”. Especially when you have to defend a certain line and after five minutes already notice that you’ve barely got enough people to defend half of the ground that needs defense.
Like in the original, the airforce has got an important role. You can choose between different types of airplanes ranging from bombers, transport planes, fighters, air to ground attack vessels, etc etc. The big strategists amongst us will use them with pleasure and who manages to do it a bit smart will notice that the missions become a lot easier. During the same mission I mentioned above I noticed after again 5 minutes that I had some reconaissance planes and sending them to the empty holes gave me the time to react if the enemy wanted to attack through there.
A downpoint is that the AI sometimes has trouble to find a way. It happened several times that units got blocked in a river while not being able to find the bridge right next to them. Too bad, but luckily not too hard to overcome and it only so often spoils the fun.
The graphics haven’t changed either which means that you’re still watching the same 2D screen with 3D units. Time for Blitzkrieg 2 to show up since this 2D engine clearly has seen its best time.
Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon is a worthy expansion and the fact that it’s standalone is definitely positive. The sad things are the pathfinding problems and the fact that there’s only a German campaign available. A second one would have been nice. If you’re addicted to RTS games that are a tad more difficult than average, Blitzkrieg: Burning Horizon is definitely worth your money. Otherwise I would wait for Blitzkrieg 2 in 3D which offers a bit more than this standalone expansion