There are a lot less strategy wargames released these days, but if you're in the market for a new one you'll be pleased to know that Steel Division's tour of Normandy has been received fairly well.
While Steel Division might share the same genre as StarCraft and Dawn of War, it's a vastly more methodical game than either of those two. Made by the same team behind the Wargame series and RUSE, Steel Division: Normandy 44 focuses on building an army before the match starts. Players get access to a series of A, B and C tier units as the match progresses, with players concentrating on how and where to best deploy them, and the best army composition from the air, armoured, infantry and support units available.
Luke spent some time with a beta of Normandy 44 last month, and found that the game was best experienced in the larger 3v3 and 4v4 gametypes. It really is an RTS about scale, although Normandy 44 is a touch more accessible.
Last week, Paradox released two big expansions, both for games that I love, but I ended up playing neither. Instead, I was messing around with a third title of theirs that was released a bit more quietly. a beta for Steel Division. Normandy 44, an upcoming real-time strategy game.
The army customisation - or deck-building, really - has always been one of the highlights of the Wargame franchise, and reviews on Steam have praised it just as highly here. Being a WW2 RTS, the introduction of front line, armour and penetration mechanics have been welcomed, as well as the wide variety of units available. The phase mechanic (that's the staggered introduction of A, B and C tiered units) has gone down well with Steam users, too, even though Luke found the implementation to be a bit odd.
Criticisms against Normandy 44 include poorly balanced air and anti-air units, hard crashes to desktop (including a bug that bombs the game every time you change the graphics settings), an excessively steep learning curve and a lack of innovation from previous Wargame titles.
Here's what Steam users are saying about Steel Division: Normandy 44: