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Posted on Jul 10, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Rush for Berlin – Game Review (PC)

By Jim Cobb

Missions grow progressively harder. The first missions may be won by using the “bum’s rush” method but later ones require use of terrain and combined arms. Movement speed varies not only by unit type but also by terrain. Therefore, vehicles may outpace infantry on roads but infantry moves quicker in rubble. Movement can also be expedited by use of tunnels that bring units to another spot one by one. A variation of this is where Russian troops use little cable cars, rising halfway to the stars (morning flak may fill the air; they don’t care), to outflank enemy defenses.

Russians use a cable car to move. The green dots in the bottom center of the mini-map are the Russians moving down. Russians have captures a lighthouse is Sevastopol harbor. The command shown on the dial in the lower right calls in a naval barrage.

Differing movement rates caused by terrain, the need to use but also protect support units and an AI that is always on the defense and uses cover very well force players to think in terms of proper use of skills and groupings. In such situation, the unusual abilities and skills don’t stand out as anomalies but are integrated into fire and movement tactics. Sometimes ahistorical situations occur to create play balance as when British paras are given “captured” German tanks at Arnhem. Although infuriating for hardcore gamers, such ploys fit well within the contest of the game. Rush for Berlin hits the right balance between realism and fun for its genre.

Multi-play is well represented with four different modes. Played via GameSpy, two modes are the usual deathmatch and domination schemes. Additionally, modes oriented toward specific objectives and winning quickly are included.



The graphics for this game are stupendous. Not only are they crisp and stunning but they transcend the label “eye-candy” by being useful. Men and vehicles are modeled in accurate detail, down to depicting German Shepards. Different versions of vehicles are accurate as are the relative armor and weapon values. Explosions and barrages are exciting although smoke doesn’t persist long enough. The cutscenes are interesting even if the voiceovers are out of sync.

Terrain is the best I’ve seen in over twenty-five years of computer gaming. From frozen swamps to mountain passes and forest to bombed-out cities, ground and buildings are presented in detail with sharpness adjusted for weather and time of day. The detail represents great places to use cover, set ambushes and place important, obscure entrances. All these 3D features are accessible through a fine zoom, rotate and tilt camera system. The developers know how into integrate graphics into gameplay.

This cut screen represent British “Red Devils” landing at Arnhem. German troops battle in the streets of Arnhem. The red crosses indicate units in need of medical help.


Explosions and gunfire represent accurate combat noises. Treads clank satisfactory and men yell or scream appropriately. If the unit response to commands becomes annoying, the can be turned off.

Documentation and Technical  

Players should expect a thorough explanation of the important aspects of a game from a 66-page manual. Such is not the case with Rush for Berlin. The manual covers the interface fairly well, explains the various multi-play options in detail and devotes 34 pages to game play with the rest devoted largely to describing vehicles. However, morale, evidently an important part of the game judging from the number of morale-affecting skills, is unexplained. What are the factors that raise or lower morale? Additionally, the details on the mission summary are not explained. What is a map score? What does “core unit gain/loss mean? The player searches in vain. The three part infantry-based tutorial is mum on the subject. Fortunately, the extremely useful tooltip helps players figure out game mechanics.

The initial installation runs fine but, upon boot up, something ugly raises its head; Starforce has been installed. This driver had been blamed in the past for a variety of system problems. I have never had a problem but enough smoke exists to be concerned about fire. The last page of the manual does inform the player that Starforce has been installed but I have not seen the box. Storm Region used Starforce in the games it published with CDV so Paradox, not known for intrusive copy protection, may have had no choice in the matter. Hopefully, this copy protection won’t be seen in the future.

Armchair General Rating 87%

04/10—Documentation and Technical

Pros: Fascinating integration of tactical and role playing genre’s. Groundbreaking interface and great graphics.

Cons: Serious players will be taken aback by some of the more ahistorical aspects. Documentation is sub-par and Starforce is always bad.

Bottom Line: Without doubt, the blending of history and imagination makes this game the best in the World War II role-playing genre.

Rush for Berlin website.

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