Eugen team with Paradox for tactical RTS Steel Division

Paradox have announced a new strategy game, Steel Division: Normandy 44. Created by Eugen Systems, the studio behind clever clogs WWII game R.U.S.E. and the Wargame series, it contains “400 different real-world vehicles and units designed with careful historical detail and accuracy” and maps based on aerial recon photos of 1944 Normandy. Mmmmm. Lovely authenticity. It’s the tactical tricks that make it sound so appealing though.

Here are the tastiest morsels of information, direct from the warhorse’s mouth:

Real-world Tactics: Battles rage over three distinct phases, where different units unlock over time, mimicking the movements of real-world armies and adding variety to the ever-changing theatre of war. A dynamic front line illustrates the ebb and flow of the conflict. Pin down your opponent’s infantry to gain the advantage and force a retreat, or push through with a perfectly executed plan,

Outplan, Outsmart, Outgun: From battlegroup customization to troop positioning and maneuvering, winning battles requires cunning and strategy, not just raw firepower. Each unit lost presents a growing tactical disadvantage, and players will need to fight to gain — and keep — the upper hand.

Eugen’s most recent release, Act of Aggression, didn’t receive a warm reaction from Rob Zacny on these pages, but it felt like a throwback where so much of their work had been quietly innovative, pushing the RTS genre forward. Steel Division already sounds like a more interesting proposition, with its dynamic front line and combat phases, so here’s hoping it’s a return to form.

As well as multiplayer “up to and including 10-versus-10 battles”, Steel Division will have a full singleplayer campaign mode. We’ll know much more in the very near future.


  1. Hensler says:

    Act of Aggression was crap (I got an e-mail saying they’d released a Reboot edition, but I haven’t given it a 2nd chance yet), but it was trying to recreate one of the best RTS games that nobody ever played, Act of War. This likewise sounds like a follow-up to RUSE, another gem that a lot of people missed, and I hope it turns out better. I thought they wen’t a little too technical with the Wargame series, but they’re still great games, and I love what this studio is doing to for the RTS genre.

    • Vandelay says:

      Agreed on RUSE. Played it late so never tried the multiplayer, but had a great time solo. One of the last great RTSs, to my mind.

      Wargames were good, but just too sprawling in its unit selection and I suspect (again, didn’t play MP,) reliant on large number multiplayer. Slightly disappointed to see this also is going to feature hundreds of units, but keen to see what they are going to do with it.

      • bills6693 says:

        Have to say, wargame didn’t actually rely on huge numbers of players, the ’10v10′ battles have their moment but there’s actually a lot to be said (more, in my opinion) for 2v2 up to 4v4. Even 1v1 is good but o found that too hard to keep track of everything that was going on. But it was all about teamwork and tactics in those games of small teams, something you couldn’t really coordinate in the 20 player battles but which was the focus on the 4-8 player ones.

        With regards the unit numbers, to be fair they were mostly variants of the same thing and you usually just cared what type of unit it was rather than its exact name- light or heavy tank, mortars, artillery, AA missiles, assault, support, AT or AA infantry etc. This made it possible to actually cope in my opinion.

  2. Gothnak says:

    I haven’t played any of these because i like my RTS’s to be slow and cumbersome (Close Combat, Company of Heroes) and these looked fast and exciting.

    I don’t like reacting, i like thinking :).

    • goodpoints says:

      I know right, ‘Wargame’ is so unnecessarily fast. I found it to be vastly more enjoyable (though not necessary good) by making the game speed 50% slower with Cheat Engine.

      Try Graviteam Tactics though.

      • GernauMorat says:

        Red Dragon [the latest one] has speed controls in single player, letting you play at an absolute crawl if you so desire. Don’t miss out on what is probably the best RTS of recent years because of that!

      • RTSGUY says:

        Oh man, I own Graviteam Tactics Mius Front. I respect it, I’ve tried it for several hours, I just can’t get into it though. I have trouble even figuring out what victory is in G.T. I know there’s a great RTS in there, I just have not been able to find it.

        • GernauMorat says:

          I feel your pain. It appears to be a fantastic wargame, but between the opaque interface and the fact that the game is very bad at informing you that, say, half your amour was wiped out while you were trying to figure out how to reposition a platoon, I have bounced off it several times.

    • RTSGUY says:

      CoH2 is a slow RTS for you? It’s my favorite RTS by a mile, but I find it to be very frenetic, and I’ve got 1,600 hours into it.

      Wargame is an outstanding series (particularly Airland Battle and Red Dragon), and I would say play slower than CoH.

      • Jerkzilla says:

        I guess Wargame could get pretty frenetic when you had a lot of units to deal with, but the requirement of being patient and calculating is always there. That said, CoH never struck me as anything but “fast”.

        I don’t think Wargame really needed to be as chaotic as it usually was in the late game, a lot of the micromanagement you had to do basically amounted to chores of no tactical interest. They could’ve been dealt with with some more interface options. Being able to see unit waypoints, for one, would have helped quite a bit.

        • JonWood says:

          The micromanagement definitely kills the Wargame series for me, particularly having to explicitly ensure everyone remains armed and fueled. I have no problem with the concept of having to make sure supplies are available, but it does annoy me that tank crews will happily keep driving until the fuel tank is completely empty without even checking that’s what you wanted.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Agreed. I can’t wait for a proper 3d Close Combat game. Comon Slytherine!!

    • GepardenK says:

      RUSE is one thousand million times slower than Company of Heroes. It is still faster than the excellent Close Combat though.

  3. G-Lord says:

    I just hope they will do a proper singleplayer campaign again. I’ve been missing those since R.U.S.E., and I never picked up Act of Aggression due to the lukewarm reception.

  4. RTSGUY says:

    This is great news. The Wargame series is one of my all time favorite RTS series. If they can take the scale, unit variety, and ballistic fidelity of Wargame and make a WW II game out of it, it will be a day 1 purchase for me.

  5. RTSGUY says:

    Hard to tell how this game will play by the reveal vid, but at about the 38 second mark the map shown looks a lot like a Wargame game. Large maps of brightly colored European landscapes that you can zoom into to the unit level, or out all the way to a more strategic view. Looks like Wargame ALB with WW II units, which is just fine by me if true.