Even though it never caught on quite as strongly with the multiplayer crowd as the Wargame series, Eugen System‘s Steel Division: Normandy 44 was an easy recommendation, at least according to our resident strategy boffin Tim Stone. Using the same wildly scaleable engine tech first seen in RUSE, Steel Division allowed RTS battles to play out on almost any scale, from ultra-detailed vehicular skirmishes to operational overviews as abstract pieces move across the map, battle-lines shifting around them.
Eugen and publisher Paradox have supported the game well since its original release with a good mix of free and paid addons, despite online player-counts being lower than hoped. Today, the second major DLC pack for the game – Back To Hell – has rolled out, dense with shiny new tanks and scenic European hedgerows just waiting to be bombed into iron filings and ashes.
Back To Hell promises more of the same, writ large. Two new historical heroes, and four new playable divisions, including the famed Desert Rats (the British 7th armored division) and the French Demi-Brigade SAS. On the less freedom-minded side of things you’ll find the 2nd Panzerdivision and the Festungs Gross-Paris playable across a variety of modes.
The real meat of Back To Hell is seven more historical scenarios, most of which can be played in any mode and from any perspective, be it solo, co-op or online, allied or axis. There’s 11 different divisions at work in these missions, many exclusive to these particular scenarios, and divided up across all these new military forces is a lengthy 58 new unit types which I won’t even try to all list here.
Needless to say, history buffs will be pleased, and those only just dipping their toes into the world of large-scale WW2 military combat… well, you might want to just stick to the base game for the moment, especially as this DLC presently costs almost as much as the entire core game. The launch of Back To Hell is accompanied by a steep 70% discount on the original release via Steam, with other platforms hopefully soon to follow.
You can pick up the Back To Hell DLC here on Steam for £11.39/$15, as part of a respectably discounted bundle along with all other DLC and the deluxe edition of the game here, and newcomers might want to just stick to the basics, with the core game discounted down to £13.49/$18 here, the lowest Steel Division has sold for.