Steel Division: Normandy 44’s Back To Hell DLC launches

Steel Division

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.

10 Comments

  1. Hunchback says:

    As a huge fan of COH, i am quite interested in this… Anyone with experience in both could provide some insight?

    • GrinningD says:

      In a nutshell it is CoH writ large with no bases.

      You prepare your division before a battle and then deploy the units as reserves throughout the game based on points system.

      Check out youtubers Rangroo, Khan Ulric and VulcanHD and have a watch of one of their shoutcasts.

    • Rich says:

      In case you haven’t tried it, the Origins DLC that ports the original Men of War into Men of War Assault Squad 2 is a lot of fun. I bounced right off Men of War in its original form, since it was so fiddly, but the port seems to have tightened the mechanics up considerably. Sadly the voice acting is as rubbish as ever.

    • lich0 says:

      I’d say Steel Division is closer to Close Combat than CoH, with a more realistic approach to combat. Vehicles have no healthbars, battles take place on a larger scale, engagements happen on higher ranges, you control more units, have access to more unit types, and have much more control over artillery and air support. You need to take account of logistics to some extent, since units don’t have unlimited ammo. There is no base building at all.

      There are some similarities between the two, like the cover system, LoS being obstructed by the environment, possibility to garrison buildings with infantry, but SD has a morale system on top of that. Your units, including armour, can panic and retreat.

      From a gameplay perspective, SD can be as intense as CoH, if not more. I find tank battles particularly exciting. Since engagements in SD are larger it’s less about microing single units and more about tactical manoeuvres, reckon and utilising arty/air support. It is worth mentioning that the AI is pretty good.

  2. pookie101 says:

    I might pick this DLC up next pay day. I’ve always played their games single player and basically they gave up on that form of play until now

  3. Slazia says:

    I really like this game, but nobody plays it.

    I was really hoping they would add options so we could play smaller battles (as you can with Wargame: RD), but all the 10v10 games end up being massive spam fights.

    I bought this game at launch and guess I was hoping for more customization.

  4. gmx0 says:

    The thing that’s preventing me from playing this game is its title just sounds like your trite World War 2 strategy game. I’m sick of playing in that particular historical era. If they did something like another war, or even better, alternate history, or even Act of War in that engine, I would be more interested.

    • mavrik says:

      Their previous games take Cold War era as their basis and are awesome – it’s rare to see and play with really dangerous things like T-72 and Abrams tanks in a realistic RTS.

      I’d recommend Wargame: Airland Battle for that :)

  5. Cartras says:

    I like the game, I don’t regret buying it and playing it (single player only!), but it just doesn’t click for me like WG:RD does. I miss the campaign map, the multi-turn/day battles over the same real estate and capture zones, and the sense of each battle contributing to the overall campaign. I hope the next “Wargame:xxx” title is in development.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>